Sling TV Overview
- Plans start from $30/mo.
- 5+ sports channels
- Four sports add-on packages
Boasting of impressively low rates and exceptional customizability, Sling TV may be just the thing if you’re interested in cutting the cable TV cord. The service gives you access to live TV programming from leading channels such as AMC, Bloomberg, CNN, ESPN, FOX and more. So you get to watch live sports and breaking news as well as movies and shows with your Sling TV subscription.
When it comes to sports channels, however, serious fans may find the Sling channel lineup slightly lacking. Although you can still get a decent selection of Sling sports programming, the service lacks some of the major channels and regional networks required to stream important events.
But you can still access live broadcasts of major games and national events through ESPN, FOX Sports and NBC Sports Network. And you can also watch live local games airing on regional NBCSN channels.
So although the Sling sports lineup isn’t the most robust, it still satisfies the needs of casual viewers who need a low-cost cable alternative. This post gives you a detailed look at the Sling sports offering — from the default channels to the add-on packages — so you can decide if it’s the right service for you.
How Does Sling TV Work?
Sling TV is an over-the-top streaming service that offers both live TV programming and on-demand content. It lets you watch live broadcasts of television programming as they air on cable. So you no longer need an expensive and constricting cable contract to get the live TV experience.
Plus, Sling TV also lets you access the on-demand library for many of the channels. This allows you to catch up on shows that you’ve missed and watch them at your leisure. For some channels, Sling will offer a “Lookback” feature to replay programming that aired during the past three days. Some channels even offer only on-demand programming, so you can access their content at any time.
In other words, it offers the best of both worlds. But keep in mind that Sling doesn’t have its own on-demand content library, and all the titles come from the channels in its lineup. So it relies on the networks to decide when certain titles are no longer available to watch on-demand.
Sling TV takes a slightly different approach from the usual live TV streaming services by offering a lower-priced base plan and several add-on options. Plans start from $30/mo., but you can customize them with add-on packages and premium, a-la-carte channels.
Although it doesn’t have a sports bundle per se, it lets you combine the Sling Sports Extra add-on with the other Extra packages under the Total TV Deal. This will set you back $20/mo. and comes with seven Extra add-ons and Cloud DVR Plus, which expands your storage to 50 hours.
You can also bundle it with NBA League Pass for an additional $28.99/mo. This will give you access to live NBA games from NBA TV and from the individual channels of all 30 NBA teams. But if you only want to follow one team, you can also bundle your Sling plan with NBA Team Pass instead. This will set you back an additional $17.99/mo.
Sling TV Sports Live Channel List
With channels that provide coverage spanning across various categories, Sling offers some diversity in its lineup to satisfy virtually every type of sports fan. Football fans can watch some nationally-broadcast NBA games on TNT. Plus, you also have the option to access NBA TV as an add-on channel with the Sling Sports Extra package. The Sling TV NFL channels include ESPN, FOX Sports, NBCSN and TNT.
And the service doesn’t limit its offering to just pro and major league events either, as you get to watch live broadcasts of college and high school sports. Keep in mind, however, that some of these channels don’t come by default with any of your Sling TV plans but you can get them with the Sports Extra add-on.
Since the Sling sports channel lineup doesn’t include regional FOX Sports networks, you won’t have access to some live MLB games. But you can still watch nationally-broadcast games on ESPN and MLB Network, the latter of which comes with the Sports Extra add-on.
Besides these, the Sling sports channels also give you access to golf, hockey, soccer and tennis. ACC Network, beIN SPORTS, Golf Channel, NHL Network and Tennis Channel are just a few of the other major channels in its lineup. But these are only available with the Sling Sports Extra add-on.
Sling doesn’t fall behind when it comes to niche and outdoor sports either with channels like Outside TV, Pursuit Channel and Willow Cricket available in its add-on packages. With the add-on packages, the Sling sports channel offering is pretty solid. But you’ll find the service a bit lacking in terms of regional programming. It only offers regional channels from NBC Sports Network in select markets. That means you’ll end up missing a lot of local events airing on other regional channels from AT&T SportsNet, FOX Sports, MSG and YES Network. And you won’t get these regional channels with the Sling Orange plan, so that’s another thing to consider. Plus, the regional channel availability varies by location, so you should check which ones it offers in your city.
The NBA League Pass and Team Pass add-ons further affect the regional channel availability as they let you access out-of-market NBA games. This means that you can watch live NBA games that are outside your regional television market and won’t be available with your local cable provider. But regional and national blackouts affect the programming availability under this add-on, so not every game will be accessible in every market.
The channel lineup also varies according to your Sling TV plan. While Sling Blue comes with FOX Sports and NBCSN, it doesn’t have ESPN. For that, you need the Sling Orange plan, but that means sacrificing FOX Sports and NBCSN.
This also affects the channel lineup for the Sports Extra package. So you need to carefully choose which plan to get depending on the channels you want. Alternatively, you could also get the Sling Orange + Blue plan to access the entire sports channel lineup available on Sling.
Sling TV Sports Channels
- ESPN 2
- ESPN 3
- FOX Sports 1
- NBC Sports Network
Are There Extra Sports Channels With Bundles?
