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Sling TV has now launched a new Watch Party feature that lets subscribers watch together, when they are not physically together. This is only the latest example of a streaming service looking to offer more of a remote viewing opportunity.
Ever since members of the public were encouraged to stay at home, streaming services have seen an uptick in business. At the same time, they have been working on new ways to cater to this heightened level of demand and one of the most obvious ways has been watch parties.
Sling TV has now made available the option to remotely watch live TV and on-demand content with others. Generally speaking, it seems like the service requires all party members to be Sling TV subscribers, although Sling is permitting anyone who creates a free Sling TV account to access a watch party up until September 30.
Sling Watch Party restrictions
As of right now, Sling Watch Party is still considered to be in beta. As a result, there are some fairly obvious limitations in effect. The most important to immediately note is that a Sling Watch Party can only be set up and accessed via a web browser. Furthermore, only Google Chrome for now.
Another caveat is that parties are currently limited to just three other people. Therefore, a maximum of four members/groups can attend a single watch party and each person can only be part of one Sling Watch Party at a time.
In addition to the device and participant limitations, there is also no guarantee that any particular movie, show, or live event will be eligible for co-watching. Officially, Sling says that “most” content is available, but that’s largely only in terms of live and on-demand content. For example, Sling also explains that local channels, rentals, PPV events, as well as premium channels and cloud DVR recorded content are not supported.
Probably not as useful as it sounds
While the new Watch Party feature appears to be designed to bring people together, it is probably not going to be as useful to consumers as first thought. For example, although Sling TV is currently allowing anyone to join a watch party, come September 30, Sling TV subscribers will only be able to host a watch party with other Sling TV subscribers.
When you then factor in the limited device support, it is unlikely that watch parties are going to be that beneficial to Sling TV subscribers in the long-term. Still, it is in beta and right now Slingers can host a watch party and invite any three friends, whether they are Sling TV subscribers are not.