How to Party Live on Sling TV
I haven’t had a cable or satellite TV subscription in years and have never missed it. I just don’t watch a lot of TV, and for the few things I want to catch up on – college football mostly – I use Sling TV . I already love this service and will get a little more interesting with the addition of support for virtual hour-long parties.
I believe this makes Sling TV the first “live” service that allows you to watch shows, sporting events or whatever is broadcast with your friends directly through the service. As an added bonus, Sling TV’s allows organizers to send out party invitations to any guests they want, even those who haven’t signed up for the service, before the end of the month. Think of it like a free trial, or like a carrot Sling TV hanging out in hopes that your friends will become paid members too.
To start a party with your Sling TV watch, open your Chrome browser and visit watch.sling.com . (Yes, you have to use Chrome. I tried throwing a party in Edge Chromium, but that option just wasn’t there. Chrome or bust.)
Second, make sure you whitelist this site for all browser ad blockers you use. I didn’t do that at first, and I was curious as to why I didn’t see an option to start a party in whatever movie or TV show I chose. It’s inevitable that ad blockers will spoil the process in some way, so whitelist your site and save yourself from potential frustrations.
Third, you won’t be able to create a party to watch every piece of content on Sling TV. As the company notes in the FAQ :
Start or join a Watch Party to watch most of your content live, on demand, or in flashback. Watch Party is not currently available for local channels (NBC and FOX), rentals, pay-per-view events, premium or standalone channels, programs recorded on Cloud DVR, and standard regional outages.
Assuming the content you want to watch supports Watch Party, you will see a new option when you click on it:
Click on it and you should start the show / movie in the new Watch Party interface. I never made it this far as the site kept asking me to sign up for an account or log in to me even though I was already logged in. This is a beta preview for the feature, though, so it’s possible there is something screwing up at the back end and it will be secured in the future.
In theory, if you were hosting a viewing party, you could be watching the same content with three other friends (all of whom will need their own Sling TV accounts, even if they connect for free this month). You can just sit and watch, or you can snort at each other via the built-in text chat that appears on the left side of the screen. You can host as many parties as you like, but you can only host one at a time.
I’m going to reach out to Sling TV to see if they can advise me on issues with my setup that might be preventing me from hosting. Even if you run into similar problems, I would not rule out this feature yet. It’s free to use, provided you’re already paying for the Sling TV Blue or Orange plan, and (in theory) offers a great way to watch most of your TV content live with friends – especially useful if you’re into sports. If we only had autumn college football season to worry about …