Considering that Sling TV is a subsidiary of satellite provider Dish Network, any cooperation with cable provider Comcast wouldn’t be an easy prediction, but that is exactly what is happening. On Tuesday, the two companies announced that Sling TV is headed to Comcast’s X1 platform, bringing more than 425 channels with it.
The reasoning behind this becomes slightly more understandable when you consider the reason that both companies are giving for this unlikely partnership: multicultural programming. Multicultural consumers make up the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population, according to a Sling TV blog post, increasing by 2.3 million per year. Sling TV offers channels for language groups including Arabic, Chinese, and Urdu.
“The addition of Sling TV’s multicultural programming will be an excellent complement to the existing international offerings on X1 and will be attractive to our customers,” Comcast senior vice president and general manager of multicultural services Javier Garcia said in a statement. “Our customers are becoming increasingly diverse and this is a fantastic opportunity to quickly deliver even more customized and multicultural programming to them, on an X1 platform that’s smart, fast and easy-to-use.”
Considering that X1 aims to combine cable, DVR, and streaming, this are still plenty of questions around why this deal was made and how exactly it will work. Netflix came to X1 earlier this year, but that service isn’t a direct competitor to Comcast the way Sling TV is.
In its blog post, Sling TV says its pricing on X1 will be consistent with what it offers on other platforms, and that multicultural offerings start at $10 per month. What it doesn’t specify is whether a base package is necessary as it is on other platforms. If this is the case, customers would likely find themselves paying twice for a lot of channels: those included in X1, and those included in Sling Orange or Blue.
“Sling TV’s debut on Comcast’s X1 is another step forward in our promise to consumers to be available on their favorite platforms,” Sling TV chief product officer Ben Weinberger said. “For the first time, millions of Comcast customers will have access to new multicultural programming options as well as the full suite of Sling TV programming.”
No financial details of the deal were disclosed, nor was when exactly we can expect to see Sling TV arriving on Comcast X1.