For many people, sports are the one reason they’re holding onto expensive cable television, rather than ditching it altogether for streaming video options like Roku and Netflix. No, cable is not yet obsolete, but today marks a definite turning point: Dish Network’s newly announced web TV service will let users stream ESPN over the Internet for just $20 per month.
To put that in some context, it’s a fraction of the $64.41 per month the Federal Communications Commission last year said an average cable package costs—with high-cost sports programming only pushing it up further.
Called Sling TV, Dish’s new service also comes packaged with 10 more channels, including CNN, the Food Network, Disney Channel, Adult Swim, ABC Family, the Travel Channel and others, alongside the ability to add other networks for extra fees.
While there are a few catches (you’ll only be able to watch on a single device, for one thing, and it’s not designed for streaming to your actual TV) it’s still a move in the right direction for web TV. And even if you decide to add streaming video services such as Hulu Plus and Netflix to your package, it’s still cheaper than cable.
One thing’s clear: After hearing the pleas of fans and TV viewers for years, television appears to be well and truly entering the 21st century.