CES 2016: Sling TV Spruces Up Its UI

Integrates ESPN3, Adds Personalized Elements
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Las Vegas -- Sling TV, Dish Network’s OTT-TV service for cord-cutters, has unveiled an array of new interface  features, including the integration of ESPN3 as well as elements aimed at delivering a more personalized experience, that will be rolled out across its device footprint during the first quarter of 2016. 

Among those new features is My TV, a personalized element that will display both live and on-demand content in categories such as Favorites (based on past viewing), Recommendations (curated fare), and first-screen access to shows that have been paused during previous viewing sessions.

A new “On Now” element will present a “ribbon” of what’s currently on live TV in genres such as sports, action and adventure, and will shift and change based on the subscriber’s viewing patterns, Ben Weinberger, Sling TV’s chief product officer, said during a recent briefing.

A core idea is to provide the viewer with a balance of what’s available on Sling TV without overwhelming the screen with choices, he said. “You shouldn’t have to work to be entertained.”

On the content side, Sling TV’s freshened up UI will also tie-in access to ESPN 3, the sports giant’s authenticated, broadband-only channel that offers live and replays of recent ESPN coverage.

Of recent note, Sling TV’s UI also provides direct access to the Blockbuster service/catalog, rather than treating it as a separate product.

Sling TV currently offers service on Android and iOS mobile devices, the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV stick, Roku players and Roku TVs, Web browsers, the Google Chromecast, Android TV devices such as the Nexus Player, and the Xbox One.  Sling TV’s core service costs $20 per month, while its various add-on packs cost an additional $5 per month.

“Our device footprint will expand considerably throughout the year,” said Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch, who previously hinted at plans involving the new, more app-friendly Apple TV.

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