As a recently relapsed cord-cutter (as in, I'm subscription free again), today's CET announcement by Dish about Sling TV (ESPN, Disney, TNT, TBS, et al for $20 a month) will probably suck me back in to spending some "cable" cash, at least during the NBA playoffs and the NFL season.

I bagged a ChannelMaster DVR+ as part of my cutting, and though it's a little steep ($175 even on deep Black Friday discount), it's wonderful. I don't have the WiFi module, so no streaming services or "extended scheduling", yet just the stock DTV OTA schedule metadata is enough for it to feel like I'm back in subscription-supported DVR land. (And, admittedly, I enjoy almost everything MeTV is playing -- most everything but MASH and a few others.) There's absolutely no reason to shell out for TiVo if you're OTA.

So it's humorous to see the boilerplate Sling TV announcement include...

Also missing are broadcast networks ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox. According to Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch, that’s because most consumers are able to find programming from those networks elsewhere — like on Hulu, for instance.

When did Hulu become the go-to source for network TV? Do these folks even use a TV set? I can understand if you're on your laptop/mobile device all the time -- as many college students seem to be -- but once you're employed, I've got to think most shell out for a real tube. Sometimes I think my 32"er puts me in the television hardware poorhouse. And doesn't Hulu have nearly unskippable commercials? Seems it'd be worse than a good DVR and [great] OTA antenna.

In any event, now that we're getting real "Over The Top" options for internet TV that don't include the big four, I'm hoping this means those major networks keep investing in OTA infrastructure. They've benefitted enough from the "must carry" laws, and are have probably been running a bit of a deficit in the "public service" category for a while now.

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