Sling TV: Is it time to cut the cord?Can hopeful cord-cutters finally rejoice as Sling TV hits the market? Jeff Bakalar interviews David Katzmaier to talk about his Sling TV review and answer questions from the CNET viewing audience.
[MUSIC] Everyone welcome to a little segment we're gonna do answering all of your questions about Sling TV. I'm joined by David Katzmaier, senior editor here at Cnet. Reviewed Sling TV. You are a TV reviewing guru. Right. This is right in your wheelhouse. [LAUGH] What other compliments would you like me to throw towards your direction? I'll, I'll take whatever you got. Alright, fair enough. We'll work on that. Chief slinger. Chief slinger. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Chief executive slinger. That's, i'll, i'll take it. So, Sling TV is a very big deal. Lot of people have questions about it. Is it, can I cut the cord, finally? Who is it for? So what I wanna do is, you know, we asked people on Twitter, send us in your questions about Sling TV. We got a few responses that I wanna get to. Mm-hm. I got a couple at replies I wanna get to. People are sort of on the fence about this. So real quick, I know you did do a full review for Sling TV, but what exactly is it? So Sling TV is just a service you can buy. It's twenty bucks a month, anybody with an internet connection and a credit card in the United states can get it. Right. The idea is, it provides a live TV channel. So the big drive, ESPN. You can get ESPN and ESPN2 live, just like if you had a cable box. You can also get TNT, CNN. Mm-hm. And a few others. There's 11 channels in the basic package. They say 12 but of course, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim. Right. Right back to back on the same channel. And so, who is Sling TV for? Mm. Who is, the, this, this sort of Sling partnership, well, how are they sort of directing this at? Well, they're saying&nbsp Millennials, people that haven't bought cable in their lives. Basically. they're just used to watching YouTube, and Netflix. Right. But there's also an element of people who've cut the cord in the past. Who, you know, have a little bit of money. They can, you know, maybe afford cable but don't want to or wanna save money. Sure. On the cable bill. But still miss live TV. And I think that's really kind of the key audience is people. Who are used to watching live TV who want to get ESPN and want to get those channels. Has CNN on and breaking news happens things like that. So those are kind of the core two people despite the marketing I think it's really part of the cord cutters too. Okay. Like I said we asked people on Twitter using hashtag ask Cnet. Let us know what you are confused about when it comes to Sling TV. Obviously, we encourage everyone to read Dave's review. @MorpheusXP says, is Sling and Dish, are they actively courting other networks to be a part. Part of sling tv, like USA, Scifi, AMC. Yeah, I'm sure they are.>> Yeah.>> I mean one of the big things, and this was a deal done last march between Disney and Dish. And, and Disney is the big guy's here. They signed on, gave em ESPN, gave everybody the ability to you know, provide this suite of channels, there's also the Disney channel, and a bunch of kids channels that come with this package.>> Right.>> And then, you know Turner signed on with TNT, and CNN and those channels. So, those are the two big guns here. There's also Scripts, which has DIY and HGTV. Okay. So, that's a pretty big suite of cable channels there, but like we said, you're also missing Comedy Central. You're also missing, you know, some of the real big guns out there like Fox, like USA Network that are, have some very popular channels. AMC. It's gonna be a while, I think, before you get these guys on board, cuz I'm sure that Sling or Dish talked to these guys beforehand and said, hey here's what we're doing. A lot of guys probably are gonna wait to roll out their own proprietary channels, maybe FOX. And you know, things like the ABC. And you see networks are already on there, but, you know, the big networks aren't. Right. So, ABC, NBC, CBS, doesn't get an over the air antenna that, you know, aerial used to have before they went you know, under because of the court rulings. Sure. Those guys aren't available on here either so, you know, you're basically getting a few channels of basic cable here. So as long as you know what channels you're getting, and, and, and you like what's on there, it's still appealing. Right. And that leads into a, a lot of the questions we got. Jody O on Twitter says, well, there's no support for local broadcasts. Mm-hm. Right? So if you're still someone who wants that, you either need a standard cable subscription or you get yourself an antenna. Yeah. And if you're a cord-cutter, you, probably, chances are you might already be familiar with the idea that you can plug an antenna into any TV. And get live tv broadcast. PBS is on that list too.>> Yeah.>> Obviously, which is great. And then of course there's live tv DVR's now that you can buy for antennas. Tablo, Channel Master makes one, we reviewed them, they're great products where you can basically turn your, you know Rivera antenna into a DVR. And get, you know, the ability to pause and record channels which is really cool and a lot of people are used to. alright, I want to pivot into, a little bit about sports. Local broadcasting, that is the massive caveat, and I think the other one is live, local, regional sports. Sports. Right. There's none of that. Right. And I know we can go on for hours talking about how jacked up the entire infrastructure. We do. Currently is. And we do in our private time. [LAUGH] But, you know, first off I want to get to at Brownman says. As, they're, he heard that there was rumors that the NCAA Final Four is gonna be blocked. Mm-Hm. Is that true? from Sling TV. Is that? So, so we don't really know what the blocking situation is like. Okay. At the end of the day, there, there is a lot of caveats built into the system already. You know, there's, you can't pause on ESPN, there's a lot of things you can't do with this system that you can expect, you know, normally people can do. But I don't really know how they're gonna handle sports. I think they're still working on it. Sling has said that they're gonna have what they call a sports add on pack. Okay. That's an extra $5 a month. They already offer a couple of them. One for news and info, and one for kids channels that had a few extra channels. They're not that compelling now, but the sports one is the main thing, because. That's the real thing that I think keeps people attached to their cable systems- For sure. More than anything, you know, is local sports. Totally. Which is, you know, obviously owned by cable companies around here and across the nation. and, and those guys own everything. The, the team, the pipe, you know, the whole deal. So. Those are the real kickers. And I don't think you're gonna see those on these over the top services any time soon. Because people know that that's why a lot of people keep Right. Subscribing to cable. I mean I pay $180 to Verizon every month just to watch Hockey. [LAUGH] That's really it. Hey, you, throw your money away. I'm not gonna judge. And maybe, like, Bravo. Yeah. You know, [INAUDIBLE] Well there ou go. And Bravo is another, that's basically sports for women. Sure. And, and, you know, that's not gonna come here any time soon. Because Bravo has such a lucrative deal and you still have to pay, you know, $18 a season or, you know, $2 an episode, don't ask me how I know for every Bravo show You know, that's On Amazon. Very suspicious. Well we tried to cut cable in my family. [LAUGH] And between, you know, me liking the. MSG and Hurry and then the Bravo, it was difficult. Yeah. So, you know those are the things, those really specific channels that are really popular that are gonna hold on till the very end to get as much money as they can out of Google before they go to something like that. All right, thanks so much. Um-hum.>> For spending time with us. and Sling TV. When are they saying it's supposed to come out? They're saying February 9th is when it's supposed to come out. We'll see it in a little bit delayed with some of the stuff, but that's what they're saying now. All right. There you have it. Check out the full review on cnet.com. David reviewed every last possible detail of Sling TV. And thanks for being here bud. Any time Jeff, thank you. All right. We will see you soon. Thanks so much for watching.