We compared Sling’s Orange and Blue streaming plans, and Blue offers the best value with more live TV channels

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Sling Orange vs. Sling Blue vs. Sling Orange and Sling Blue 4x3
  • 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.

You can find a full list of Sling Orange channels here, and a full list of Sling Blue channels here.

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.

Sling TV Review and How It works 4x3

Multi-streams

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.

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A complete price breakdown for Sling TV packages

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How Much is Sling TV 4x3

  • Sling is one of the most affordable live TV streaming platforms you can subscribe to.
  • It offers two versions of its streaming service – Orange and Blue – each for $35 a month.
  • Bundle both packages and you’ll get a bit of a discount at $50 a month.

Cord cutting – or ditching cable – is all about freeing yourself from the confines of contracts, getting rid of bulky hardware, and, most importantly, saving money. But many of the live TV streaming services out there are creeping up in price, ever closer to the threshold that might cause you to reconsider canceling that cable subscription after all.

But Sling remains one of the options on the market that is truly much cheaper than a cable subscription. Though you may make some sacrifices in the user-interface department – it’s a bit clunky and not as intuitive as some of the more expensive services – the streaming quality is top-notch, making its cost-effectiveness a no-brainer if Sling carries the channels you watch.

How much does Sling cost?

Sling offers two different channel bundles, Orange and Blue, and each one costs the same at $35 a month. While the services are largely the same, there are a few channel differences between the two packages. 

Sling Orange gives you access to a total of 33 channels, including ESPN and Disney Channel. This plan also includes 10 hours of DVR storage and support for streaming on one device at a time.

While Sling Blue doesn’t include Disney Channel or ESPN networks, it makes up for it by adding on other channels like Bravo, Discovery, NFL Network, and – in select areas only – NBC and Fox. In total, Sling Blue offers 44 channels. It includes 10 hours of DVR and supports streaming on up to three devices at the same time. 

If your little one absolutely can’t miss “DuckTales” on Disney Channel and you can’t live without “The Real Housewives” on Bravo, you can bundle the two packages together and get a small multi-service discount. Instead of paying $35 times two, the bundle package is $50 a month for around 53 channels. You can find a full list of channels on Orange and Blue here

As a special introductory offer, new Sling subscribers will get their first month of Orange or Blue for $10 off. At that price, it’s a great opportunity to see if the service is right for you without sinking a ton of cash into trying it out.

Does Sling offer add-on packages?

Additionally, Sling offers a ton of different add-on options if you want to beef up your channel selection. For $5 to $11 a month, you can add mini-bundles like Sports Extra, Kids Extra, Comedy Extra, News Extra, Lifestyle Extra, Heartland Extra, or Hollywood Extra. Each offers a handful of channels in the genre you select. 

You can get four of the mini-bundles – Kids Extra, News Extra, Lifestyle Extra, and Comedy Extra – for $13 a month. If you have the Orange + Blue bundle, the Sports Extra package – with channels like ESPNU, ESPNEWS, NBA TV, and the NHL Network – will cost you $15 extra a month.

Sling comes with 50 hours of DVR storage included, but you can upgrade to 200 hours for an additional $5 a month.

If you want to package all the extras together, Sling offers its Total TV Deal. This bundle includes all seven add-ons plus cloud DVR storage for an additional $21 a month with Orange or Blue, or an extra $27 a month with the Orange + Blue bundle.

Sling is also not slacking on their premium channel add-ons either. They offer a Showtime package for an additional $10 a month, a Starz package for $9 a month, and EPIX for $5 a month. You can also pay for an international sports add-on for $60 a year as well as add-ons from Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and South America.

What devices can I watch Sling on?

If you have a smart TV, it’s likely the Sling app is already installed, and you can start streaming right away once you sign up. Sling is also available on most streaming players, including Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast, and Apple TV.

If you don’t have any of those products, Sling has a device offer to get you streaming quickly and affordably. If you subscribe and pre-pay for two months of Sling, they’ll throw in a free AirTV Mini device. Click here for full details on current device bundles from Sling. 

All in all, Sling might not have the beautiful interface that Hulu + Live TV sports has or the channel selection that Youtube TV boasts, but for the money, Sling is the best low-cost service out there. The streaming quality is comparable to cable, and if Sling carries the channels you watch most often, the price can’t be beat.

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