Sling TV price hike is bad news for cord-cutters

The Sling TV app button on the Apple TV home screen.
(Image credit: Henry T. Casey / Tom's Guide)

Sling TV's price hike is here, and it's just the latest in an annoying trend that's seen Apple TV Plus, Disney Plus and many others raise their pricing. And it couldn't come at a worse time for Sling, whose customers may still remember losing ESPN and other Disney-owned channels for a whole weekend. 

A year after Hulu with Live TV's $5 bump (which added Disney Plus and ESPN Plus), Sling TV will cost $5 more at all three of its tiers (the same price increase Sling made in January 2021). This change is effective immediately for new subscribers.

Broken down by tier, that means Sling Orange and Blue now cost $40 per month, as opposed to $35 per month. That is a lower entry point than its competitors, and one of the top reasons Tom's Guide marks it one of the best streaming services. Sling Orange & Blue will now cost $55 per month. Check out our Sling Orange vs Blue guide to see how they differ. 

Current subscribers, according to a Sling TV blog post (opens in new tab), will feel the pain on their next bill "on or after Dec. 3, 2022." That post saw Sling TV Group President Gary Schanman passively blame the increase on the rising price of doing business: "Sling doesn’t own the networks you watch — we pay programmers for their channels, and the price of programming continues to rise."

Schanman, in an effort to stop morale from plummeting further, stated "we have a robust list of new features we’re excited to share in the future, including plans to add 150-plus new channels through 2023, new User Profiles for your household and auto Binge Watching capabilities."

Analysis: How much does this change things?

Sling's still one of the best cable TV alternatives because it's cheaper than other major live TV streaming services. It's now only cheaper by $25 per month vs YouTube TV and $30 per month vs Hulu's live TV package and Fubo TV. And it is missing some channels those services lack, most notably the ABC and CBS broadcast networks.

Personally, I'm not going to be canceling my Sling subscription for YouTube TV (my runner up in my testing) any time soon. Sling's quality is mostly-great (randomly stuttery nights are rare), and I don't need the channels that YouTube TV offers. For example, I already have Hulu in the Disney Bundle for watching ABC shows, such as Abbott Elementary.

Sling TV's price hike puts its subscribers in a tough spot. The service can raise pricing a bit, because what are they going to do? Spend even more money elsewhere?

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Henry T. Casey
Senior Editor

Henry is a senior editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.

  • Jbelkin
    The problem with Sling is their weird split so if you want to watch sports , you need both as they split up Fox, ABC/ESPN, NBC and Turner ... so outside of no CBS, you need to buy both packages but what's worse is their idiotic grid because of duplicate channels on the 2 packages, a bunch of channels are listed TWICE for no reason and there a "blank" slot that actually reads SLING BLUE STARTS BELOW that you have to toggle past ... unless you only want a small package of channels and choose just one, Sling is pretty annoying, it'd be one thing if it was $25/$50 a month as it was about 20 months ago but at $80 a month, it's too annoying.

    But at the end of the day, it's still 30-50% the price of cable and of course, with cable you're paying for the THE OUTDOOR CHANNEL Classic.
    Reply
  • aliinfl
    True, plus the other thing is to get many channels included on others like you tubetv,hulutv etc, you have to buy the add ons. We pay $21extra I think in order to get tcm, tvland,hallmark and expanded dvr, I only have blue, so with taxes now the bill is $66 which is pretty near to the others. I truly wish they would expand their colors to have one without any sports at all. Some of us dont need or want them. Much rather have only about 20 channels including tcm, hallmark, tvland, bravo, hgtv, etc for $40, than the 2 colors they offer.
    Reply