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Cord cutting — or ditching cable — is all about freeing yourself from the confines of contracts, ditching 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 cancelling 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.
Updated 8/20/2020 by Kevin Webb: Updated language for accuracy and timeliness. Added new link for additional information in the article’s summary.
How much does Sling cost?
Sling offers two different channel bundles, Orange and Blue, and each one costs the same at $30 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 ESPN and Disney. While Sling Blue doesn’t include those, it makes up for it by adding on Bravo, Discovery, FX, AMC and, in select areas only, NBC. For a full list of channels on Orange and Blue, click here. Sling Orange only lets you stream on one device at a time, while Blue lets you watch on three devices simultaneously.
If your little one absolutely can’t miss “DuckTales” on Disney and you can’t live without “The Real Housewives” on Bravo, you can bundle the two packages into Orange + Blue and get a small multi-service discount. Instead of paying $30 times two, the bundle package is $45 a month.
As a special introductory offer, new Sling subscribers will get their first month of Orange or Blue for just $20 or the Orange + Blue bundle for $35. 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.
Additionally, Sling offers a ton of different ad-on options if you want to beef up your channel selection. For $5 to $10 a month each, 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.
Sling comes with ten hours of DVR storage included, but you can upgrade to 50 hours for an additional $5 a month.
If you want to package all the extras together, Sling offers its Total TV Deal, which is all seven add-ons plus cloud DVR storage for an additional $20 a month with Orange or Blue, or an extra $25 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.
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. If not, Sling’s got some device offers to get you streaming quickly and affordably. If you subscribe and pre-pay for two months of Sling, they’ll throw in a free Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K or AirTV Mini. 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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