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Sling TV was the first major service to offer what was essentially a slimmed down cable TV package that you stream over the internet, but today the market is full of similar services--YouTube, Hulu and Fubo being just a few such alternatives today.
But Sling still holds a unique place among the most popular live TV streaming services. By offering a more limited selection of the most popular channels in customizable packages, it appeals to many cord cutters who want a trimmed-down, budget-friendly streaming option without all the bloat that we first saw on cable and now see again on a lot of those other, more expensive services.
Sling's two main plans — Sling Orange and Sling Blue — offer many of the same channels, with some key differences designed for specific kinds of viewers. You can also combine the two packages for a complete channel lineup — and add a variety of extras to create a customized lineup of networks and on-demand content.
Wondering if one of Sling's plans might be a good fit for you? Read on to learn everything you need to know about Sling TV channels, pricing, and more.
Sling TV offers the same functionality as many other streamers, starting at just $40/mo. If you've priced out other live TV platforms, you know what a great deal this is. Two packages are available at this price point -- Orange and Blue -- with each one carrying a slightly different catalog with up to 39 channels.
The third and final Sling TV package is aptly named the "Orange & Blue" plan, as it combines both plans together and gives you access to 43 channels. It's a bit more expensive at $60/mo., but still more affordable than most competitor packages.
Regardless of which channel package you're interested in, you can get up and running with the service without spending much extra. Sling TV is currently running a promotion that gives you half off your first month on any package, whether it's Orange ($20), Blue ($22.50) or the bundle that includes both ($30).
Because Sling TV offers three different packages and plans, it's important to understand what you're getting with your monthly subscription. The basic Orange and Blue plans carry much of the same content, but there are a few noticeable exclusives -- such as ESPN and Disney Channel on Orange and Bravo and Discovery Channel on Blue.
Of course, if you'd rather not worry about missing out on any of today's most popular channels, you can sign up for the Orange & Blue plan to get the best of both worlds.
Here is a closer look at each plan to help you find the best viewing experience for you.
|Sling Orange||Sling Blue||Sling Orange & Blue|
|Number of screens||1||3||Up to 3|
|Best for||NCAA football, Disney channel, families||NFL, news||Sports, entertainment, news|
Sling TV Blue and Sling TV Orange cater to different audiences. You'll find that Sling TV Orange is built around sports, while Sling TV Blue is focused on a variety of entertainment options. Both offer a variety of channels, but each has some distinct offerings.
ESPN is the standout network for Sling TV Orange. You'll also find ESPN2, ESPN3, and MotorTrend exclusively on the Orange plan. Other popular networks include TNT, CNN, Disney, and HGTV.
Overall, the Orange plan is fairly well rounded, with an added emphasis on sports. It does, however, only carry 31 channels compared to 42 on the Blue Plan. And although it only has a handful of exclusive channels, there's no doubt they're some of the most popular networks available.
Sling TV Blue includes entertainment outlets such as Bravo, Discovery, FX, and E! Some live sporting events are also covered on the Blue plan, which includes FS1 and NFL Network.
This plan is more likely to be optimal for a family with diverse interests, as it boasts a few more channels than Sling Orange, more exclusive content, and covers a wider variety of genres. And while it does have significantly more exclusive channels than the Orange Plan, they're a bit more niche and less likely to have broad appeal.
Sling TV Blue includes a variety of news and entertainment channels, including Bravo, Discovery Channel, E!, FOX, FS1, HLN, MSNBC, NFL Network, National Geographic, SYFY, TLC, USA, truTV, and more.
Sling TV offers a wide range of premium add-ons. Sling Blue subscribers can gain access to channels like Big Ten Network, FS2, and NFL Redzone channel for $11/mo. Sling Orange subscribers receive regional programs in their sports package like the SEC, Pac-12, and Longhorn networks for $11/mo. Sling Orange & Blue subscribers receive all 20 extra sports channels for $15/mo.
Aside from sports, entertainment enthusiasts can pick up a variety of exclusive channels in bundles that start as low as $3/mo. This includes FlixLatino ($3/mo.), Hallmark Movies Now ($6/mo.), and DogTV ($5/mo.).
