Sling TV has confirmed that subscribers in eight markets are gaining access to their local ABC affiliates. While it is good news that customers in those areas now have access to an additional local channel, many of them will also be charged $5 more each month. To be clear, the higher monthly rate only applies to Sling Blue subscribers, and only in five of the eight areas where ABC is becoming available through Sling.
One of Sling TV’s main selling points has always been its focus on being an affordable live TV streaming service. After all, its base plans are cheaper than the base live TV packages from many other services including DirecTV Stream, fuboTV, Hulu Live TV, and YouTube TV.
However, the cheaper plans do come with some compromises and the channel lineup is one of the most obvious examples. In particular, access to local channels has always been one of the most glaring differences when comparing Sling TV to more expensive live TV providers considering subscribers only get access to NBC and Fox locals.
In a bid to improve on locals, Sling TV will begin offering ABC to subscribers in the following eight markets:
- Chicago (WLS)
- Fresno (KFSN)
- Houston (KTRK)
- Los Angeles (KABC)
- New York (WABC)
- Philadelphia (WPVI)
- Raleigh-Durham (WTVD)
- San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose (KGO)
The addition of ABC is also resulting in what is essentially a price increase in five of those markets. Starting from March 1st, Sling Blue subscribers in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, and San Francisco will be charged an additional $5 per month. In a Sling TV Price Update FAQ confirming the change, Sling explains that the higher monthly rate is being applied “to maintain business with the rising programming costs.”
For those affected, the base price of their Sling Blue package will now rise to a minimum of $45 per month. Naturally, this also means that subscribers to the combined Orange & Blue Plan in the same five areas will also see their monthly cost rise as well. Basically, they will begin paying a minimum of $60 per month.
While the new price will be in effect from March 1st for new subscribers, the exact date (after March 1) that an individual subscriber starts paying the new rate will depend on their individual billing cycle. According to Sling, subscribers will be notified by email 30 days before the increase is due to take effect for them.