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- Sling TV remains one of the most affordable live TV streaming services on the market.
- There are two plans, Orange and Blue, that each cost $35 a month.
- Sling Orange has ESPN and Disney, but Sling Blue has more channels overall, including NBC and Fox.
For the money-savvy cord-cutter, Sling’s live TV streaming service is hard to beat. At $35 a month for over 30 channels, it’s easily one of the most affordable options on the market, beating competitors like Hulu + Live TV ($65/month), AT&T TV ($70/month), and YouTubeTV ($65/month) by a wide margin.
Sling TV offers two different streaming packages, Orange and Blue, each for the same $35 monthly charge following a discounted $25 fee for the first month.
Many of the channels on Orange and Blue overlap, but there are some differences that could sway you toward one package or the other. You can combine the two services for $50 a month, but that brings the cost closer to Sling’s competitors’, so you wouldn’t be saving nearly as much money as you could.
If you’re on a budget, it’s best to choose between the two Sling services, and for me, there’s a clear winner. All things considered, Sling Blue is simply the better value.
What are the channel differences between Sling Orange and Sling Blue?
Sling Orange offers the Disney Channel and other Disney-owned networks like ESPN, several ESPN secondary channels, and Freeform. Meanwhile, Sling Blue omits the Disney-owned networks in favor of more channels overall, including local NBC and Fox stations in select markets.
While the Disney content is valuable – I streamed “Halloweentown” the moment I discovered it among Sling’s on-demand offerings – with Disney Plus now in the picture, its inclusion with Sling is no longer the draw it once was. If you’re a true Disney fan, Disney Plus might be your best bet anyway.
For my money, I think Sling Blue‘s more robust channel selection is simply a better value.
Though you don’t get Disney or ESPN, Blue offers an additional 11 channels. In fact, Blue has 17 unique channels in its catalog compared to the six channels unique to Orange.
Parents and sports fans should still find plenty to watch on Blue as well, since it features Nick Jr. for the kids who might miss Disney – I was always more of a Nickelodeon kid anyway – and a host of sports channels, including Fox Sports and the NFL Network. In addition to these, Blue offers some lifestyle channels you don’t get with Orange, like USA, Bravo, and TLC.
Can I watch local channels on Sling Orange and Sling Blue?
If you’re attached to your local channels, Blue is also the clear choice, as Orange doesn’t offer local channels at all.
Blue offers local NBC and Fox channels, though you do have to live in an Designated Market Area to gain access to them. Sling lists all of the supported areas for NBC and Fox on its website. If you live outside of these regions, you unfortunately won’t have the NBC and Fox channels as part of your slate.
While the channel choices are likely going to be your main motivator for choosing Orange or Blue, they also differ in how many simultaneous streams you can watch. With Orange, you can only stream on one device at a time, while Blue allows you three, so if you have a large household or plan to share an account with a friend, Blue is your best bet.
Sling provided a login to test the service, and while I was watching on Orange, I kept getting kicked off because someone else was trying to stream on the same account. It was so annoying that I immediately knew that once I committed to cord-cutting full time, I was going with Blue and keeping my password closely guarded.
The bottom line
With two services that each cost $35 a month, most people will be better off opting for the one that gives them the the most content for their money. In this case, that’s the Sling Blue plan.
For me, Blue wins over Orange in every category. Sure, Orange gets you Disney and ESPN, but if you’re worried about kids’ content, Blue makes up for it with Nick Jr. If you’re worried about sports content, Blue includes three sports channels. With Blue, you get nearly a dozen more total channels, including local networks if you live near most major cities. Blue also allows you three simultaneous streams while Orange allows you just one, so you don’t have to worry about keeping your password locked away in a safe.
Blue simply offers more value for your money. But, if you absolutely must have Disney and ESPN on top of all the channels Blue offers, you can always combine the services for $50 a month and you won’t have to worry about missing a thing.
That said, I don’t think the $15 increase is worth it just for the ESPN and Disney channels, especially with Disney Plus now on the market. I’m sticking with Blue for now, and I’ll be over here streaming “Good Eats” on Sling On-Demand for the next several days.
Read more about Sling TV on Insider Reviews:
- A full breakdown of what channels you get with every Sling TV package, plus all the add-ons
- A full price breakdown for Sling TV packages
- Sling TV vs. FuboTV: We broke down how the 2 streaming services compare in pricing and packages