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Dish Execs Says Company Has “Room to Improve” Sling TV, Plans to Enhance Customer Experience

Jeff Kotuby

DISH’s heads understand their user experience could be better — and they’re working hard to rectify their past stumbles.

On DISH’s Q1 Earnings Call, Chairman Charlie Ergen and CEO Erik Carlson both mentioned that, while Sling TV is positioned well in terms of future success, but their current customer experience is a little underwhelming. “We feel like Sling is well positioned,” Carlson said.

“We have work to do on dictating kind of that lowest price price point,” Carlson continued, “but also from delivering a good customer experience and technology, which we’ve made good progress on the end of last year and will continue to make progress on this year, as well as any unique position, based on our packages and services that we provide.”

Ergen echoed these sentiments, saying, “We stumbled a little bit with our logistics and the quality of the user experience…It’s taken a lot of upgraded but that’s all being done…we have room to improve, that’s for sure. And we should have gotten more market share.”

While Sling TV added 16K subscribers in Q4 2020, they lost 118K subscribers in 2020, as compared to a 175K gain in 2019. They are currently the third largest Live TV Streaming Service with ~2.47 million subscribers behind Hulu Live TV (4 million) and YouTube TV (3 million).

In an interview with The Streamable, Sling TV Group President, Michael Schwimmer, told us the key to reinvorgating Sling’s growth is focusing on the basics. “Beyond price, (customers) care about their programming and making sure they get the channels they they want, they care about reliability, and they care about the user experience,” said Schwimmer.

The company is also working on a brand new grid guide for the streaming serve.

Sling currently offers three separate plans: a $35/month “Sling Orange” plan offers about 30 channels, including Disney Channel and ESPN, a $35/month “Sling Blue” plan that offers about 40 channels, including Fox and NBC local channels in select markets, and a $50/month Blue+Orange deal that combines the two into one, discounted deal.

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