Although a YouTube TV subscription includes access to more than 85 channels, Sling TV’s base plans unlock less than 50 channels. When it comes to choice, however, things are a little different. While YouTube TV only has the one main plan for consumers to choose from, Sling TV offers three different plans, with the number of channels dependent on the plan chosen. Sling TV also offers a variety of add-ons which can further increase the number of channels, albeit at a higher monthly cost.
In terms of the price, the standard YouTube TV subscription currently costs $64.99 per month. Technically, YouTube TV does also offer a Spanish plan with its own selection of Spanish language channels for $35 per month. In contrast, the Sling Orange and Sling Blue plans both cost $35 per month. For those that want a richer experience, there’s also the Sling Orange & Blue plan which is priced at $50 per month.
Officially, YouTube TV states that its base plan provides access to more than 85 channels when signing up through the website. However, the exact number will vary depending on the user’s location and due to local channels and regional variances. Sling TV’s website states that its Orange plan currently offers access to 31 channels, its Blue plan offers access to 41 channels, and its combined Orange & Blue plan unlocks a total of 47 live TV channels.
How the channels compare
YouTube TV and Sling TV are not the best services to compare at the channel level, considering YouTube TV comes with almost twice as many channels overall. For those simply wanting the most channels without having to mess with the base plan, then YouTube TV is the clear winner. Of course, the quantity of channels should never really be as important as the quality, so here’s a closer look at exactly which channels you get with the standard subscription from YouTube TV and all three Sling TV plans.
YouTube TV and Sling (Orange, Blue, Orange & Blue) channels compared:
|Channel||YouTube TV||Sling Orange||Sling Blue||Orange & Blue|
|BBC World News||✔|
|FOX News Channel||✔||✔||✔|
|Hallmark Movies & Mysteries||✔|
|Law & Crime||✔|
|MLB Game of the week||✔|
|NBC News Now||✔|
|SEC ESPN Network||✔|
|The Great Courses||✔|
|The Weather Channel||✔|
Due to the sheer number of channels included with the YouTube TV base plan, almost all of the channels that Sling TV offers are available with YouTube TV. However, almost is not the same as all and some of the Sling TV channels that are missing from the YouTube TV lineup could prove to be the difference for some homes. For example, if you want access to A&E, ESPN 3, or Lifetime, then Sling TV is a better option than YouTube TV. Even more so if you want access to all three of these channels.
As the table above also shows, there is a fairly big overlap between the three Sling plans, and especially when it comes to Sling Blue and Orange & Blue considering there are only six channels separating them. Once again, quality matters more than the quantity, as while Orange & Blue does include all three ESPN channels, Sling Blue doesn’t, making access to ESPN one of the main differences between the two Sling plans with the most channels.
Similar to other live TV streaming services, both YouTube TV and Sling TV also offer access to various premium networks. All of these can be added to the base plan at an additional cost each month.
YouTube and Sling premium channels compared:
|Premium channel||YouTube TV||Sling TV|
|The Country Network||✔|
|Desi Binge Mini||✔|
|Hallmark Movies Now||✔||✔|
|IFC Films Unlimited||✔||✔|
|Law & Crime||✔|
|Monsters & Nightmares||✔|
|My Outdoor TV||✔|
|NBA League Pass||✔|
|Outside TV Features||✔||✔|
|Qello Concerts by Stingray||✔|
|True Royalty TV||✔|
|UP Faith & Family||✔||✔|
|Warriors & Gangsters||✔|
Both services also offer add-on channel packs that unlock multiple channels for a single price, and this is an area where Sling TV really comes into its own. Sling offers so many different mini channel bundles that a consumer has the ability to greatly customize and increase the number of channels they have access to. All of the Sling TV channel packs can be subscribed to individually, or collectively via the $21 Total TV Deal add-on.
|YouTube TV Sports Plus|
|Sling TV Total TV Deal|
|beIN SPORTS||American Heroes Channel|
|FanDuel TV||BBC World News|
|Fox Soccer Plus||Big Ten Network|
|Fox Business Network|
|FOX Sports 2|
|Great American Family|
|Great American Living|
|Hallmark Movies & Mysteries|
|Heroes & Icons|
|Law & Crime|
|MLB Network Strike Zone|
|Nat Geo Wild|
|The Cowboy Channel|
|Turner Classic Movies|
|World Fishing Network|
YouTube TV vs Sling TV channels summary
Comparing the YouTube TV and the Sling TV channel lineups is interesting. Simply due to the fact that its base plan comes with almost twice as many channels, YouTube TV is clearly the better choice for channels. If only looking at the base plans of YouTube TV and Sling TV, YouTube TV offers a better variety of channels overall.
However, YouTube TV is more expensive than Sling TV and this is where things become more complicated. Sling TV offers so many ways to customize a package that it is possible to create a bespoke live TV plan that better suits a home’s needs. Not to mention, consumers can save by purchasing all of the channel packs as a bundle with the Total TV Deal. If bundling with the add-on, the price of Sling TV is more in line with YouTube TV, albeit slightly higher, but it also closes the channel advantage that YouTube TV previously had.
Considering both of these live TV services also offer different channels to each other, choosing between YouTube TV and Sling TV could simply come down to the availability of individual channels that are most important to a home.