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YouTube TV vs Sling TV Channels Comparison: Best Overall?

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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.

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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.

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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:

ChannelYouTube TVSling OrangeSling BlueOrange & Blue
A&E
ABC
ABC News
Adult Swim
AMC
Animal Planet
AXS TV
BBC America
BBC World News
BET
BET Her
Bloomberg
Bravo
BTN
Cartoon Network
CBS
CBS Sports
Charge
Cheddar
CMT
CNBC
CNN
Comedy Central
Comedy.TV
Comet TV
Court TV
Cozi TV
Dabl
Discovery
Disney
Disney Junior
Disney XD
Docurama
Dove
E!
Epix Drive-In
ESPN
ESPN 2
ESPN 3
ESPN U
ESPNEWS
Food Network
FOX
FOX Business
FOX News Channel
FOX SOUL
FOX Weather
Freeform
FS1
FS2
Fuse
FX
FXM
FXX
G4
Galavisión
GetTV
Golf Channel
GSN
Hallmark Channel
Hallmark Drama
Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
HGTV
History
HLN
HSN
ID
IFC
Justice Central
LAFC
Law & Crime
Lifetime
LiveNOW
Localish
Local Now
MLB Game of the week
MLB Network
Motortrend
MSNBC
MTV
MTV2
MTV Classic
MyNetworkTV
NatGeo Wild
National Geographic
NBA TV
NBC
NBCLX
NBC News Now
NBC Universo
NewsNation
NFL Network
Nickelodeon
Nick Jr
Nicktoons
Olympics Channel
OWN
Oxygen
Paramount Network
PBS
PBS Kids
POP
QVC
Recipe.TV
SEC ESPN Network
Smithsonian Channel
SNY
StartTV
SundanceTV
SyFy
Tastemade
TBS
TCM
Teen Nick
Telehit
The CW
The Great Courses
The Weather Channel
TLC
TNT
Travel Channel
TruTV
TV Land
TYT
UniMás
Universal Kids
Univision
USA
Vice
VH1
WE TV
YouTube Originals

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.

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YouTube and Sling premium channels compared:

Premium channelYouTube TVSling TV
Acorn
ALLBLK
AMC+
ATRESplayer
BET+
CineFest
Cinemax
CineMoi
Cocina On
Comedy Dynamics
CONtv
The Country Network
Curiosity Stream
Desi Binge Mini
Discovery+
Docurama
DOGTV
Dove Channel
DOX
Epix
Fandor
FlixLatino
Fox Nation
Gallery
Grokker
Hallmark Movies Now
HBO
HBO Max
Here TV
Hopster
IFC Films Unlimited
Law & Crime
Kartoon Channel!
Magnolia Selects
MLB.TV
Monsters & Nightmares
My Outdoor TV
NBA League Pass
Noggin
Outside TV Features
Pantaya
PlayKids
Qello Concerts by Stingray
ScreamFlix
Screambox
Screenpix
Showtime
Shudder
Starz
Stingray Karaoke
Sundance Now
Tastemade+
Topic
True Royalty TV
TumbleBooks
UP Faith & Family
VSiN
ViX+
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
($10.99 p/m)
Sling TV Total TV Deal
($21 p/m)
beIN SPORTSAmerican Heroes Channel
BilliardTVBabyTV
FanDuel TVBBC World News
Fight_NetworkbeIN SPORTS
Fox Soccer PlusBig Ten Network
Impact_WrestlingBoomerang
MAVTVBounce
NFL RedZoneCinemoi
Outside TVCGTN
PlayersTVCMT
PokerGO+CNBC
SportsGridCooking Channel
STADIUMDestination America
VSiNFETV
Fox Business Network
FOX Sports 2
FXX
FX Movies
FYI
Golf Channel
Great American Family
Great American Living
Grit
Hallmark Channel
Hallmark Drama
Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
HDNet Movies
Heroes & Icons
INSP
Laff
Law & Crime
Lifetime Movies
Logo
Magnolia Network
MLB Network
MLB Network Strike Zone
MTV
MTV2
Nat Geo Wild
NBA TV
NDTV 24×7
News18
NewsMax
NFL RedZone
NHL Network
NickToons
Olympic Channel
Outdoor Channel
Oxygen
Pac-12
Paramount Network
PixL
Pursuit
Reelz
Revolt
RFD-TV
Science Channel
Sportsman Channel
Start TV
SundanceTV
TeenNick
Tennis Channel
The Cowboy Channel
Turner Classic Movies
TV Land
VH1
WE TV
Weather Nation
WGN America
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.

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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 writing about technology and TV-related services and devices since 2014 and believes the best streaming approach is to bounce between services as needed. Contact John via email at john@streamingbetter.com or on Twitter

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