ESPN Without Cable? You Got It

Photo (cc) by USAG-Humphreys

Cable-hating sports lovers have something big to celebrate. They can finally enjoy all the live sports they want on ESPN without ponying up for a cable or satellite TV subscription.

For $20 a month, you can sign up for Sling TV, Dish Network’s new Web-based TV service, which comes with 12 major channels, including ESPN, as well as CNN, Food Network, HGTV, and the Disney Channel, Slate reports. The service includes live and video-on-demand shows.

The service is expected to launch by March, according to a Dish Network press release. And signing up is easy. All you need is a broadband connection. The press release says:

“Live television, including ESPN, for $20 per month with no commitment or contract, is a game changer,” said Roger Lynch, CEO of Sling TV. “The arrival of Sling TV lets consumers, who’ve embraced services like Netflix and Hulu, take more control of their video entertainment experience.”

But before you ditch your cable subscription, there are a few things you should consider. Re/code said there are a few catches to Sling TV, including:

  • Limited viewing. Because Sling TV is a personal subscription service, “if you want to watch football and your roommates want to watch a ‘Law & Order’ rerun, someone’s out of luck,” Re/code said.
  • TV connection. It’s easy to watch Sling TV’s channels via the Web on your laptop, but watching it on your TV is another story. If you don’t have a smart TV that supports Sling TV at the launch, you’ll need some sort of device – like a Roku box or an Xbox One – to get the Web-based TV to your actual television, Re/code writes.
  • No local networks. You can’t watch any local news or local Sunday NFL games with Sling TV. Of course, you can rectify this situation by purchasing an antenna.

In addition to its 12-channel lineup, Sling TV also offers add-on channel bundles, like a kids pack or a news and information pack, at $5 a pop. “Sling TV expects to expand its core package, video-on-demand content, online video and add-on packs throughout 2015,” the Dish press release says.

It’s too early to know what impact Sling TV will have on cable subscriptions. Slate writes:

Sling TV will not, by itself, kill off cable, any more than Aereo did (before the Supreme Court ruled it illegal). It’s an early and pretty rudimentary offering.

Even so, it will come as a damaging broadside to a pay-TV industry that has largely managed to keep live sports off the Web as a stick with which to keep would-be cord-cutters on board.

In December, HBO announced it would launch a stand-alone streaming service in 2015, before the start of a new season of “Game of Thrones.”

What do you think of Sling TV’s offerings? Is it enough to get you to dump cable? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
5 Ways to Avoid Taxes on Social Security Income
5 Ways to Avoid Taxes on Social Security Income

Here’s how to minimize and delay the chunk that Uncle Sam claims.

These 13 States Tax Social Security Income
These 13 States Tax Social Security Income

Uncle Sam is not the only one looking for a piece of your retirement income. Is your state on this list?

Small Splurges That Make It Feel Like You’re Living Large
Small Splurges That Make It Feel Like You’re Living Large

Cutting costs is the shortest path to financial freedom. However, there are times when a little spending can produce big returns.

16 Products That Solve Everyday Annoyances
16 Products That Solve Everyday Annoyances

These items put an end to the daily irritations that bug you the most.

10 Types of Retirement Income That Are Not Taxable
10 Types of Retirement Income That Are Not Taxable

There are lots of things Uncle Sam can’t touch — so long as you play by the rules.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership
How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership

The warehouse club often has some of the cheapest gas in town. Here’s how you can get it as a nonmember.

10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home
10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home

If you like to keep things simple, avoid these purchases.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Vacuums from this brand can last a half-century, if not longer — and they’re hot on the resale market.

A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today
A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today

A few steps can keep your phone from ringing when a spammer calls.

This Company Makes the Best Tires in America
This Company Makes the Best Tires in America

Driver satisfaction with tires is at an all-time high, but one brand stands out.

This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance
This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance

One type of pain is especially associated with cognitive decline.

Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?
Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?

Knowing when to claim can help you maximize benefits.

Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs
Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs

Don’t let these health care expenses catch you off guard in retirement.

8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon
8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon

The giant retailer shines when it comes to these things, from basics to hard-to-find specialty goods.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

12 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
12 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food
5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food

Anyone can take advantage of these resources.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home
6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home

Stashing money around the house is anything but harmless.

5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees
5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees

All of these states are located in the same region of the nation.

36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon
36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon

The writing is on the wall for dozens of things we have grown up with.

5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic
5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic

Sometimes the brand-name version is clearly superior.

This Cellphone Carrier Has the Worst Network Quality, Customers Say
This Cellphone Carrier Has the Worst Network Quality, Customers Say

One major wireless provider stands out for the least reliable call, messaging and data services.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.