15+ Sling TV Facts To Keep an Eye On in 2023

Updated · Mar 06, 2023

It’s a grim time for pay-TV. It’s looking less and less attractive as various over-the-top (OTT) video streaming services appear.

Sling TV is still among the most important ones—it’s the one that started this craze, after all. Being available only in the US has got us asking—is this really that good and successful? In short—yes! Now that we’ve gotten familiar with its story, we can definitely claim it’s one of the best options there is. That’s exactly what encouraged us to gather all these interesting Sling TV facts—let’s see if we’ll manage to convince you of that as well.

Engaging Sling TV Facts You (Probably) Didn’t Know (Editor’s Choice):

  • Sling TV was launched in February 2015.
  • It currently has 50 channels.
  • 26,000 Sling TV users came on board only in Q3 2018.
  • Dish Network has 16,000 employees.
  • This service offers support for Android, iOS, Xbox One, among many other devices.
  • In Q3 2021, its revenue was estimated at $3.22 billion.

Facts About Sling TV

This is the first virtual Multichannel Video Programming Distributor (vMVPD for short). As such, there’s a lot to know about it—its history, services and channels it offers, etc.

Keep reading to find out:

1. Sling TV was officially launched in February 2015.

(Source: Market.us)

When did Sling TV officially release? A valid question, considering the fact that its story goes way back. It was first unveiled on January 5, 2015 but its official launch actually happened in February of the same year. Why is that? To answer this, we must go into the history of Sling TV’s parent—Dish Network.

Dish was recorded testing an OTT internet TV provider in as early as 2012. Its name was DishWorld, it had around 50 channels, but it only worked on Roku. Fast forward three years later and we have Sling TV—a streaming TV service available on smart TVs, digital media players, and apps.

2. Sling TV was founded by Roger Lynch.

(Source: Fierce Video)

Roger Lynch is the CEO of the Sling TV unit, which belongs to Dish Network. Back at Dish, he is an executive Vice President of advanced technologies. He revealed in an interview that he chose the name Sling TV as a way to signify its freedom from constraints that come from using a typical pay-TV.

3. Sling TV has a free trial.

(Source: Cord Cutters News)

Is Sling TV really free? Well, no, but it’s pretty cheap.

Contrary to popular belief, it does offer a trial version as well. It’s just not very easy to find… First, you’ll need a device compatible with Sling TV to even access this option. For example, if you download the Sling TV app from AppStore or Google Play, you’ll notice a button saying “Watch Now 7 Days Free.”

Just keep in mind that your payment info is still necessary. As soon as the trial run expires, the app will automatically start charging you.

4. As of February 2022, Sling TV has 50 channels.

(Source: Clark.com)

Yes, the service offers a lot fewer channels than its competition but the price more than makes up for it. Sling TV is cheap because of its channel packages, thus is perfect for those who don’t need the so-called premium channels.

5. There are three major Sling TV packages in 2022.

(Source: Clark.com)

The first two are called Sling Orange and Sling Blue, both with a $35 monthly subscription fee. The third is a combination between those called Sling Orange + Blue. For just $50 per month, it gives you access to all channels included in the previous packages.

6. Sling TV partly resorts to its add-ons.

(Source: Cord Cutter News)

Various Sling TV stats underline this as one of the most disliked things about the service. 

It does offer plenty of premium channels and packages. However, unlike the rest of its content, they come as pretty expensive add-ons. Such channels are Epix, Starz, and Showtime, costing $5, $9, and $10 per month, respectively. Examples for some of its add-on channel packages are: News Extra, Hollywood Extra, and Sports Extra.

7. It also offers 10 hours of DVR storage.

(Source: Cord Cutter News)

10 DVR hours is just the amount you get with the default plans. By paying $5 per month, you can instead get 50 hours for recording your favorite shows.

8. Sling TV has versions for various tablets, Smart TVs, and even smartphones.

(Source: Review.org)

Next, a Sling TV stats favorite—this one has been pointed out as a major advantage. The streaming TV service is compatible with almost all devices there is. It’s available on PC, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Xbox One, etc. Don’t forget all the Android and iOS devices. Tablets and TVs, iPhones and iPads—Sling TV works on them all.

Sling TV Revenue

Sling TV is a subsidiary, created and owned by Dish Network. There’s a lot to report here due to their long history. How are they doing now? How does Sling TV generate marketing revenue? In this section, you’ll find the answers to those and other important questions.

