Sling TV today will begin offering its base Blue programming package for free to new customers from 5 p.m. ET to midnight as a way to help Coronavirus shut-ins pass the time.

The free programming, which does not require a credit card to watch, includes 50 live channels, cloud DVR service, and more than 50,000 On-Demand titles. The channels include A&E, AMC, Bravo, CNN, E!, Fox News, FX, HGTV, HLN, MSNBC and TLC. You can watch up to three streams at the same time.

Sling TV, which is calling the offer ‘Happy Hour Across America,’ does not say how long the free programming will be available.

“Since we can’t serve you a beverage or basket of hot wings, we’re introducing a new kind of happy hour – TV ‘on the house’ every night,” said Warren Schlichting, Sling TV’s group president. “Much like a real happy hour, TV is often a shared experience. So grab your favorite refreshment, tune in with your friends and family, and get those group chats ready.”

For new Sling TV customers looking to participate, you can go to: to sign up. To begin watching, you will only need to create a user name and password.

Sling TV, a live streaming service owned by Dish, has two base programming packages starting at $30 a month (first month is $20). Blue features more than 50 channels including live network feeds in select markets as well as several other Fox channels. Sling’s Orange plan includes ESPN and more than 30 cable networks.

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— Phillip Swann