Sling TV has raised the price on its Sports Extra plan from $5 a month to $10 a month. The new rate is now effective for new Sling Orange customers, but will not be implemented for existing Sling Orange subscribers until August 1. (The $10 monthly price was already in place for Sling Blue customers.)
The live streaming service, which is owned by Dish, says the price hike is necessary to offset escalating programming acquisition costs.
“Our team is working hard every day to keep prices as low as possible, but sports programming fees continue to rise,” the streamer said in a blog post at its web site.
The Sports Extra package, which can be purchased as an add-on after buying one of Sling’s two base plans (Blue and Orange), includes such popular channels as the NHL Network, NBA TV and the MLB Network.
(The Blue package features more than 40 channels including live network feeds in select markets as well as several Fox channels. Sling’s Orange plan includes ESPN and more than 30 cable networks. Both plans normally cost $25 a month, but Sling is now offering the first month of each package for $15 a month.)
Sling’s decision to increase the Sports Extra price reflects a growing trend in the live streaming business to raise fees to offset programming costs. (Play Station Vue, the live streaming service owned by Sony, yesterday raised each of its programing packages by $5 a month. Vue’s base plan is now $50 a month, which is similar to what’s charged by such streaming rivals as DIRECTV Now and YouTube TV.)
Sling yesterday tried to soften the blow by also introducing the ‘Total TV Deal,” which features seven Sling TV Extra plans and 50 hours of Cloud DVR for $20 per month (in addition to the base plan.)
The seven Extra plans includes Sports Extra, Kids Extra, News Extra, Lifestyle Extra, Heartland Extra, Hollywood Extra, Comedy Extra and Cloud DVR.
— Phillip Swann