Sling TV customers have noticed that the streaming service is blacking out certain programs on A&E and Lifetime. Both networks were recently added to Dish's internet TV service, but as noted by TechHive, not every show on those channels can be watched with Sling. Scrolling back to 12PM today, for example, shows a "content unavailable" message. "Due to rights restrictions, this content cannot be streamed on Sling TV," the message reads. With A&E, select episodes of Criminal Minds are blocked; oddly, others are streamable. Lifetime is preventing Sling customers from watching certain Intervention episodes and one of its recent made-for-TV movies.
The "content unavailable" message doesn't appear often, but it's disappointing to see regardless of frequency. Already, the $20 Sling TV service has an awkward mix of restrictions that impact some channels and not others. You can't pause live television on ESPN or AMC, for instance. It's easy to see how shows being blacked out entirely could turn into a major annoyance, so it's likely that Dish is working to keep these interruptions few and far between as it negotiates with TV networks. We've reached out to the company for more details.