What is Sling TV?
Sling TV is a livestreaming service that came from the good people at DISH back in 2015. That said, it’s one of the oldest and most established streaming services out there. DISH must have caught wind of the streaming revolution and wisely wanted to get the jump on the trend.
Sling TV Packages
Let’s talk about what you want to know—what channels can you stream on Sling TV?
- Sling Orange: $25 a month. You get 31 channels in total, including ESPN, the Disney Channel, and TNT.
- Sling Blue: $25 a month. Comes with 44 channels, including FOX, NBC Sports, and FOX sports
- Sling Orange + Sling Blue: $40 a month, includes 47 channels that come from combining both packages. You get ESPN, FOX, Disney Channel, AMC and more.
First, let’s do a breakdown of the packages. As stand-alone packages, Sling Orange and Sling Blue currently offer the two cheapest streaming packages in the industry. However, when you combine the two of them together, it’s around the same price you would pay for any other streaming service. So, if you can live with only having one package, you can get away with a great deal. Here are the details:
|Sling Orange||Sling Blue||Sling Orange + Sling Blue|
|Free Trial||Free Trial||Free Trial|
What Channels does Sling TV Have?
If you want more specifics, here are the channels you’ll get with each package.
$25 a month
$25 a month
|Sling Orange + Blue|
$40 a month
|Free Trial||Free Trial||Free Trial|
|A&E||LIVE / VOD|
|ACC Network Extra||LIVE|
|AMC||LIVE / VOD|
|AXS TV||LIVE / VOD|
|BBC America||LIVE / VOD|
|BET||LIVE / VOD|
|Bloomberg TV||LIVE / VOD|
|Bravo||LIVE / VOD|
|Cartoon Network/Adult Swim||LIVE / VOD|
|CNN||LIVE / VOD|
|Comedy Central||LIVE / VOD|
|Disney Channel||LIVE / VOD|
|El Rey Network||LIVE / VOD|
|ESPN||LIVE / VOD|
|ESPN 2||LIVE / VOD|
|Food Network||LIVE / VOD|
|Fox (Select Markets)||LIVE / VOD|
|FOX Sports Network (Select Markets)||LIVE / VOD|
|Fox Sports 1||LIVE / VOD|
|Fox Sports 2||LIVE / VOD|
|Freeform||LIVE / VOD|
|FX||LIVE / VOD|
|Galavision||LIVE / VOD|
|History||LIVE / VOD|
|IFC||LIVE / VOD|
|Nat Geo Wild||VOD|
|National Geographic||LIVE / VOD|
|NBC (Select Markets)||LIVE / VOD|
|NBC Sports Network (Select Markets)||LIVE / VOD|
|NFL Network||LIVE / VOD|
|Syfy||LIVE / VOD|
|TBS||LIVE / VOD|
|TNT||LIVE / VOD|
|TruTV||LIVE / VOD|
|Travel Channel||LIVE / VOD|
|USA Network||LIVE / VOD|
|Viceland||LIVE / VOD|
|Free Trial||Free Trial||Free Trial|
Hopefully seeing all the channels laid out for you makes it easier to compare packages and determine what you’d be signing up for. There are a few notable exceptions between packages, like ESPN being available on Sling Orange and not Sling Blue, so make sure you’re aware of details like that before committing yourself to anything. Feel free to sign up for the 7-day Sling TV trial so you can try out the different packages and see what suits you best.
How Does Sling TV Work?
Sling TV purchased the broadcasting rights for all the channels it offers. This means Sling can legally broadcast these channels over the internet to its subscribers. There’s no cable box, so you’ll need a compatible device like a Roku or Apple TV to access the service from your TV. Once you have one of these devices, you’ll just need an internet connection, and you’ll be good to go.
Sling TV Add-Ons
These channel packs offer genre-specific expansions to one of the three base packages listed above, allowing you to fine-tune your channel selection for more of the content you want.
To clarify, that means you can’t just subscribe to the Sports Extra package by itself. You have to have one of the basic packages (Sling Orange, Sling Blue, or Sling Orange + Blue) to begin with. Keep in mind that the add-ons come with different prices, so don’t be caught off guard.
Sling TV offers more add-ons than any other streaming service, so if there’s an obscure channel you’re looking to stream, your chances of getting it are higher with Sling TV.
