Sling TV and DIRECTV Stream are both targeting YouTube TV subscribers angry over losing Disney and ESPN with pitches designed to persuade them to switch services.
YouTube TV, the multi-channel, live streaming service, early Saturday morning lost 17 Disney-owned channels due to a fight over carriage fees. The list of affected channels includes ESPN, FX, Freeform, National Geographic, the Disney Channel and eight Disney-owned ABC stations, among others.
DIRECTV Stream, one of YouTube TV’s main rivals, yesterday began offering $10 off the first month of service as part of a promotion for the 2021-22 college football bowl season. YouTube TV subscribers are now unable to watch ESPN which has the broadcast rights to 37 bowl games this season, starting with seven yesterday. DIRECTV Stream carries ESPN and other Disney-owned channels.
“Limited time. Take $10 off your first month and enjoy 40+ College Football Bowl Games. Start streaming instantly,” reads a new banner atop the DIRECTV Stream web site.
In the fine print, DIRECTV Stream notes that prices for most packages will rise from $5-10 a month starting January 23, 2022.
Sling TV, the live streamer owned by Dish, is not offering a new price reduction to lure disaffected YouTube TV subscribers. (Sling already offers its first month of service for $10, a $25 reduction.) But the service has posted a direct appeal to get them to switch.
“Looking for Disney and ESPN channels?” reads a new blurb on the Sling home page. “Some carriers are losing access to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3 (sports on ABC are also streaming on ESPN3), ESPNU, ESPNews, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Freeform, FXX, FXM, National Geographic, National Geographic Wild, SEC Network and ACC Network. Fortunately, Sling customers get access to all of these channels — take a look at our channel lineups below for more information.”
Sling TV carries ESPN in its base Orange plan, which is $35 a month with the first month for $10.
YouTube TV yesterday made its own pitch to keep subscribers from defecting by dropping its base price from $64.99 a month to $49.99 for the duration of the blackout.
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— Phillip Swann