Could Sling TV finally be coming to Apple TV at long last? The company’s CEO Roger Lynch has hinted that it might in a new interview with FierceCable.
When asked about the new Apple TV that was unveiled at their “Hey Siri” event earlier this week, Lynch said that his curiosity was piqued and that it could present an opportunity for Sling TV to finally land its live streaming service onto Apple’s streaming device.
I reached out to Sling TV to ask about plans to create an app for Apple TV, and here is the official statement I received:
“We are currently evaluating Apple’s announcement to allow for third party development of tvOS-compatible apps on the new Apple TV.” – Roger Lynch, CEO, Sling TV
Such a move, if it were to happen, would make Sling TV available on nearly every major streaming player, as the live streaming service is already available on Roku devices, Amazon Fire TV, Xbox, Google Nexus Player, and is said to be available on Chromecast by year’s end.
What Has Kept Sling TV from Being on Apple TV So Far?
Since Sling TV was released in early 2015, many have been clamoring for the streaming service to become available on Apple TV. The company has long had an app on Apple’s mobile devices, but it has been noticeably absent from Apple TV. Lynch has heard these requests loud and clear, but in the past, he has always pointed the finger at Apple for the lack of app support.
Earlier this year at the time of the service’s launch, Lynch told Business Insider, “Apple TV has a templated structure. Our app looks the same on all devices, [but] they have a more rigid templated structure…[and] because of the templated approach, we have to do a lot more work to figure out how do we show live TV with look-back, and on-demand, in a UI that may not have been designed for that because you don’t control the UI on Apple TV.”
But with the announcement of the new Apple TV app store, all that could be about to change. Lynch spoke positively about the greater flexibility it offered to developers, hinting that it might present an opportunity for Sling TV to finally bring its unique live streaming offering to Apple TV.
However, improved flexibility on the development side of things might not be enough to bring Sling TV to the new Apple TV. There are still business considerations to be navigated, specifically splitting revenues with Apple for new app activations.
Up to this point, Sling TV has not allowed subscriptions to be activated through its iPhone and iPad apps. The reason for this is that Apple would get at least a 30% cut for any subscriptions activated this way, and for a company offering a low cost product with small margins, such an arrangement simply wouldn’t be profitable.
That’s why Lynch was quoted as saying that his company would need to “evaluate what [Apple’s] business terms are” before he could commit to bringing his service to Apple TV.
Sling TV Continues to Expand Supported Devices
This announcement comes on the heels of Sling TV launching their app for Amazon Fire HD and HDX tablets, which makes sense since Lynch says that the majority of Sling TV subscribers activate service on their mobile device. However, he notes that most eventually migrate to streaming the service to their televisions, so an Apple TV app would open up a new segment of the market that Sling has not yet been able to reach. This is also likely why Lynch recently stated that Sling TV will be available on Chromecast by the end of the year. These two improvements would make Sling TV available on nearly all the most popular devices people are using to stream content to their TV, with the exception of PlayStation and Nintendo gaming consoles.
Learn More about Sling TV
Want to find out more about Sling TV? Read my in-depth explanation and review here.