Dish's Sling TV Partners with Univision, As Battle Over Online Latino Viewers Begins
The battle for the cord-cutting, Internet savvy Latino viewer is heating up, as DISH network's Sling TV announced this week it would be adding Univision Spanish-language content to its live and on-demand Internet TV lineup.
The partnership between DISH and Univision will bring quite a lot of Spanish-language content to Sling TV, which itself has made waves this year by announcing it would offer live ESPN and popular cable channels over the Internet for a $20 per month basic subscription.
The Univision content that DISH will soon begin offering on its Sling TV service includes the cornerstone Univision Network, UniMás, Galavisión, Bandamax, De Pelīcula, Telehit, tlnovelas, FOROtv, El Rey Network, and the all-important Univision Deportes Network.
Pricing for the Spanish-language content has not been announced yet, nor has DISH disclosed to what degree it will integrate Univision into its over-the-top (OTT) Internet TV lineup. It's possible Univision content will be its own separate base package, but it's more likely that DISH will offer the Spanish-language programming as an add-on to the $20 Sling TV package -- similar to how DISH is planning on offering kids entertainment and news channels as an additional $5 per month add-on to the 12 channel Sling TV basic bundle.
Although little else is known about the Univision/Sling TV deal -- the basic Sling TV package, itself, is only available through limited invite-only trials at the moment -- DISH did promise that its partnership with Univision includes both on-demand and live streaming.
What is clear from the announcement is that the race is on to attract Latino audiences of cord-cutters or "cord-nevers." Both terms generally describe young, technologically savvy, upwardly mobile consumers who choose not to buy into the traditional cable or satellite TV bundle, and rather find their entertainment through the Internet.
"We are delighted to add Univision's wide-ranging programming to our growing Sling TV lineup," said Roger Lynch, Sling TV CEO in the company's release. "Hispanics are the demographic most engaged with mobile devices, making Univision a natural match for Sling TV. At CES I committed to expanding our programming portfolio. Additional details about the availability of Univision's award-winning content on Sling TV will be announced in the coming weeks."
Indeed, Latinos in particular have been shown, in study after study, to be "ahead of the digital curve" compared to the general U.S. population, when it comes to smartphone ownership, the average amount of video entertainment streamed online, and other aspects related to consumers' embrace of the Internet.
Additionally, Univision has found its tech-savvy viewership is very loyal to the network. Univision told The Wall Street Journal (paywall, via GigaOm) last fall that about 76 percent of its viewers between 18 and 49 years old watching Univision programming watched it exclusively -- they didn't tune into any other network.
That makes online Spanish-language TV offerings like the upcoming DISH Sling TV partnership or the currently-available $8 per month Yaveo streaming service from DirecTV (see our hands-on review here) all the more enticing to Univision -- especially considering the fact that until this year, the network has likely been missing out on a large proportion of loyal viewers that aren't paying upwards of $100 per month for the traditional pay TV bundles that include Univision.
As we mentioned before, though Yaveo made media history earlier this year by launching the first official OTT Internet TV service in the U.S., it was bound to face competition as more competitors come online.
Now with the Sling TV announcement, we'll have to wait and see how exactly DISH offers its Univision programming -- and at what price -- before we know if Yaveo has a chance to stick around long enough to be a part of the revolution it started.
Stay tuned to Latin Post Tech for more updates!
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