Dish Network hopes to attract cost-conscious viewers with a new offering, called The Flex, that will beam more than 50 channels for $29.99 a month with other services available for additional fees.
The basic package includes AMC, TNT, USA, HGTV, E!, Cartoon Network, History, A&E, CNN, Discovery, TBS, Food Network, FX and TV Land.
For $39.99 customers can receive the core package plus one of eight channel packs built around themes including local broadcasters, kids’ channels, news, and different entertainment genres. They also can add packs for between $4 and $10 a month, as well as premium channels including HBO, Cinemax, Showtime and Starz.
The skinny bundle effort is sure to attract attention: Network owners are eager to keep their services alive in an industry game of musical chairs as distributors craft packages that offer fewer channels than the expanded basic bundle, but also cost less.
“Our customers are frustrated with having to pay for hundreds of channels, most of which they never watch,” Dish EVP of Marketing, Programming and Media Sales Warren Schlichting says. “Flex Pack provides a level of flexibility and control that brings our customers closer to the ideal of fully tailoring their channel lineup.”
Dish also offers a skinny bundle through its $20 a month Sling TV streaming service.
New Flex customers who enroll in eBill and AutoPay will receive a standard Dish receiver, plus free installation and a two-year price guarantee. They can pay $10 a month to upgrade to the company’s Hopper 3 receiver and DVR.
Here’s how Dish arranged its add-on services:
Locals Pack ($10 per month): CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, as well as Univision and others based on the local market
Variety Pack ($6 per month): Investigation Discovery, Lifetime Movie Network, Freeform, Bravo, BET, Crime & Investigation
Kids Pack ($10 per month): Disney Channel, Disney Jr., Animal Planet, Nick Jr., Disney XD, Nicktoons, Boomerang, Baby TV
National Action Pack ($10 per month): ESPN, ESPN2, FS1, Velocity, AXS TV, Fuse, TV Games Network, TVG2, Universal HD
News Pack ($10 per month): FOX News Channel, MSNBC, Weather Channel, CNBC, FOX Business Network, BBC World News, Bloomberg, TheBlaze
Heartland Pack ($6 per month): Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, GSN, OWN, Uplifting Entertainment, Discovery Family, Baby TV, PIXL, RFD-TV, Ride TV, FamilyNet
Regional Action Pack ($10 per month): In-market regional sports network(s), Big Ten Network, FS2, Longhorn Network, Outside TV, Pac-12 Network, SEC Network, World Fishing Network, ESPN Buzzer Beater
Outdoor Pack ($4 per month): Outdoor Channel, Outside TV, Sportsman Channel, World Fishing Network