Sports Extra ($10 per month)
If you want to make sure you’ve got all your sports channels covered, check out the Sports Extra add-on. Whether you’re a fan of college sports, the NBA, or the NFL, there’s something for every sports fan. Here’s a complete list of the channels:
- beIN Sports
- ESPN Bases Loaded
- ESPN Goal Line
- Motors TV North AM
- NBA TV
- NFL RedZone
- NHL Network
- Outside Television
- Pac-12 Network
- SEC Network
- SEC Network+
- Univision Deportes
Kids Extra ($5 per month)
Every parent knows that life gets a lot easier when you have a way to watch kids shows online. This add-on is also available in the Multi-Extra Discount package, so you can bundle it with other interesting channels. Here’s a list of all the channels included with the Kids Extra package:
HBO ($15 per month)
With this add-on, you get live HBO streaming and access to HBO’s full on-demand library (similar to HBO GO and HBO NOW). HBO subscribers also get up to three simultaneous streams of HBO in addition to the single stream that comes with Sling TV’s core and add-on packages. HBO can also be added on to Sling Latino or Sling International packages.
Showtime ($10 per month)
Sling TV also offers live Showtime streaming for $10 a month. You’ll get live access to everything Showtime:
- Showtime 2
- Showtime Beyond
- Showtime Extreme
- Showtime Next
- Showtime Showcase
- Showtime West
- Showtime Women
And by the way, this covers live access as well as on-demand content.
Cinemax ($10 per month)
When you get this Cinemax livestreaming add-on, you also get access to the network’s full on-demand library of content, with shows like The Knick.
STARZ ($9 per month)
The STARZ add-on package includes a whole family of channels:
- STARZ Comedy
- STARZ Edge
- STARZ Encore
- STARZ Kids & Family
- STARZ West
Comedy Plus Extra ($5 per month)
This add-on provides a variety of channels for various senses of humor:
Lifestyle Plus Extra ($5 per month)
If you love Hallmark movies as we do, you’re going to enjoy this add-on. Check out the channels included:
- Cooking Channel
- DIY Network
- Hallmark Channel
- Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
- LMN (Lifetime Movie Network)
- Vibrant TV
- WE tv
- Z Living HD
Hollywood Extra ($5 per month)
Want to stream classic movies? Here are all of the Hollywood Extra channels:
World News Extra ($5 per month)
If you’re the type of person who wants to consume all things news, this add-on has got you covered.
- BBC World News
- CCTV News
- Euro News
- France 24
- NDTV 24/7
- News 18 India
- Russia Today
- The Blaze
Best of Spanish TV ($5 per month)
Just like the name says, this add-on contains all the best channels for livestreaming Spanish television shows (at least in the USA):
- AZ Cinema
- AZ Clic
- AZ Corazon
- BeIN SPORTS en Espanol
- Cine Sony
- De Pelicula
- De Pelicula Clasico
- ESPN Deportes
- Univision Deportes
- Univision telenovelas
Broadcast Extra ($5 per month, available only in select markets)
Multi-Extra Discount ($10 per month)
If you like the idea of Sling TV’s add-ons, you’ll be interested to know you can bundle them together for a better price. The Multi-Extra Discount Bundle adds four existing add-on packages (Kids Extra, Lifestyle Plus Extra, Comedy Plus Extra and News Extra) for only $10 per month. That’s a total of 40+ new networks:
Other Sling TV Channels and Plans
Sling TV offers a package consisting of channels exclusively in Spanish. Check out the channel list, and you’ll see essentials like ESPN, Disney Channel, and HGTV. However, you won’t see any region-specific channels. Those come into play with the add-ons, like Caribe Extra, Colombia Extra, Espana Extra, and others. You can read more about channels available in the Latino service here.
Other International Packages
Finally, there are a number of international, foreign-language Sling TV packages. Sling TV offers a special 30-day free trial on all international packages. Learn more about all of the international packages by visiting the Sling International website.
Sling TV with NBA League Pass
Where are our NBA fans at? Sling TV added NBA League Pass as an add-on for subscribers. If you want access to the entire league, you can pay an extra $29 a month, or if you just want to follow one NBA team, you can pay $18 more a month. Be aware that you need a Sling TV subscription (starting at $20 a month) to get the NBA League Pass add-on, and you can only stream NBA games out of your market.
What about Sling TV Local Channels?
