Dish Network released its third quarter earnings report confirming 2.69 million Sling TV subscribers.
This represents a marked improvement compared to recent quarters. Not only in terms of the quarter over quarter number, but also the level of growth in general.
At the end of the second quarter of 2019, Dish Network confirmed there were 2.47 million Sling TV subscribers.
At the end of the first quarter of 2019, Dish Network confirmed 2.42 million Sling TV subscribers. 2.4 million was also the number reported by Dish for 2018 year-end.
Considering Dish only added roughly 50,000 subscribers since the start of 2019, the confirmation of 214,000 in the third quarter alone is a significant improvement.
The same is evident when looking at the year over year change. In the third quarter of 2018, Dish reported 2.37 million Sling TV subscribers. Up slightly from 2.34 million the quarter before.
What is Sling TV?
Sling TV is a live TV streaming service operating in the U.S. It originally made its name by offering access to live TV channels at a low price.
This low-cost approach, along with an early entry into the live TV streaming market allowed Sling TV to cement a firm foothold in the market.
The service quickly capitalized on those early days, passing the two million subscriber mark in February 2018.
Since reaching that milestone, Sling TV has felt the pressure of carriage disputes, rising channel costs, and increased competition.
This combination eventually led to a slowdown in growth for Dish Network’s live TV streaming solution. One that had continued up until this latest quarterly result.
Who’s Sling TV competing with?
In the early days, the battle for live TV streaming supremacy came down to Sling TV and AT&T TV NOW – formerly DIRECTV NOW.
However, AT&T TV NOW has been subjected to repeat subscriber declines quarter over quarter for more than a year now. This is something the company expects to continue during the fourth quarter of 2019.
In contrast, Hulu + Live TV appears to be the service that’s now in ascendance. Hulu + Live TV currently doesn’t disclose exact subscriber numbers, but estimates place it at either close to, or over the two million subscriber line.
Providing those estimates are correct, Hulu + Live TV is the main rival to Sling TV in terms of the most subscribed-to live TV streaming service.
Other services also competing for your subscription dollar include YouTube TV and PlayStation Vue. Although PlayStation Vue won’t be competing for much longer considering Sony has confirmed the service will close in early 2020.
To see how these live TV streaming services compete on price, check out our live TV streaming price and deals guide.
Alternatively, you can see how these services have fluctuated on price over the years with our live TV price increase tracker.