Sling TV Ads Hit Too Close To Home, So Comcast Refuses To Air Them

NBC-owned and operated (O&O) stations in San Diego, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. are refusing to air an advertisement for Sling TV that paints a poor picture of the traditional pay-TV model. In response, the Dish Network-owned Internet TV provider slammed Comcast, which in turn owns NBC, in a blog post waxing angry over its censorship.

"Here's the irony. The refusal to air our campaign endorses the ads' central truth: there are traditional pay TV-players that just don't get it," said Roger Lynch, CEO of Sling TV. "And what is it that they dn't get? Innovation benefits customers. Sling TV exists because we recognize the need for a new live TV model that's simple."

Old TV

The minute-long ad pokes fun at what Sling TV characterizes as "Old TV" by portraying traditional pay-TV as a bully set in his or her ways. It points out the pitfalls of the old model, such as long term contracts, expensive programming bundles, high prices in general (including equipment rental fees), and poor customer service.

"Comcast has a demonstrated history of shutting down ideas it doesn’t like or understand, predictably to its benefit and at the expense of consumers. This is why we aggressively fought Comcast’s merger with Time Warner Cable," Lynch added. "Our argument? That this massive conglomerate would use its incredible market power in broadband to thwart live Internet video services like Sling TV. Comcast was denied this avenue. Unfortunately, it appears Old TV may grasp at any tactic in attempt to preserve the status quo.

Only NBC's O&O stations are blocking the ads. That's not the case with ABC, CBS, and Fox O&O stations and affiliates, along with independently-owned NBC affiliates.

Sling TV runs $20 per month and provides streaming access to ESPN, ESPN2, AMC, Food Network, A&E, History, TNT, El Rey, HGTV, IFC, Disney Channel, Polaris+, Maker, TBS, Travel Channel, Adult Swim, CNN, Bloomberg Television, H2, Cartoon Network, ABC Family, Lifetime, and Galavision

You can also categorized TV bundles starting at $5 per month, and can tack on HBO for $15.