Sling TV has joined on-demand streaming services to become the first OTT live television streaming service to offer a watch together feature. Simply called Watch Party, this feature enables friends and family members to watch the same live content at the same time from the comfort and safety of their own homes, a feature that has become very popular during the pandemic.
Watch Party is, as you’d expect, a feature that is similar to the watch-together tools found on several other platforms like Hulu — though, Sling TV notes, it is the first live-streaming television service to offer this kind of functionality. With it, subscribers watch the same show synced up so that everyone is on the same video.
As well, Sling’s feature includes video and texting options for gathering together in a group call or chat for a social element. Each participant gets control over their camera and microphone, as well as the media streaming on their end (volume, at least). The Watch Party host (the person who starts the session) is the only one who has control over the playback, however, including the ability to pause and rewind the content.
Though the feature would likely be most often used for watching live content together, Sling TV notes that users can use Watch Party to remotely watch on-demand content with their friends, as well. The available content will vary based on which subscriptions and add-on the subscribers have signed up for.
However, due to the limitations inherent to TVs, users must fire up Watch Party on Google Chrome web browsers in order to use this feature. Up to three guests can be invited to a Watch Party for a total of four people, including the host. The beta period for this feature will end on September 30, but until then, someone invited to a Watch Party merely needs to create a Sling TV account to participate.