Sling TV becoming ‘Significant’, but Apple is Frustrated with Streaming TV Service, Says ESPN President

Sling TV becoming ‘Significant’, but Apple is Frustrated with Streaming TV Service, Says ESPN President

ESPN President John Skipper shared his views regarding the state of streaming and how it's affecting his business. While talking with the Wall Street Journal, he said that the stats show Dish Network's Sling TV is bringing 'significant' numbers of new TV customers in, without pulling viewers away from cable or satellite. But, Apple is frustrated by this streaming service. He said that Apple is reportedly struggling to persuade networks to sign up for its long-rumored streaming TV package. Skipper says that been Apple has been frustrated by their ability to construct something which works for them with programmers.

He added that they are creating a significantly advantageous operating system and a great television experience and that television experience is fabulous for sports. ESPN already has a deal in place with Dish Network's Sling TV service, which offers a bundle that includes ESPN for $20 a month. Sling TV has so far been unable to convince broadcast channels like ABC to come on board, and Apple has reportedly delayed its streaming TV package for the same reason. The company introduced its fourth-generation Apple TV with an App Store just for TV apps in November. Sling TV is still racking up users, with about 400,000 people now paying for the over-the-top TV bundle.

A streaming TV service was expected to launch alongside the hardware and App Store, but CBS CEO Les Moonves said last month that Apple had 'pressed the hold button' on the service. CBS would have been part of Apple's bundle, which was rumored to cost between $30 and $40 before Cupertino pulled the plug. Skipper said, "We've had discussions with Apple. I believe in 2016 there will be further announcements on other kinds of packages.that will get younger subscribers into the market". According to Skipper, Sling TV subscribers and other skinny TV bundle buyers aren't traditional watchers of pay TV, who shell out hundreds per year to watch sports and other types of premium programming, so ESPN isn't too concerned that pay TV subscribers will downgrade their subscriptions to Sling TV or an Apple streaming service.

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