Sling TV Adds 117K Subscribers in Q3 2021 to Surpass 2.5 Million Subscribers, Highest Since 2019
After adding 65K subscribers last quarter, Sling TV once again had a big quarter, adding 117K subscribers in Q3 2021 thanks to the return of NFL and College Football. However, this is down from the 203K subscribers they added in the third quarter last year.
In total, the company now has 2.556 million subscribers, which is up from the 2.458 million they had at end of Q2 2020, but still below the nearly 2.6 million they had at the end of 2019. Thus far in 2021, Sling TV has added 82K subscribers, as compared to a 134K through the same period last year, which was largely the result of cancellation of sports as a result of COVID-19.
In comparison, YouTube TV ($65) is likely the largest Live TV Streaming Service with an estimated 4 million subscribers, while Hulu Live TV ($65) announced that they had 3.7 million subscribers as the end of June). Sling TV is still larger than Philo with 800K, AT&T TV with 646K subscribers (as of their final report in Q4 2020), and fuboTV with 681K subscribers in June.
In January, Sling TV raised prices for new subscribers to $35 a month, while including a 50 Hour DVR. They have expanded this price increase to existing subscribers starting with their first bill in August.
In June, Sling TV began rolling out an overhauled interface which focuses on simpler navigation, better personalization, an improved grid guide, and easier access to your content.
One bet that hasn’t paid off, was their integration with Locast, which was shut down in September. Sling TV had integrated Locast into their grid guide on various platforms to bring local channels to customers. They only offer FOX and NBC locals in owned-and-operated markets.
Earlier this year at the annual Stream TV Show, Michael Schwimmer, Group President of Sling TV, said that traditional pay-TV consumers are declining because they’re disillusioned with non-streaming products.
“If the customer wants to come and watch the game and leave — we love that customer,” Schwimmer said. “So let’s say somebody comes in with us for three months, then they leave for three months and then they come back, you know, our view is every time that customer leaves is not necessarily a bad thing. We know that customer will be back.”
“No one is saying, ‘Hey, I don’t want to watch the NBA Playoffs’, or ‘I’m not interested in 24-hour news anymore,’” Schwimmer said. “There’s an enormous amount of viewership, that still goes on.”
Sling TV is a live TV streaming service with 2 distinct plans. The US$35/month “Sling Orange” plan offers about 30 channels, including Disney Channel AND ESPN. The US$35/month “Sling Blue” plan offers about 40 channels, including Fox AND NBC local channels.
If you subscribe to both plans, you’ll receive a $15 discount. Sling also offers various “Extra” packs that you can add to your subscription.
Sling is great for the budget-conscious cord cutter who just wants to watch live TV, but doesn’t need the most comprehensive channel selection.