9. Dish Network has 16,000 employees.

(Source: Market.us)

Market.us claimed the parent company had 16,000 employees at the end of 2020. Unfortunately, Sling TV facts can’t be definite about the service’s employee count, given how it’s a subsidiary of the large enterprise.

10. As of Q3 2021, Sling TV’s revenue is estimated at around $3.22 billion.

(Source: Media Play News)

Is Sling TV profitable? Well, Live TV services may not be the most tempting right now, but they can definitely make money regardless. Thanks to its $3.22 billion revenue, Sling has undoubtedly earned its bragging rights. 

Its 2020 revenue was $3.19 billion, so those 9% increase actually mark quite a decent rise. However, its operating income isn’t doing as well. It has a 13% decrease in just a year—$699 million in Q3 2021 as opposed to $803 million in Q3 2020.

11. The Sling TV market share is unknown, but the company reported they “stumbled with the platform.”

(Source: Next TV)

Sling TV is the pioneer of live TV streaming, yet its market share doesn’t seem to reflect its quality. At least that’s what Dish chairman Charlie Ergen believed. He claimed the company got a bit too complacent, as the user experience was not satisfactory. Because of this, he made a promise that the Sling TV team would start implementing much needed UI changes to the platform.

12. Sling TV marketing combines both cable TV and digital marketing techniques.

(Source: Tinuiti)

A pretty good attempt to satisfy both brands and viewers. Its three main advertising types are: run of network, contextual video, and addressable. 

Run of network is by far the closest to your everyday marketing experience. The ads are usually played on premium programs and spread across more than 200 networks. Contextual video lets brands run their ads across channels that their Sling TV target audience watches the most. Finally, addressable ads let brands choose the way they target their audiences. They can do so by choosing viewers based on demographics, location, or even device type.

Sling TV Demographics

Just like Sling’s premium channels, demographics are another somewhat controversial topic. The main reason for that is an offset between its intended and real target audiences. Yet, against the odds, the Sling TV subscriber growth still didn’t come to a halt.

13. It was originally conceived as a service for Millennials.

(Source: Deadline)

For years, pay-TV has been quite expensive. So-called “cord-nevers,” who’ve never had it, tend to avoid it altogether because of that. Why pay for “regular TV” when you can subscribe to a streaming service?

This video streaming service was intended for Millennials (which make for a significant part of cord-nevers). Surprisingly, Sling TV stats show the complete opposite—the average viewer age ranges between 40 and 60. It turned out it’s better suited for baby boomers.

14. The number of Sling TV subscribers increased by 26,000 in Q3 2018 alone.

(Source: The Hollywood Reporter)

Sling TV’s competition became denser, leading to a Dish TV dispute with Univision at this time. Consequently, both Dish TV’s and Sling TV’s programming lineups were hit hard. As a result Dish lost a whopping 367,000 pay-TV subscribers. Fortunately, the complete opposite happened to Sling TV—it actually gained 26,000 subscribers.

15. Sling TV had 2.56 million subscribers in Q3 2021.

(Source: Statista)

How many subscribers does Sling TV have now? The subscriber count can be a make-or-break factor in such services. Pretty good news in this case, given how Sling TV is the third biggest OTT video streaming service.

It may be the first service of its kind, but that apparently doesn’t mean it’s the best. Nevertheless, Sling TV 2022 facts remind us it’s still doing okay. The rough competition got the best of it, at least for now. Hulu with Live TV has four million subscribers, and YouTube video around three million. Still, Sling TV has some aces up its sleeve—its price being among the best of them.

16. Sling TV has content that seemingly works better with a male audience.

(Source: CivicScience)

Have you ever wondered how many Sling TV users are male or female? Actually, you’re not the only one. Let’s see: apparently around 60% of its viewers are male. If we had to guess why, we’d say it’s probably because of Sling’s affinity for sports channels. They keep bringing all sorts of sports channels, even betting ones. Pretty straightforward, isn’t it?

Wrap Up

Sling TV may have been the first OTT streaming service but now, its competition is way too big and serious. That doesn’t mean the service is dying, though. As our collection of Sling TV facts established, it’s quite on the contrary actually—its subscriber count is only getting bigger, with its price being a huge factor. Thus, we’d gladly recommend Sling TV to anyone in the US that’s looking for a cheap(er) alternative to pay-TV.

Nick Galov
Nick Galov

Unaware that life beyond the internet exists, Nick is poking servers and control panels, playing with WordPress add-ons, and helping people get the hosting that suits them.