Sling TV does provide access to local channels but only Fox and NBC and not in all cities in the US. Sling TV not only offers fewer local channels than other live TV services, but the ones it does provide access to are only available in select markets. Due to this, whether Sling has the right local channels for an individual will depend on the locals they need and where they are located.
Sling TV is one of the oldest live TV streaming services in the US, and in spite of the increased competition from Hulu Live TV and YouTube TV, Sling TV has managed to maintain a healthy user base. One of the reasons for this is the service’s emphasis on value. While other services hover around the $65 per month mark, Sling TV’s plans start at $35 per month. However, that lower price does come with some compromises.
One of the most obvious compromises is the channel lineup. Sling TV’s two base plans, Blue and Orange, do provide access to many popular channels, but the overall number is likely to be fewer than what other services offer. When it comes to local channels, the situation is even more problematic as many subscribers will find they don’t have access to any locals at all. Even if they are in a supported local market, subscribers will still be limited to the local channels they can access.
Sling TV has Fox and NBC
As of right now, the choice of local channels through Sling TV comes down to NBC and Fox. Those looking to access ABC, CBS, PBS, and other local channels might find that they are better off considering YouTube TV over Sling TV. That is unless combining a Sling TV subscription with another local channels solution, such as an antenna to access over-the-air locals and regional sports networks.
While a Sling TV subscription does include NBC and Fox local channels, that is only if the subscriber lives in a supported area. For reference, Sling TV only lists local channel support in around twenty markets in the United States. Furthermore, Even in those cities, not all of them show support for both NBC and Fox. Due to this, if a subscriber is happy with only access to Fox, and live in a city where Sling TV generally offers locals, there’s no guarantee they’ll get access to their local Fox channel.
Fox locals available through Sling TV:
|San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose||KTVU|
Unfortunately, subscribers will find the exact same situation applies to NBC. Even though the base Sling Blue subscription makes it possible to stream NBC, local NBC channels are not available everywhere. In fact, the NBC channel list is actually even shorter than the Fox list.
NBC local channels available through Sling TV:
|San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose||KNTV|
Above is an up-to-date list of every market in the U.S. where Sling TV offers access to either Fox or NBC locals. For those looking for access to both NBC and Fox locals, the list is even shorter.
Fox and NBC supported markets compared:
|San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose||✔||✔|
Subscribers in markets other than what’s listed above will most likely find they are unable to access local channels through Sling TV in their current location.
Sling TV’s local channels workaround
Anyone who has signed up to Sling TV in the past may have noticed the service almost always offers a number of new subscriber deals. A lot of the time these deals involve prepaying for two or three months of service in advance. While some of the deals include streaming devices, such as an AirTV player, others are purposely designed to make access to local channels easier. In addition, many of Sling TV’s supported apps tend to merge channel lists together so that when an antenna is connected to the setup, and local channels are received, they are displayed alongside the digital channels provided over the internet by Sling.
Although the additional hardware is not an ideal solution, it is an example of one of the ways Sling TV is trying to bridge the gap between the local channels it offers and those that are missing. Therefore, while Sling TV doesn’t offer all locals, or in all areas, it does offer options for those that need those missing channels but would still like to take advantage of Sling’s lower prices in general.
The downside is that this level of access is no different to accessing local channels without a live TV subscription. In other words, consumers will only get access to local channels that are within reach of their antenna, and the quality will be dependent on the signal.
Sling TV local channels summary
Overall, Sling TV does provide access to local channels. However, the location of the subscriber greatly affects whether local channels are available through Sling TV. Without the use of additional hardware, the best case scenario for subscribers is that they will get access to both NBC and Fox locals, although the list of markets where both are available is very limited.
More often, subscribers will find they get access to either NBC or Fox locals. In just as many situations, subscribers will find they are unable to access any local channels at all. That is without relying on additional hardware to bridge the gap.