Sling TV has been hailed as a disruptor in the pay-TV industry but according to Dish Network chairman and inbound CEO Charlie Ergen, that title is best reserved for an upcoming over-the-top service from Sony.
During a recent investor call to discuss the company’s Q4 / 2014 earnings, Ergen said Sony’s product will really be a replacement for pay television. He apparently came to this conclusion due to the fact that Sony will be a newcomer in the industry whereas Dish is a well-established player.
The executive added that Sling TV is more related to their wireless strategy; specifically, to distribute video on a mobile and wireless basis because that’s how the next generation is going to watch television.
Providing a bit more insight, Ergen said Sling CEO Roger Lynch first started talking to content providers about such a service five years ago. As you can imagine, nobody was interested… that is, until Disney’s landmark deal with Dish last year.
Lynch said that now, however, there are more programmers concerned about not being on the platform than there are those who are worried about participating.
Late last year, Sony secured a content deal with Viacom to carry roughly 20 of its channels over the Internet including BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, MTV2, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Nicktoons, Spike, TV Land, VH1, BET Gospel, Centric, Logo, CMT Pure Country, MTV Hits, MTV Jams, mtvU, Palladia, TeenNick, Vh1 Classic and Vh1 Soul – all in HD.
No word yet on when Sony plans to launch its service.