Sling TV App Launches on Xfinity Flex Devices, Bringing Live TV Option to Internet-Only Customers
Comcast Xfinity Flex users now have access to the Sling TV app as a way to stream live television without a cable deal.
The app rolled out on Flex boxes – which are available free of charge to Xfinity internet service subscribers and have been deployed to over a million homes – Wednesday. Flex brings together the streaming entertainment experience similar to a Roku, Fire TV or Apple TV streaming player.
The move to add Sling TV, though seemingly counterintuitive for a paid cable television company, signals Comcast’s push to retain and cater to customers who have actively decided not to pay for cable and stick to internet-based options.
Customers with Sling International subscriptions have been able to use that service on select Xfinity X1 devices since 2018 and on Flex devices since the product launched in March 2019. Now, Flex users will be able to access all of Sling’s packages – which include Sling Orange, Sling Blue, Sling Orange + Blue, Sling Latino, and various premium add-ons – at their standard prices.
Flex users will be able to sign up for new Sling TV subscriptions from within the device’s interface or sign in to existing accounts. New subscribers who sign up from Flex devices will be offered a three-day free trial and those who sign up before Aug. 1, or already had signed up, will be included in Sling’s one-year price guarantee announced July 1.
Sling was the simple choice for Flex’s first foray into live TV based on the existing relationship, but a company representative said that other live streaming options, like Hulu + Live TV or YouTube TV, could be added down the line. Hulu became available on Flex devices in March but without live TV capabilities.
Xfinity Instant TV, the company’s internet-based streaming service launched in 2017 that targets “cord-nevers,” won’t be available on Flex. Should Flex users decide they want a more cable-like service at any point, they can upgrade to X1 directly from the device, pick a channel package, and reboot the box to use the X1 interface.
The addition of the Sling TV app comes one week before Comcast parent company NBCUniversal’s new streaming service Peacock becomes available nationwide. The service debuted on Flex and Xfinity X1 devices in April.