By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman
Sling TV has appeared to have reduced its first month promotional discount by $10, bringing the first month price to $30.
(We say ‘appeared’ because Sling earlier today was sometimes still posting the old offer. But as of 2 p.m. ET, only the $30 promo was posted at the site. We’ve asked Sling if the $30 promo is now permanent and will report back here if we get an update.)
For several months, the live streamer, which is owned by Dish, had offered the first month of service for just $20 a month, a $20 discount from the regular $40 a month base price for either its Orange or Blue plans.
However, Sling TV lost 234,000 customers in the first quarter, bringing its total to 2.1 million, the lowest point in five years. Dish may be testing whether the reduced promotional price will generate more revenue although the subscriber rate has declined. (The company has not released an official statement on the new pricing.)
Dish’s streaming unit is not the only one that could be looking to generate more revenue from promotional plans. YouTube TV, the live streaming service owned by Google, earlier this month quietly reduced its promotional discount for each of the first three months of service from $10 a month to $8 a month. The monthly promo price for the first three months is now $64.99 instead of $62.99 which it had been since March when YouTube TV raised its non-promotional monthly price from $64.99 to $72.99.
Google has not said why it has reduced the promotional price by $2 a month which will put an extra $6 in the company’s coffers. But it blamed rising programming costs when it raised the regular monthly price in March.
Google last December agreed to pay $2.2 billion a year for the rights to the NFL Sunday Ticket, starting with the 2023 season. The package of out-of-market games will be available as an add-on plan on YouTube TV and as a separate subscription on YouTube Primetime Channels. The company last month revealed the 2023 pricing for the Ticket and, with one plan exception, the rates were significantly higher than what DIRECTV had charged for the package. (See this article for more pricing details.)
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— Phillip Swann