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What Is Sling TV? Packages, Features And Downside Explained


Updated Sling TV logo with emphasis on TV

Sling TV first launched in 2015, making it one of the oldest live TV streaming services around. While the number of subscribers routinely increases and decreases, Sling typically provides live TV to around two million subscribers. Here’s what else you need to know about the live TV service.

How Much Is Sling TV?

Sling TV’s plans start at just $40 a month, making it a more affordable option than many other live TV services, including DirecTV Stream, Fubo, Hulu Live TV and YouTube TV.

Sling actually offers two main plans to choose from, Sling Orange and Sling Blue, and both start at $40 a month. However, Sling does charge an additional $5 in areas where ABC is available, taking the minimum price of Blue up to $45 a month in some locations.

Does Sling TV offer A Free Trial?

Technically, no, Sling TV does not offer a free trial. However, subscribers may find they can get three days free when signing up on select devices.

Sling also offers a combined Sling Orange & Blue plan which brings together the channel lineups from both base packages. Sling Orange & Blue costs $55 a month and $60 in areas where ABC is available.

Updated Sling TV logo with emphasis on TV
  • $40-$55/mo
  • 32+ channels
  • 1-3 streams
  • 50-Hour DVR

Deal: Get your first month for just $15.

In addition to its paid plans, Sling also offers a Sling Freestream service. This is a completely free, ad-supported platform with access to a variety of FAST channels and content. As this is a free service, it shouldn’t be considered a direct replacement for Sling’s Orange and Blue base packages.

Sling TV Channels

Sling offers two base plans to choose from and the channels a subscriber gets depends on which plan they sign up to.

Channels available with all Sling TV Plans

A&E, AMC, AXS TV, BBC America, BET, Bloomberg Television, Charge!, CNN, Cartoon Network, Comedy Central, Comet, Food Network, Fuse, HGTV, History Channel, IFC, Investigation Discovery (ID), Lifetime, Local Now, MGM+ Drive-In, Nick Jr., Sling scapes, Sling scapes 2, TBS, TNT, Travel Channel, Vice

Channels only available with Sling Orange

Disney Channel, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, Freeform, MotorTrend, QVC

Channels only available with Sling Blue

ABC (select areas), Bravo, Discovery Channel, E!, Fox (select areas), Fox Sports 1, FX, Fox News, HLN, MSNBC, NBC (select areas), NFL Network, National Geographic, Syfy, TLC, truTV, USA

Sling TV Base Plan Add-Ons

In addition to the channels listed above, Sling also offers a range of add-ons that can be bundled with either base plan.

Entertainment Extra: CMT, FETV, Game Show Network (GSN), Laff, Logo, MTV, MTV2, Paramount Network, Revolt, truTV*, TV Land.

Heartland Extra: American Heroes Channel (AHC), The Cowboy Channel, Destination America, Great American Family, Great American Living, Insp, Outdoor Channel, Nat Geo Wild**, PixL, Pursuit, RFD-TV, Sportsman Channel, World Fishing Network.

Hollywood Extra: Bounce, FX**, FXX**, Grit, HDNet Movies, Heroes & Icons, Reelz, Start TV, SundanceTV, Turner Classic Movies (TCM).

Kids Extra: BabyTV, Boomerang, Disney Junior*, Disney XD*, NickToons, TeenNick.

Lifestyle Extra: Cooking Channel, Fyi, Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Drama, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, Lifetime Movies, Magnolia Network, Oxygen True Crime**, VH1, We TV.

News Extra: BBC World News, CGTN, CNBC**, HLN*, Fox Business Network**, Law & Crime, NDTV 24×7**, News18, Newsmax, NewsNation, Science Channel, WGN America.

Sports Extra: ACC Network*, ACC Network Extra*, beIN Sports, Big Ten Network (BTN)**, ESPNews, ESPNU*, Fox Sports 2**, Golf Channel**, Longhorn Network*, MLB Network, MLB Network Strike Zone, NBA TV, NFL RedZone**, NHL Network, SEC Network, SEC Network+, Tennis Channel.

*Sling Orange, **Sling Blue

Sling TV’s Total TV Deal add-on costs $21 a month and unlocks access to all of the Extra add-ons, as well as DVR Plus (200 hours of recording space), at a cheaper price.

Sling TV Supported Devices

Sling TV is available on a variety of platforms and devices, making it a highly accessible live TV streaming service.

Supported platforms include:

  • AirTV Mini
  • Amazon Echo Show
  • Amazon Fire TV players, TVs
  • Android TV players, TVs
  • Apple TV
  • Contour Stream Player
  • Google Nest Hub
  • Google TV players, TVs
  • LG Smart TVs
  • Roku players, TVs
  • Samsung smart TVs
  • TiVo Stream 4K
  • Vizio Smart TVs
  • Xfinity Flex and X1

As it always the case with device support, older players and smart TVs lose support over time. So while some homes may be using a player that’s listed above, there is the possibility that the version being used has lost support, or never had support to begin with.

Sling TV Features

Compared to other live TV services, Sling TV is relatively limited on additional features. For this reason, we do not consider Sling TV to be a premium service.

Limited DVR

While Sling does provide all users with a DVR, it is limited. Base package subscribers get access to 50 hours of cloud DVR for free. Sling does offer a DVR Plus add-on for $5 a month which increases the number of storage hours to 200.

Sling Freestream

Sling also offers a free service known as Sling Freestream. While this service does not require a paid plan, all paid subscribers get the same FAST channels and programming as part of their subscription, unlocking access to even more content.

Free shows, movies and more

Sling Arcade

In addition to all the live and on-demand content that subscribers can watch, Sling offers an Arcade feature that unlocks access to a variety of free games, including Centipede, Doodle Jump, Solitaire Clash, Tetris and Wheel of Fortune.

Sling Rewards

Sling Rewards is a rewards program that offers subscribers the option to collect entries for a monthly Watch & Win Sweepstakes. Subscribers get entries for watching at least 30 minutes of content a day, and the more they watch, the more entries they get.

The Downside Of Sling TV

The main downside of Sling TV is the channel lineup. While it is possible to customize a package that’s more similar to those offered by other live TV streaming services, the overall cost is likely to increase to a similar level. Due to this, some homes might find it easier to sign up to another service’s base package.

Another downside with Sling TV is local channels. Sling doesn’t provide access to CBS. In addition, ABC, Fox and NBC are only available in select areas, and not always the same areas. If locals are important to you, Sling TV is unlikely to be the best option.

See how live TV services compare

While not necessary a downside, the Sling TV app experience hasn’t always been the best. Even though Sling TV is continually improving the app, some will likely prefer the more premium features and app experience offered by services like YouTube TV.

Is Sling TV Worth It?

It depends. If you are looking for an affordable way to stream live TV then Sling TV is a good option. While Frndly TV and Philo are even cheaper options, they lack some of the premium channels available with Sling TV. In this sense, Sling TV offers a good middle ground between the cheapest and most expensive TV services.

Overall, the channel lineup is our main issue with Sling TV. While we do recommend checking the service out for yourself, whether it is ultimately worth a subscription will depend on how much the channel lineup aligns with your needs.

Sling TV Review

John Finn


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