Right now you could roughly divide the companies trying to stream shrunken bundles of TV channels over the internet into two camps. There are distributors with ties to legacy TV, like Dish’s Sling TV or DirecTV’s upcoming service. Then there are tech companies like Sony, Hulu and YouTube.
Sling’s CEO Roger Lynch says that when it comes to building low cost bundles, there’s a big advantage to being part of a distributor. Being owned by Dish allowed Sling to offer a small package of channels for $20 a month, while Sony’s cheapest offering was $40, he says. It’s not that Sling is paying cable channels any less to license their content than Sony. But as a satellite TV company, Dish had some leverage in getting the media companies to break up their bundles into a smaller chunk because it was buying those channels for its traditional satellite package as well.