Sling TV is Dish Network’s $20 streaming service that delivers a couple dozen cable channels to your devices without the need for a cable subscription or contract. On just about every newspost we’ve published about Sling, we’ve lamented the lack of Viacom channels on the service. Viacom owns a mess of established cable institutions: Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET, Spike, MTV, MTV2, Nicktoons, Nick Jr., VH1, CMT, and TV Land, plus possibly others I can’t think of at the moment.
We may never know what the real holdup was, but Dish confirmed today that they had reached a deal with Viacom to stream its stations on Sling, and the deal covers both versions — the single-stream plan with Disney networks, and the multi-stream plan with Fox networks (due to Disney having qualms with multi-stream, consumers aren’t allowed both). It’s unknown if the addition of these channels will raise the price any, but hopefully not.
The deal came as part of the negotiations Dish was having with Sling at the eleventh hour to avoid the removal of its channels from Dish’s regular service. There’s a downside to this, however.
The report states that all 18 Viacom networks will remain on Dish’s main satellite service while a “smaller number” will show up on Sling. Which channels are being cut out? Early speculation indicates they’re Nickelodeon, VH1, CMT, TV Land and Nicktoons — which makes little sense. CMT can go, but why would Sling leave out a channel as iconic as Nickelodeon?
The deal was not immediate. There is no set date for the addition of Viacom networks to Sling, but it’s expected to happen within the next few months.