Sling TV gives you a few add-on and bundle offers to expand your sports channel offering. The Sling Sports Extra add-on is a channel package that gives you access to several additional sports networks. You also have the World Sports add-on, which gives you a few additional channels to access international sports. Plus, you can bundle your Sling TV plan with NBA League Pass or NBA Team Pass.
For $10/mo., Sling TV lets you add the Sports Extra package to any of your plans. This gives you access to additional sports channels with the actual lineup varying based on which Sling plan you have.
With this add-on, Sling Orange subscribers will get 15 additional sports channels – ACC Network, ACC Network Extra, beIN SPORTS, ESPNews, ESPNU, Longhorn Network, MLB Network, MLB Strike Zone, NBA TV, NHL Network, Outside TV, Pac-12 Network, SEC Network, SEC Network+ and Tennis Channel.
For Sling Blue subscribers, the Sling Sports Extra package comes with 11 additional channels – beIN SPORTS, FOX Sports 2, Golf Channel, MLB Network, MLB Strike Zone, NBA TV, NHL Network, Olympic Channel, Outside TV, Pac-12 Network and Tennis Channel.
If you get the add-on with the Sling Orange + Blue plan, however, you won’t have to worry about missing out on any of these additional channels.
For soccer fans, Sling TV offers an excellent add-on channel package to access major international events such as La Liga and Ligue 1. The World Sports add-on costs $10/mo. and comes with eight channels to stream live cricket matches and soccer games as well as outdoor sports programming.
This includes beIN SPORTS, beIN SPORTS CONNECT, beIN SPORTS CONNECT La Liga, Nautical Channel, Outside TV, Premiere 1, Willow Cricket and Willow Xtra. Sling currently has an offer on this add-on, letting you save 50% on your first year. If you prepay for the add-on, you can get it for $60/yr., so you end up paying only $5/mo.
NBA League Pass
Sling lets you bundle your plan with NBA League Pass, a standalone streaming service for out-of-market NBA games. With this service bundle, you can now stream live NBA games of your favorite teams even if you live outside of the regional TV market. That means you can still catch up with the locally-broadcast Lakers games even if you live in North Carolina. And Cavs fans can just as well keep up with the team’s games even from California.
This add-on will cost you an additional $28.99/mo. on top of your Sling TV subscription. And you get access to 30 channels for individual NBA teams along with NBA TV. This includes the channels for:
- Atlanta Hawks
- Boston Celtics
- Brooklyn Nets
- Charlotte Hornets
- Chicago Bulls
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- Dallas Mavericks
- Denver Nuggets
- Detroit Pistons
- Golden State Warriors
- Houston Rockets
- Indiana Pacers
- Los Angeles Clippers
- Los Angeles Lakers
- Memphis Grizzlies
- Miami Heat
- Milwaukee Bucks
- Minnesota Timberwolves
- New Orleans Pelicans
- New York Knicks
- Oklahoma City Thunder
- Orlando Magic
- Philadelphia 76ers
- Phoenix Suns
- Portland Trail Blazers
- Sacramento Kings
- San Antonio Spurs
- Toronto Raptors
- Utah Jazz
- Washington Wizards
NBA Team Pass
For those who just want to follow a single NBA team, you have the option to do that without buying the full NBA League Pass package. Bundle your Sling TV subscription with the NBA Team Pass for $17.99/mo. This will come with NBA TV and the team channel of your choice. So you can choose to follow just the Bulls or the Knicks or any of the 28 other NBA teams.
Sling TV Sports Channels For Sports Fans Compared
When it comes to major sports channels like ESPN, FOX Sports and NBC Sports Network, the Sling TV lineup is more or less the same as that of key competitors such as Hulu + Live TV and fuboTV. It offers almost every national sports channel available on these two services — whether it’s through the default package or one of the add-ons.
This includes ACC Network, Big Ten Network, ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPNews, ESPNU, FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2, Golf Channel, SEC Network and Tennis Channel. There are even some aspects in which it offers a better selection than these two options, especially in comparison to Hulu + Live TV.
For instance, Sling TV allows access to important sports channels like beIN SPORTS, MLB Network, NBA TV, NHL Network, Pac-12 Network and Stadium through its add-on packages. All of these channels are missing from the Hulu + Live TV sports channel lineup. And fuboTV doesn’t offer FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2, although it provides access to the rest through its various packages.
At the same time, Sling TV doesn’t have some of the sports channels available on Hulu + Live TV such as CBS Sports Network. And when it comes to dedicated soccer channels, it can’t compare to the lineup available on fuboTV. Not to mention the exclusive sports programming on the service such as fubo Cycling.
The biggest aspect in which Sling TV falls behind is in terms of local and regional sports offerings. You only get access to regional channels from the NBC Sports Network. This pales in comparison to the robust offering of regional sports channels from Hulu + Live TV. The service gives you access to regional sports channels from FOX and NBC Sports Network as well as YES Network.
And although fuboTV doesn’t offer regional FOX Sports channels either, it still gives you access to regional sports networks beyond NBCSN. This includes AT&T SportsNet, MSG, MSG+ and NESN, with some channels being available only in select markets.
Considering all this, Sling TV makes sense as a low-cost option for casual viewers and fans of international sports. But if you’re a diehard fan of American sports, you might want to consider a more comprehensive service such as Hulu + Live TV.
Disclaimer: This article may have had additional images, links or data that was added by this site’s editor.