Dish Network’s Sling TV is unlocking more free television for Americans stuck at home during the coronavirus crisis.
Starting Tuesday, Sling TV is launching “Happy Hour Across America,” offering free TV every night from 5 p.m. to midnight local time. The deal is available to new Sling TV users who sign up by entering an email address on the website. The company didn’t say how long the “Happy Hour” deal will be available other than that it’s a “limited time” offer.
The Sling TV deal opens a seven-hour daily free window on the Sling Blue service (normally $30 per month). The lineup includes more than 50 live channels including A&E, AMC, Bravo, E!, CNN, Fox News, FX, HGTV, HLN, MSNBC and TLC. The service includes free cloud DVR and over 50,000 on-demand titles and allows simultaneous viewing on up to three screens.
The “Happy Hour” promo by Sling TV comes after it opened up a free two-week starting March 26, then extended it with another seven-day free period. The company’s hope is that it can convert some portion of those who try out Sling TV for free will eventually become paying subscribers.
According to Sling, viewing of TV news has risen 164% during the COVID-19 pandemic. But the company has found viewers switch from news to entertainment starting at around 6 p.m. local time. “Since we can’t serve you a beverage or basket of hot wings, we’re introducing a new kind of happy hour – TV on the house every night,” Warren Schlichting, group president of Sling TV, said in a statement.
Dish, like other pay-TV providers, has been steadily losing satellite customers for the last several years. The Sling OTT product is intended to help offset those but in Q4 it dropped 94,000 subscribers, to 2.6 million total — the first time Sling TV ever posted a net decline in users. This week, Dish said that it expects to undertake layoffs in light of economic pressures COVID-19 but didn’t say how many employees will get pink-slipped.
To access Sling’s Happy Hour Across America promo, users can visit sling.com/deals/happy-hour to sign up with no credit card required.