Sling TV ended 2022 with a little over 2.3 million subscribers. While not a massive revelation in itself, due to Sling TV tending to not see significant changes quarter-over-quarter or even year-over-year, it does represent a decrease when compared to the close of 2021. That’s not ideal for the live TV service as the market moves into 2023.
Sling TV is, by design, an affordable live TV streaming service. Although the price has continually been rising over the years, so has the cost of live TV streaming in general. All the while, Sling TV has managed to remain cheaper than most other services, cementing its position as an alternative to higher-priced options.
However, Sling TV has now started 2023 with fewer subscribers than it started 2022 with. According to a recent SEC filing (PDF), Sling TV ended December 31, 2022 with 2.334 million subscribers. Based on the quarterly figures released last year, that’s a fairly notable decline from the 2.49 million subscribers Sling had at the end of 2021. Essentially, Sling TV lost around 150,000 subscribers during 2022.
To be clear, the situation is not as straightforward as that. While Sling TV started 2022 with close to 2.5 million subscribers, it almost immediately lost subscribers. By the end of the first quarter, Sling TV’s subscriber base had dropped to 2.25 million. The decline further continued with the subscriber number dropping below 2.2 million at the end of Q2.
In this sense, Sling TV had spent the second half of the year recovering those lost subscribers, and while that’s not an unusual pattern considering seasonal behavior, it would seem Sling TV was unable to recover all of those lost subscribers.
One of the reasons for this would seem to be the lack of an increase between Q3 and Q4 of 2022. While Sling TV had managed to climb back up to 2.41 million subscribers at the end of the third quarter of the year, the 2.3 million highlights the service actually lost subscribers during the fourth quarter. This is also the same quarter that Sling TV announced a price increase, so that’s likely to have had an impact.
Following the November price change, Sling TV’s cheapest Orange and Blue plans now cost a minimum of $40 per month, with Sling’s Orange & Blue plan costing a minimum of $55. Although these prices are still cheaper than many competing services, they may be starting to verge too much on the expensive side, and especially for those looking for an affordable live TV streaming service.