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Dish TV debuts $20 a month Sling TV with ESPN, AMC, Disney, TBS, TNT, Food

AMC shows such as "The Walking Dead" will soon be available in a special Sling TV service for $20 a month. CREDIT: AMC

By RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com, originally filed February 9, 2015

Targeting younger viewers who aren't willing to shell out $60 or $100 a month in cable or satellite subscriptions, Dish TV today launches a much cheaper alternative for $20 a month called Sling TV.

The key to this service: access to ESPN.

That's the channel that people who choose to cut the cord or never sign on to a cable subscription often miss. At a future unspecified date, Sling TV will also add AMC, with shows such as "Mad Men," "The Walking Dead" and "Better Call Saul."

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It's set up so you can watch any time on your TV, tablet, computer or phone.

The Sling package is significantly smaller than that of the regular Dish TV basic cable package and lacks the broadcast channels ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox and the CW. (You'll need a digital antenna for those.) There will be some on-demand features but no DVR.

The Sling channel lineup currently features ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, TBS, Food Network, HGTV, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, ABC Family, Disney Channel, CNN, AMC, and Univision’s El Rey Network and Galavision. For an extra $5 a month, you can get more national sports channels, kids programming or more news and information.

Phil Swann, who tracks TV technology for TVpredictions.com isn't sure how popular this package will ultimately be. "It's a work in progress," he said. "It's still missing some of the things people really really want from pay TV, especially regional sports networks. There's still no FX or E! AMC is a step in the right direction."

You can access Sling now via Roku players, iOS and Android apps and on PCs and Macs. Later, it will be available via Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, plus Samsung and LG smart TVs, the Microsoft Xbox One and others.

About the Author

Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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