Streaming local channels on Sling TV depends entirely on your location. The same can be said for every other streaming service out there. While 95% of Sling TV channels are available nationwide, local channels are available in only select markets.
Luckily, we’ve done the legwork for you and found what local channels you get depending on what market you live in.
Find your market in the list below, and see if you can stream local channels in your area. If you don’t see your market, it means that Sling TV doesn’t provide local channel coverage in your area just yet.
- Mesa, AZ: FOX (KSAZ)
- Fresno, CA: ABC (KFSN)
- Los Angeles, CA: ABC (KABC), FOX (KTTV), NBC (KNBC)
- San Diego, CA: NBC (KNTV)
- San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA: ABC (KGO), FOX (KTVU), NBC (KNTV)
- Hartford-New Haven, CT: NBC (WRC)
- Washington D.C: FOX (WTTG), NBC (WRC)
- High Springs-Ocala-Gainesville, FL: FOX (WOGX)
- Miami-Fort Lauderdale, FL: NBC (WTVJ)
- Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, FL: FOX (WOFL)
- Petersburg-Tampa, FL: FOX (WTVT)
- Atlanta, GA: FOX (WAGA)
- Chicago, IL: ABC (WLS), FOX (WFLD), NBC (WMAQ)
- Boston, MA: NBC (WBTS)
- Detroit, MI: FOX (WJBK)
- Paul, MN: FOX (KMSP)
- Belmont-Charlotte, NC: FOX (WJZY)
- Goldsboro-Raleigh-Durham-Fayetteville, NC: ABC (WTVD)
- New York City, NY: ABC (WABC), FOX (WNYM), NBC (WNBC)
- Philadelphia, PA: ABC (WPVI), FOX (WTXF), NBC (WCAU)
- Austin, TX: FOX (KTBC)
- Fort Worth-Dallas, TX: FOX (KDFW), NBC (KXAS)
- Houston, TX: ABC (KTRK), CBS (KHOU)
Sling TV is constantly adding new local affiliate stations to its service, so you can always double-check your coverage using Sling TV’s ZIP finder. Just click the “Show My Available Channels” button, enter your ZIP code, and the results page will tell you what local channels you can stream in your area.
What Features Does Sling TV Offer?
When it comes to distinguishing the best streaming service for you, it’s often features that make all the difference. We’ll go through Sling TV’s lightning-round style in the sections below.
|Any Package||50 hrs||+$5 a month|
If you want to add cloud DVR to your package, it will cost you an additional $5 a month for 50 hours of storage. Also, your storage lasts forever—it won’t be deleted after a certain amount of time (unlike PlayStation Vue, for example, which deletes recorded content after 28 days).
|Additional Streams Add-On (Sling Blue)||3||+$5/mo|
|Additional Streams Add-On (Sling Orange + Sling Blue)||4||+$20/mo|
You’ve got some options here for adding simultaneous streams to your Sling TV package, meaning you can have multiple people streaming live TV from a single subscription at the same time.
The benefit of having more streams at a time is that you can share your subscription with multiple people. If you can find some people willing to chip in for a shared subscription, it would more than pay for the cost of additional streams. Just some food for thought.
Yes, you will have to deal with commercials while watching live TV and on-demand content. However, if you pay for the DVR service, you can always record content and fast-forward through commercials later. But if that’s your plan of attack, keep in mind Sling TV will allow you to fast-forward through commercials only on select channels.
We don’t know exactly what channels those are because Sling TV doesn’t provide users with a list, and so far we haven’t discovered a pattern to them. So you may need to do some exploring. However, most channels allow for fast-forwarding recorded content.
|Playback Features||Live||On Demand||Price|
(4 seconds max)
Some Sling TV channels offer an innovative feature called “3-Day Replay.” This lets you scroll back and watch any TV show that has aired on that channel over the last three days. It’s a really cool feature, but not all channels allow you to do this. We’re hoping more of them will adopt it soon.
Picture Quality and Interface
Two more things you’ll want to consider when choosing your streaming service are the streaming quality and reputation of the service as well as the interface it operates with.
Streaming quality affects how clear and smooth your stream turns out. Low streaming quality could strand you in the eternal void of buffering or audio delays (we shudder at the thought). Meanwhile, the interface is how you interact with the product, so you’ll want yours to be easy to maneuver through, or else you might find yourself getting lost and missing that premiere you’ve been looking forward to.
