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How Sling TV’s Original $20 Plan Compares To Today’s Orange, Blue

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Sling TV officially launched back in 2015, and at the time, a live TV subscription only cost $20 per month. The price has changed considerably since then, but has the channel lineup changed just as much? Here we are taking a closer look at how the selection of channels offered by Sling has changed since the introduction of the original core plan in 2015.

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Today, a Sling TV subscription will set homes back a minimum of $40 per month. In fact, Sling TV offers two main live TV packages to choose from, Sling Orange and Sling Blue, and both are priced at $40 per month each. Back in 2015, however, Sling only offered one core live TV package. It wasn’t until 2016 when the Sling Blue lineup arrived, creating the two plans we now see today.

In spite of their differences, Sling Blue does come with many of the same channels that you get with the Sling Orange plan. Which, in turn, comes with many of the same channels that was available with Sling’s $20 live TV package.

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Sling’s 2015 plan compared to Orange and Blue

The first thing to note when comparing the original plan to today’s Orange and Blue plans is the number of channels. Sling Orange currently provides access to 31 channels while Sling Blue unlocks 41 channels. In comparison, Sling’s original live TV package only provided access to around 15 channels when it launched in February 2015.

Sling 2015 and 2022 plans compared:

Sling plan2015OrangeBlue
A&E
Adult Swim
AMC
AXS TV
BBC America
BET
Bloomberg Television
Bravo
Cartoon Network
Charge!
CNN
Comedy Central
Comet
Discovery Channel
Disney Channel
E!
El Rey
EPIX Drive-In
ESPN
ESPN2
ESPN3
Food Network
FOX (select markets)
FOX News
FOX Sports 1
Freeform (ABC Family)
Fuse
FX
Galavision
HGTV
History Channel
HLN
IFC
Investigation Discovery
Lifetime
Local Now
MotorTrend
MSNBC
National Geographic
NBC (select markets)
NFL Network
Nick Jr.
SYFY
TBS
TLC
TNT
Travel Channel
truTV
USA
Vice

Based on the number of channels alone, it is clear to see that the selection has doubled over the years, similar to how the price has. In this sense, subscribers are still getting relatively the same value even though they are paying significantly more each month.

Besides the channels that have been added since then, there have been some other changes. For example, Adult Swim, El Rey and Galavisión are no longer available with either Sling plan. Also, while Freeform is listed as included with the 2015 plan above, it was actually called ABC Family back then.

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Sling’s original plan quickly improved

It is worth noting that the channel lineup at the end of 2015 wasn’t the same as it was in February when the service first launched. On launch day, for example, Sling TV announced AMC, BBC America, BBC World News, IFC, Sundance TV and WE tv, would all be added. That change began to take effect in March of 2015 with the addition of AMC and IFC. By the end of the same month, A&E, History, and Lifetime were also added to the base plan lineup.

With so many changes in the first few months, the base $20 plan looked a lot better by the end of 2015. Considering this plan ultimately went on to become Sling Orange, here’s how the core package (as of December 2015) compares to the current Sling Orange package (as of December 2022).

Sling OrangeDec. 2015Dec. 2022
A&E
Adult Swim
AMC
AXS TV
BBC America
BET
Bloomberg TV
Cartoon Network
Charge!
CNN
Comedy Central
Comet
Disney Channel
El Rey
EPIX Drive-In
ESPN
ESPN2
ESPN3
Food Network
Freeform
Fuse
Galavisión
HGTV
History Channel
H2
IFC
ID
Lifetime
Local Now
MotorTrend
Nick Jr.
TBS
TNT
Travel Channel
Vice

While today’s Sling Orange package does include more channels overall, the difference is considerably less than it was in February 2015, or when compared to the Sling Blue package. This is in spite of the cost of Sling Orange having doubled since December 2015, when the original package was still priced at just $20 per month.

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Sling TV original plan comparison summary

Sling TV launched in early 2015 with a single package that provided access to around 15 live TV channels for $20 per month. This plan would ultimately evolve into the Sling Orange package, which now costs $40 per month. In addition to Sling Orange, the live TV streaming service now offers a Sling Blue package with more of a focus on Fox and NBC channels.

Over the years, the number of channels has increased along with the price. However, the difference is a lot smaller when just looking at the Sling Orange plan, and especially when comparing Sling Orange to the end of 2015. By December of 2015, Sling was offering around 20 live TV channels with its core package and this compares to today’s Sling Orange with 31 channels and Sling Blue with 41 channels.

Of course, none of this takes into consideration any of the other changes that have occurred over the years. Although the channel lineup might not have changed quite as much as the price, there are more options to customize the plans. Not to mention, more features, a DVR, greater device support, and a better user experience in general.

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John Finn

By John Finn

John started Streaming Better to help consumers navigate the live TV streaming and subscription service landscape. John has been editing and writing about technology and streaming for online publications since 2014, and believes the best streaming approach is to rotate between services as needed.

John's preferred live TV streaming service right now is YouTube TV although he does tend to switch live TV services multiple times each year to keep up to date with their changes. Outside of live TV, John also actively streams HBO Max (for the shows), Peacock (for Premier League), and Paramount Plus (for Champion's League). However, John is also currently subscribed to Apple TV+, Discovery+, Hulu, Starz, Showtime, and Shudder.

Contact John via email at john@streamingbetter.com or say hi on Twitter

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