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, 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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