While heralded as a game changer for the television industry by the experts, the average consumer can’t tell you much about Dish Network’s virtual pay-TV product, Sling TV. Recent poll results from Ipsos MediaCT reveal that consumers remain largely unaware of the much-anticipated product, with just 12% of respondents having heard of it. To make matters worse, confusion abounds with another similarly-named product, Slingbox, indicating that the real number may be much lower due to respondents mistakenly thinking they were being asked about the streaming media set-top device that originally launched back in 2005. Perhaps worst of all, cord-cutters, surely a targeted demographic for the service, knew the least about it, with only 9% of respondents aware of it.
While Sling TV has not been heavily marketed, the numbers are remarkably low for a product that has received so much attention from the media. It would seem that Dish Network has made some poor decisions in branding the of the product. Dish Network actually paid the Slingbox maker’s parent company, Echostar, to license the Sling name for their product, rather than choosing something more original. The result, understandably, has been plenty of mix-ups between the two products that allow you to watch cable TV networks on other devices via the Internet. They key difference is that Sling TV is a standalone service, not a device, while the Slingbox is a set-top box and requires an existing cable subscription and equipment.