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Everything you need to know about Sling TV


When it comes to streaming options in the United States, Sling TV plans and prices continue to keep it among the top of the best live TV streaming services available. That’s largely because it’s as close as you can get to true a la carte TV, which theoretically lets you pick and choose your channels. Sling TV isn’t quite that — it’s more of a skinny bundle situation. But it’s still an extremely good value.

Here’s how it works: Sling TV is broken down into two tracks — Sling Orange, and Sling Blue. Separately, they cost $35 a month each. Or you can get both for $50 a month. They have their own sets of channels, too. Sling Orange has 32 channels and is more sports-heavy. Sling Blue has 42 channels and is more focused on news and entertainment. The idea is that if you want one track more than the other, you can just get one. But Sling is perfectly happy if you get both. Note that buying both plans together gets you fewer channels than the math would indicate — that’s because there is some overlap.

Phil Nickinson/Digital Trends

Sling TV price

The basic Sling TV price is $35 a month for Sling Orange or Sling Blue or $50 for both. That’s the bare minimum, and it’s as inexpensive as it gets, given the number of channels involved. But while Sling has fewer channels out of the gate than its competitors, there are a number of Extras that you can tack on to expand your Sling experience.

Those Extras are bundles of additional channels that you can tack on to your Orange or Blue plan. They all come with an extra monthly fee, of course, so you’ll want to keep an eye on things before that $35-a-month bargain turns into a $100-a-month boondoggle. The Extras — which we detail below in the Sling channels section — range from $6 a month to $11 a month.

There are Premium channels available, too — again, for additional fees. Some are just single channels. Others — Showtime, for instance — include multiple channels for a single price. A sole premium channel may cost as low as $3 a month, while others range up to $10 a month.

And there are other additions to the service that can increase the price, and get it above and beyond its competitors. Do your homework. Keep an eye on what you’re spending.

Sling free trial

Like other streaming services, there is a Sling TV free trial. The standard free trial for Sling is relatively short — a mere three days. That’s not to say that you might not see a longer free trial made available at some point as part of a promotion. But the current standard trial is just 72 hours.

That’s short, but it also should be enough time to kick the tires and decide if you actually want to use Sling as your streaming service.

Sling TV channels and price.
Phil Nickinson/Digital Trends

Sling TV channels

Sling Orange channels

Following are the channels available on the $35-a-month Sling Orange track. Channels that also are available on the Sling Blue track are noted in bold.

A&E, AMC, AXS TV, BBC America, BET, Bloomberg Television, CNN, Cartoon Network, Cheddar, Comedy Central, Comet, Disney Channel, EPIX Drive-In, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, Food Network, Freeform, Fuse, HGTV, History Channel, IFC, Investigation Discovery, Lifetime, Local Now, Motor Trend, Nick Jr., Stadium, TBS, TNT, Travel Channel, Vice

Sling TV Extras on the Orange track

These are the Extras available on the Sling Orange track, with monthly price, and the channels you get:

  • Sports Extra ($11): SEC Network, ACC Network, PAC 12 Network, Longhorn Network, beIN Sports, NBA TV, ACC Network X, MLB Network, SEC Network+, ESPNU, ESPNews, Tennis Channel, NHL Network, MLB Strike Zone
  • Comedy Extra ($6): MTV, truTV, feTV, Laff, Paramount Network, MTV 2, CMT, Logo, Revolt, Game Show Network, TV Land
  • News Extra ($6): BBC World News, News Nation, NewsMax, HLN, Weather Nation, EuroNews, Science, News 18, RT America, CGTN, Law & Crime
  • Lifestyle Extra ($6): VH-1, Cooking Channel, DIY, FYI, Hallmark Channel, We TV, LMN, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, Hallmark Drama
  • Hollywood Extra ($6): Reelz, Heroes & Icons, Start TV, Grit, HDNet Movies, Sundance TV, Cinemoi, TCM, Bounce
  • Heartland Extra: World Fishing Network, INSP TV, Sportsman Channel, Pursuit, Outdoor Channel, GAC Family, GAC Living, American Heroes Channel, RFD TV, Destination America, PixL, Cowboy Channel
  • AMC+ ($7): AMC+, Shudder, Sundance Now, IFC Films Unlimited

Sling Blue Channels

Following are the channels available on the $35-a-month Sling Blue track. Channels that also are available on the Sling Orange track are noted in bold.

A&E, AMC, AXS TV, BBC America, BET, Bloomberg Television, Bravo, CNN, Cartoon Network, Cheddar, Comedy Central, Comet, Discovery Channel, E!, EPIX Drive-In, Fox (Select Markets), FS1, FX, Food Network, Fox News, Fuse, HGTV, HLN, History Channel, IFC, Investigation Discovery, Lifetime, Local Now, MSNBC, NBC (Select Markets), NFL Network, National Geographic, Nick Jr., SYFY, Stadium, TBS, TLC, TNT, Travel Channel, USA, Vice, truTV

Sling TV Extras on the Blue Track

These are the Extras available on the Sling Blue track, with monthly price, and the channels you get:

