Sling TV Rejiggers Its Cord-Cutting Service

Posted on June 28, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Music + Videos with 10 Comments

Sling TV announced a major restructuring of its cord-cutting service, with new free and à la carte offerings. But it is also raising the price of its core subscription offering, Sling Orange, by $5, to $25 per month.

“When we first launched Sling in 2015, we set out to create an entertainment experience that put our customers first, offering unprecedented flexibility and control [with] no annual contracts, no hidden fees, and the ability to customize programming,” Sling TV president Warren Schlichting says in a prepared statement. “The new Sling evolves the experience even further by providing access to great content without anchoring customers to a base subscription.”

To date, Sling TV has offered two basic subscriptions, called Sling Orange and Sling Blue, plus a variety of extras like cloud DVR, additional genre channel packs (like sports and comedy), premium channels (HBO, Cinemax, and so on), NBA team passes, and more. The prices of all of these options will remain unchanged, save that of Sling Orange, is going up by $5 per month.

What’s new, however, is that Sling TV is now offering a selection of 100 hours of TV shows and movies for free, giving those who are not paying for the service a chance to sample it.

Additionally, Sling TV is providing select channels for purchase in à la carte form, and these are available to anyone, even those without a subscription. Dove Channel, Outside TV Features, and Stingray Karaoke are launching today, and Sling says that it will offer additional à la carte channels, like CuriosityStream, Pantaya, and Up Faith & Family, in the near future.

I am a Sling TV user—in fact, we recently dropped YouTube TV to focus solely on Sling for Internet-based live and recorded TV—so I’m pretty interested in these changes. But they don’t seem to impact my particular situation, though I might be adding Showtime for a month so we can binge-watch the latest season of Homeland.


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Comments (10)

10 responses to “Sling TV Rejiggers Its Cord-Cutting Service”

  1. rh24

    Love Sling.Tv. But I need Discovery Channel, DIY and Velocity as additional A-la-carte options! Mostly Discovery Channel! I need my Deadliest Catch and Wicked Tuna!

  2. darkgrayknight

    This looks like I'll be adding SlingTV back into our cable cutting. If I can buy one off channels, I would love to purchase just the 5-7 channels we would ever watch.

  3. lvthunder

    Homeland this season was pretty good. I hope you enjoy it.

  4. wolters

    I really, REALLY like YouTube TV but this is tempting, especially since Sling has NFL Network and Redzone and HGTV.

  5. jwpear

    I want to be able to build my own subscription--true a la cart. Why can't we get past bundles like Orange and Blue? I believe the answer is the content producers/networks, but unsure. There is content in Blue that I'd like to have, but I'm unwilling to give up Orange and unwilling to pay for both.

    The other thing they need to work on is the ability to add more than one stream. You can purchase multiple streams of Blue, but not Orangle (I think because of ESPN?). To work around this, you have to create a separate account.

  6. rheuser

    the lack of CBS is still stopping me.

  7. Bibbit

    Paul, can you get NESN with Sling? I figure that may be a network you watch. I won't use any service that doesn't offer NESN.

    • chillyfeez

      Is NESN a Fox-owned RSN? If so, and you live in its market, then yes, you'll have access to NESN. I live in NY and have Sling and I get YES and SNY (the Mets network). Sling Orange doesn't have Fox RSNs but Sling Blue ($35/mo) does. Ability to get the Yankees was a dealbreaker for me. Once I was able to get YES on Sling, I dumped cable the next day and haven't looked back. In reply to Bibbit:

  8. rheuser

    How do you get CBS and ABC when your primary source is Sling TV? Do you use an Antenna for local channels? Do you subscribe to the CBS channel separately. I would like to have one DVR to look in for what I will watch. The Sling TV DVR seems good to me but the lack of these two networks creates a big hole.

    • jwpear

      In reply to rheuser:

      I installed an Amazon antenna in the attic. Since I got rid of cable, it was easy to connect the attic antenna to all the TV's in the house. I bought a Roku TV (TCL 55P607) late last year. It really makes the experience of multiple content sources seamless. Live TV is just another app on the menu. It shows a preview of the current channel content when you "hover" over it. It also supports pausing live TV if you plug in a USB stick for storage (which I have).

      I don't DVR anything, so this works for me. If DVR is really important, then the antenna sounds like it might not be an option for you. As I understand it, some other services, like DirecTV, offer local network channels.

      I'm trying to keep my costs down (would rather spend my money on other things), so I'm sticking with Sling and the antenna. Honestly, we watch Sling, Netflix, and Amazon most of the time these days. About the only time we watch something on local OTA channels is if there's a big college football game on or a big weather threat.