Sling TV Streaming Quality
Are you one of the lucky souls with a 4K TV? Well, we hate to disappoint you, but Sling TV doesn’t (yet) support 4K-quality streaming.
Overall, we had a positive experience streaming Sling TV. We watched on a shared Wi-Fi connection and enjoyed HD-quality streaming with very few issues. The issues we did have were brief buffering periods where the picture and audio dipped.
We suggest an internet bandwidth of at least 5.3 Mbps for the best streaming quality.
Sling TV’s Interface
Let’s break down Sling TV’s interface so you can get a feel for the service.
Sling TV is available on tons of different devices, and the interface will look different depending upon the device you’re using, but the overall aesthetic is similar across the board. The screenshots below are from Google Chrome.
When you log into your Sling account, there are five different tabs that organize your options. The first tab is called “My TV.”
Kind of like a favorites section, Sling TV saves the channels you watch the most and lets you quickly access them to see what’s playing.
The “On Now” section gives you a snapshot of what’s playing right now, organized by genre.
So if you’re in the mood for sports, you can see what’s going on, or if you need to put on a show for your kids, you can see what’s playing for them as well. It’s a nifty tool for users who don’t have anything specific in mind when they turn on their TV.
The third tab is your typical guide menu, with a little twist. Take a look.
Instead of scroll-down menu to scan all your channel options, Sling TV presents the information in a grid format. You can scroll through channels in the top bar to see what’s playing.
The benefit of this format is that it’s quicker for jumping around channels, but the drawback is you can’t see what’s playing on multiple channels at once. It works for a streaming service because you don’t have hundreds of channels to scan through, but habitual channel surfers may get annoyed with not being able to see the big picture.
The fourth tab is entirely dedicated to sports.
It’s basically the same thing as the sports section in the “On Now” section, except with more options. It’s nice to see Sling TV recognizes many streamers are sports fans.
The fifth “Rentals” tab is exactly what it sounds like.
There is one section that offers free movie rentals, and another with new releases you can rent for a few dollars. It’s very similar to the renting services on iTunes and Amazon.
Overall, we thought navigating through Sling TV was pretty easy—which is something we look for in a good streaming service. We were able to find what we wanted to watch without much difficulty. Just keep in mind that if you’re used to cable, the navigation may take a bit of adjustment.
What Devices Can Play Sling TV?
What is Sling TV available on? Here’s a complete list of compatible devices:
So, what if you don’t have one of those streaming devices? Don’t worry—Sling TV actually offers special deals on compatible streaming devices when you sign up for the service. Check out Sling TV’s device offers page to check out the latest deals.
All in all, Sling TV does a good job of making its service accessible for those new to cutting the cord as well as cord-cutting veterans.
Sling TV Promotions
Get a FREE Roku Express when you sign up for two months of Sling TV!
Sling TV Review Summary: Our Verdict
Let’s start with the good things and move on to the not-so-great things about Sling TV overall.
- Incredible amount of add-ons
- Cheapest package options
- Simple interface
- Quality streaming picture
- Confusing package options
- $5 extra per month for cloud DVR
- No PlayStation streaming
- No CBS
Overall, we’ve enjoyed using Sling TV, and we’ve enjoyed the price tag even more. At the end of the day, that’s what Sling TV has going for it—an incredible price for livestreaming. As long as you can live with missing out on a few channels, Sling TV can save you tons of money on your monthly TV bill.
Sling TV Review FAQs
To provide you with as much information as possible, we’ve included answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about Sling TV. If you have additional questions left unanswered in our Sling TV review, please leave a comment below.
Where Can You Get Sling TV?
Sling TV is available only in the United States at this time, and we expect that to remain the case for a long time to come.
How Much Does Sling TV Cost?
Sling TV starts at just $25 per month for its Orange package. That gets you over 30 Sling TV channels, including ESPN, ESPN2, AMC, TBS, TNT, CNN, and more.
For a slightly different selection of channels, including FS1, FX, and NBC, the Sling Blue package is available for $25 a month, with 40+ channels in total.
If you really want to max out your channel selection, go with the Sling Orange + Sling Blue package, which includes all the channels from BOTH packages (60+ in total) for $40 a month.
There are also various add-on packages that are genre-specific as well, and each has a different price per month. Most of the add-on packages are just $5 each per month, as detailed in the review above.
On top of Sling TV’s cheap price, there’s no contract. You pay month to month, just like you would with Netflix, Hulu, or any other streaming package. You’ll never be locked into an expensive cable contract again.