Sling TV also offers a a few unique bundles, including the Total TV Deal ($21). This deal combines eight of the service's most popular add-ons (a $52 value):
You can find more information about the above deals -- and the full list of nearly 60 premium add-ons -- via the official Sling TV website, but we've highlighted some of the most popular below:
|Price||Available with Sling TV Orange||Available with Sling TV Blue|
|DVR Plus (200 hours)||$5/mo.||✔||✔|
|Sports Extra (NBA TV, MLB Network, NHL Network, and more)||$11/mo.||✔||✔|
|Comedy Extra (MTV, MTV2, Laff, and more)||$6/mo.||✔||✔|
|Hallmark Movies Now||$6/mo.||✔||✔|
Sling TV offers local channels, too, but their availability varies by location. Some locations will receive local news, sports, and other broadcasts from their local NBC, ABC, and Fox station. Check Sling TV's official Designated Market Areas map for specific coverage.
To ensure you can access all local programming, you'll have to pair your Sling TV plan with an HD antenna in your home. You can make the most of these local broadcasts by picking up Tablo TV or HDHomeRun, which allow you to record and rewatch your favorite regional programs.
Sling TV Sports Channels
While streaming services like fuboTV might be more popular destinations for sports fans, Sling TV features a host of extra sports-centric programming at a lower price -- just $11/mo.
Sports networks available through Sling TV's basic plans or Sports Extra add-on include:
Unfortunately, these networks are divided between the Blue and Orange plans. Subscribers to Orange will receive a large number of live NCAA football broadcasts, while Blue subscribers will find more NFL games. This is largely driven by the exclusivity of ESPN, FS1, and NFL Network -- forcing dedicated fans to spring for the Orange & Blue plan if they want to get full coverage.
The channels offered in the Sports Extra package vary based on whether you're subscribed to Sling Orange or Sling Blue. For example, the popular NFL RedZone channel is only available to Sling Blue subscribers. There's no doubt Sling TV offers an array of sports coverage -- but you'll need to pay close attention to exactly which channels are included in your plan.
Since Sling TV doesn't lock you into an annual contract, you can save a bit by switching back and forth between plans when your favorite teams are in the off-season. For example, football fans will likely pick up the Orange & Blue plan to watch both NCAA and NFL games, but once the season is over, you can downgrade and switch to either the Orange or Blue Plan and save $15/mo.
You can find plenty of programming for the whole family on Sling TV. Popular networks for young viewers include Baby TV, Disney Junior, Nick Jr., Nicktoons and TeenNick. Some channels are only available with the Kids Extra ($6). Kids Extra channels include:
Both Sling packages feature comedy channels like Comedy Central and TBS. You can also purchase the Entertainment Extra add-on for just $6/mo. This extra is available to both Orange and Blue subscribers and includes 10 additional channels. You'll receive access to:
Game Show Network
TruTV (Sling Orange only, as this is already included in Sling Blue)
Sling Blue is designed for news watchers, with channels ranging from CNN and MSNBC to Local Now. You can also purchase the News Extra for $6/mo. and get access to:
Not getting your movie fix with the Orange or Blue packages? You can add extra channels to gain access to tons of films and premium series. Available premium channels and channel bundles include:
Lifestyle Extra ($6/mo.)
Hollywood Extra ($6/mo.)
Sling TV is a wallet-friendly fit for shoppers that don't mind working around a few quirks. HBO is noticeably absent from the catalog, sports are divided across the Orange and Blue plans, and you might have to pick up an HD antenna for local broadcasts. All these hurdles mean you'll need to do a bit more research than you would when signing up for Hulu + Live TV or YouTube TV (which don't split their catalogs across different plans), but there's no denying Sling TV's value.
Some viewers might find merit in picking up either the Orange or Blue plan and adding a standalone subscription -- such as HBO Max, NFL Game Pass, or MLB.TV -- to round out their viewing options. If you don't need access to all possible sports programming or HBO, then the Orange & Blue bundle is likely a perfect fit -- and it's still cheaper than both Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV while carrying much of the same programming.
Overall, Sling TV remains one of the most affordable streaming platforms around. With a variety of add-ons, three unique subscription packages, and a low price point this highly customizable service is a strong contender for many living rooms.