Sling Orange vs. Blue: What’s the difference?

Sling Orange vs Blue is the $30 question that new (and current) subscribers ask themselves when trying to pick which streaming package is best for them. Sling TV does offer an Orange + Blue combo pack, but that costs $45 per month, but may would rather the smaller $30 per month bill that picking either Orange or Blue gets you. But what’s the difference?

Sling TV is one of the best streaming services in the market because each tier has solid options, and the customization you get makes it all the more easier to make the particular package you need. It’s able to replace a cable package, offering you access to major networks including ESPN, AMC, CNN, Fox News, Comedy Central, Food Network, BBC America and TNT. 

Right now, Sling is offering a BOGO discount to new members, where you can get two months of the service for the price of one. Those who want their live sports may be choosing between Orange (for three ESPN channels) and Blue (NBC Sports and NFL Network, plus Fox and NBC affiliates).

In addition to watching these channels live, Sling TV allows you to record shows and movies on a Cloud DVR, so you can watch your favorite programs anytime and anywhere. Sling TV also offers premium channels and add-on packages, so you can mix and match features. And Sling is widely available on almost every device you can think of.

If you’re trying to watch Premier League live streams, you’ll want to go with Sling Blue. It’s got NBC Sports Network (NBCSN), which Sling Orange does not. Of course, Blue doesn’t have ESPN, so sports completists may want Sling Blue + Orange.

Sling Orange vs Blue are the two basic, cheaper plans and they are very similar with one big difference: the channel lineup. Read more about Sling Orange vs. Blue and learn everything else you need to know about Sling TV.

Sling Orange vs Blue: What is the Sling Orange plan?

Sling Orange used to be the cheaper of Sling’s packages, but now it costs the same as Sling Blue — $30 per month (though the first month is $10 off, at $20). Orange gives you access to 32 live channels, including ESPN, CNN, BBC America, AMC, Lifetime, TNT and TBS. You can stream only one channel at a time, whether you’re recording or watching live.

Sling Orange vs Blue: What is the Sling Blue plan?

Sling Blue costs $30 per month and gives you access to 47 live channels. However, Blue does not include every Orange channel by default; there’s no Disney and no ESPN, for starters. On the plus side, Sling Blue is a multi-stream service, which means you can access the service on up to 3 devices at once. Three different people could use the account simultaneously, or you could record three shows while you’re away, or mix and match.

Sling Blue users also have the opportunity to watch NBC stations, including NBC, USA, Bravo and SyFy.

Sling Orange vs Blue

(Image credit: Sling TV)

Sling Orange vs Blue: What is the difference?

The biggest difference between Sling Orange vs Blue is the single-stream nature of Orange versus the multi-stream nature of Blue. However, the channel selection differs as well, making it somewhat difficult to tell which service carries which programs, and which channels work with multi-stream functionality.

For example, both services can access the Pac-12 networks for college sports, as well as the Starz and Starz Encore movie channels. The pricing varies somewhat depending on the plan, though. Both Sling Orange and Blue subscribers can add NBA League Pass, which just became available on Sling, for an extra $29 per month.

Sling Orange vs Blue: Is my favorite channel available through Orange or Blue?

Consult our handy chart below to find out Sling Orange vs Blue’s channel lineups:

Sling Blue Sling Orange Sling Blue + Orange
ESPN No Yes Yes
AMC Yes Yes Yes
CNN Yes Yes Yes
FOX News Yes No Yes
MSNBC Yes No Yes
HLN Yes No Yes
HGTV Yes Yes Yes
Comedy Central Yes Yes Yes
Cartoon Network / Adult Swim Yes Yes Yes
Disney No Yes Yes
History Yes Yes Yes
ESPN2 No Yes Yes
ESPN3 No Yes Yes
TNT Yes Yes Yes
Food Network Yes Yes Yes
TBS Yes Yes Yes
BBC America Yes Yes Yes
Freeform No Yes Yes
IFC Yes Yes Yes
A&E Yes Yes Yes
Viceland Yes Yes Yes
Fuse Yes Yes Yes
Lifetime Yes Yes Yes
Travel Channel Yes Yes Yes
AXS TV Yes Yes Yes
Newsy Yes Yes Yes
Cheddar Yes Yes Yes
Bloomberg Television Yes Yes Yes
Local Now Yes Yes Yes
Fox Yes No Yes
NBC Yes No Yes
Fox Sports Yes No Yes
NFL Network Yes No Yes
NBA League Pass* Yes* Yes* Yes*
FX Yes No Yes
USA Yes No Yes
Bravo Yes No Yes
FS1 Yes No Yes
FS2 Yes No Yes
NBCSN Yes No Yes
NBC RSN Yes No Yes
FXX Yes No Yes
Tribeca Shortlist Yes Yes Yes
SyFY Yes No Yes
Nick Jr. Yes No Yes
Tru TV Yes No Yes
BET Yes No Yes
National Geographic Yes No Yes
Nat Geo Wild Yes No Yes

* for an extra $29 per month

Sling Orange vs Blue: What’s changed recently?

Last winter,  Sling added Cloud DVR as a standard feature. You get 10 hours of recording with Cloud DVR Free, and Cloud DVR Plus gives you 50 hours for  $5 per month.

Later that month, Sling Blue gained Fox News, MSNBC and HLN on the same day that Sling Blue and Orange packages got a $5 price hike, moving to $30 per month a piece. Sling Blue + Orange also costs $5 more, now at $45 per month. 

Oh, and if Sling’s prices seem cheap, that’s because of how expensive everyone else is getting. Check out our Hulu Live vs. YouTube TV vs. Sling vs. DirecTV Now face-off for more details.

Sling Orange vs Blue: Can I get both?

Yes, you don’t even have to choose Sling Orange vs Blue. In fact, Sling encourages you to, calling its $45 Orange and Blue pack its “best value.” Granted, $45 per month, plus whatever optional packages you get, put it well within the price range of a traditional cable subscription. But if you love Sling TV and want everything it has to offer, this is probably where you want to start.