What Internet Speed Is Needed to Stream Sling TV?
The internet speed you need to enjoy Sling TV is in line with what you need to watch Netflix, Hulu, and other popular streaming services—5 Mbps or more.
If you have multiple people in your household using the internet at the same time (especially if they’re streaming), you’ll likely want to add 5 Mbps per additional person to ensure the smoothest possible experience.
How Are the Sling TV Video and Audio Quality?
The picture and sound you get with Sling TV are very good, especially for streaming live TV. While the video quality is slightly lower than what you’d get with full HD cable (Sling tends to look a little softer), the colors still look vibrant, and the audio quality is up to par as well. You get stereo-only audio when watching live TV; meanwhile, on-demand content lets you enjoy 5.1 surround sound where available.
As with all streaming, your internet connection can affect quality, so make sure you have a reliable, high-speed connection.
Can I Try Sling TV Free?
Yes, Sling TV currently offers a free 7-day trial. You can try as many Sling packages as you want during your 7-day trial, giving you a real chance to test out the streaming service and see if it’s right for you. Click here to sign up for a free 7-day trial.
Additionally, Sling International (the brand for all foreign-language packages) offers new subscribers a 30-day free trial. You can try it out with 30-day free trial to Sling International. Be aware that Sling TV is not available internationally, but you can watch international channels in the United States.
What Makes Sling TV Different from Cable TV?
While Sling TV delivers many of the same live TV channels as a typical cable package, there are a number of differences.
First, there’s the cost. The Sling TV price of $20 (with no hidden fees, we might add) is much cheaper than most cable packages. So, you’ll likely save a lot of money with Sling as opposed to cable TV.
There’s also no contract. So, if you ever decide you want to cancel Sling TV, you can do so at any time without penalty. It’s very similar to Netflix and other on-demand streaming services in this way.
The Sling TV channels also stream over your internet connection instead of cables, and you can enjoy the service on your TV with a connected streaming device, phone, tablet, or computer, so it’s a flexible experience.
Can I Watch Sling TV on Multiple Devices Simultaneously?
This is where it can get a little tricky. The short answer is it depends on which Sling TV package you have.
If you subscribe to the Sling Orange package, you can watch included channels on only one device at a time. Simultaneous streams are restricted at this time.
However, if you are subscribed to the Blue Sling TV package, you can stream those channels on up to three devices at the same time. There is a catch, however, to add those additional streams, it will cost an extra $5 a month.
If you subscribe to both Orange and Blue, you can upgrade to four simultaneous streams for an additional $20 a month. However, some Sling TV channels (like ESPN) will still allow only one stream at a time. Yeah, we think it’s a bit annoying too.
Additionally, if you have added HBO to your subscription, you’ll be happy to know this premium channel allows three simultaneous streams.
Does Sling TV Offer a DVR?
Yes. Sling TV offers 50 hours of cloud DVR storage for an additional $5 a month, and you’re welcome to keep shows stored as long as you want. You’ll have to live with your streaming subscription costing you $5 more a month, but even with that, Sling TV is cheaper than most other streaming providers.
Can You Use Sling TV Credentials to Authenticate TV Everywhere Apps?
Currently, Sling TV subscribers can authenticate the following apps from TV Everywhere (depending on which of the Sling TV packages you have) with their login info:
WatchESPN, FOX NOW, FXNOW, E! Now, NFL Network, MSNBC Now, USANow, Oxygen, NBC Universo, Bravo, SyFy.
This list is subject to change as new Sling TV channels are added and new deals closed with network providers.
Is There a Sling TV Gift Card?
Want to gift Sling TV to a friend? Sling TV is now offering gift cards, so you can instantly give the gift of live TV to the entertainment lover in your life. Gift cards can be applied toward any Sling TV subscription and don’t require any long-term contracts, credit checks, or credit cards.
Walmart stores carry $25 Sling TV gift cards, while Best Buy and GameStop will have $25–$100 gift cards. Don’t have time to run to the store? Buy a gift card online here.
Note that when you use a gift card, you can’t take advantage of a free device sign-up offer (like the free Roku with two-month prepay deal).
How Does Sling TV Compare to Other Streaming Services?
We’re glad you asked. Our comparison pages provide an in-depth analysis to help you decide if Sling or another streaming service is right for you.