  • Sports Extra ($11): NFL Red Zone, Big10 Network, NBA TV, FS2, MLB Network, NHL Network, Golf Channel, beIN Sports, PAC 12 Network, Tennis Channel, MLB Strike Zone, Olympic Channel
  • Comedy Extra ($6): MTV, truTV, feTV, Laff, Paramount Network, MTV 2, CMT, Logo, Revolt, Game Show Network, TV Land
  • Kids Extra ($6): NickToons, TeenNick, Boomerang, BabyTV, DuckTV
  • News Extra ($6): Fox Business, News Nation, CNBC, BBC World News, Law & Crime, NewsMax, Weather Nation, Science, EuroNews, France 24, News 18, NDTV 24×7, RT America, CGTN
  • Lifestyle Extra ($6): VH-1, Oxygen, Cooking Channel, DIY, FYI, Hallmark Channel, We TV, LMN, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, Hallmark Drama
  • Hollywood Extra ($6): FXX, Heroes & Icons, FXM, Reelz, Start TV, Grit, HD Net Movies, Sundance TV, Cinemoi, TCM, Bounce
  • Heartland Extra ($6): NatGeo Wild, World Fishing Network, INSP, Pursuit, Sportsman Channel, Outdoor Channel, GAC Family, GAC Living, Destination America, RFD TV, PixL, Cowboy Channel
  • AMC+ ($7): AMC+, Shudder, Sundance Now, IFC Films Unlimited

Further reading

Premium options

In addition to the basic plans and Extras, Sling TV has a pretty healthy stable of premium channels available. There’s a monthly fee for each, of course, so you’ll need to mind what you’re spending. Here’s what’s available:

  • Showtime channels ($10): Nine channels of award-winning series, films, and originals
  • Starz channels ($9): Six channels of the best Hollywood has to offer, plus originals
  • EPIX channels ($5): Four channels with the latest hits and exclusives
  • CineFest ($5): Cult classics, indie films and more
  • Cinemoi ($3): Film, fashion and lifestyle
  • Comedy Dynamics ($5): All things comedy, with stand-up specials, shows and films
  • BET+ ($10): More than 2,000 hours of Black content, plus the best of Tyler Perry
  • Noggin ($8): More than 1,000 ad-free Nick Jr. episodes
  • ScreamFlix ($3): The next-gen horror from the best storytellers around
  • VSiN ($4): News for sports betting, including analysis and odds
  • UP Faith & Family ($5): Religious dramas, comedies, and originals
  • Stingray Karaoke ($7): More than 10,000 popular songs for you to sing to
  • CONtv ($5): Live panels and series from fan conventions
  • The Country Network ($3): Only the best country music videos
  • True Royalty TV ($6): All things Royals
  • CuriosityStream ($3): Documentaries spanning science, space, tech, and health
  • Docurama ($5): Award-winning documentaries, films, and series
  • DOGTV ($5): A TV channel for the bestest boys and girls on four legs
  • Dove Channel ($5): Religious movies and TV series, family-friendly
  • Magnolia Selects ($5): Curated films & TV series across all genres
  • Monsters & Nightmares ($3): Horror, thriller and sci-fi
  • Warriors & Gangsters ($3): Fast-paced thrillers and action content
  • DOX ($3): Documentaries and docuseries for movie lovers
  • Qello Concerts by Stingray ($8): Live music concerts and documentaries
  • FlixLatino ($3): More than 250 series, documentaries and movies in Spanish
  • Kartoon Channel ($4): Safe and fun place for kids, with content for the full family
  • Grokker ($7): Fitness, meditation and cooking shows, for beginners and experts
  • Hallmark Movies Now ($6): More than 1,000 hours of ad-free content and stories
  • Here TV ($8): GLAAD- and Academy Award-winning films
  • Hopster ($5): Pre-school-age educational shows, ad-free
  • Outside TV Features ($5): Personal journeys in adventure sports, as well as documentaries, films, series
  • Pantaya ($6): Spanish-language new films, first-run exclusives

Local channels

While Fox and NBC are available in select markets as part of Sling Blue, you basically need to go into Sling TV expecting to not have access to your local broadcast affiliates. That’s just the way it works.

You’ll find that Sling TV pushes something called AirTV, which really is just a broadcast tuner that you’ll connect to an over-the-air antenna. You can buy both as a bundle if you’d like. And this isn’t a horrible option, even though it’s not as simple as just being able to stream all your local channels as you can do on other services. It’s also an additional expense, plus the one-time hassle of setting everything up.

AirTV does, however, at least put those local channels straight into your on-screen Sling TV guide, so everything is in one place. That’s handy enough. It also does so over your home wireless network, so you can watch on all your devices with Sling, not just on your TV.

Sling TV DVR storage screen.
Phil Nickinson/Digital Trends

Sling TV DVR storage

Sling TV comes with 50 hours of cloud-based storage for free, on any plan. It calls that “DVR Freee.” That came in response to competitors offering better choices, and Sling charging extra for anything useful. It’s better than nothing, but still a far cry from YouTube TV’s free unlimited recording.

If 50 hours just isn’t enough, you can upgrade to “DVR Plus,” which gives you 200 hours for $5 a month.

Both options allow you to fast forward through commercials, and you’re able to protect the recording from automatic deletion.

One other caveat is that you’re not able to record anything on ESPN3, ACC Network Extra, SEC Network+, or Local Now.

International channels

Sling TV also has a sizable number of international options, from all over the world. And we’re not just talking about the same options in different languages. These are separate packages that get you the best content from all over.

Options from India, for example, include Hindi, Urdu, Bangla, Punjabi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu. There’s a separate package just for cricket, too. There also are video-on-demand services from Voot, Desi Binge, Sonyliv, MXONE, and Eros Now.

European options include French, German, Greek, Italian and Polish. East Asian fare includes Cantonese, Mandarin, and Taiwanese.

Watch Sling on …

Sling TV is available on the best streaming devices around. That means devices like Roku and Amazon Fire TV, which make up the top two platforms in the world. You’re also able to watch Sling TV on Google TV and Android TV, on Apple TV, on Chromecast and Nest Hub devices, and on a smattering of smart TVs from Vizio, Samsung, and LG.

And, of course, you can watch Sling TV on your phone, or in a web browser.

Sling TV also is available on Xbox Series S and Series X, on the Meta (formerly Oculus) VR platform, on TIVO Stream, and on Facebook Portal devices.

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