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

Sling Orange vs Blue

Sling Orange vs Blue is a debate many will have when trying to decide which package of the more-affordable live TV service they should get. Yes, both cord-cutters and YouTube TV and Hulu with Live TV (both $65 per month) will save with one of Sling's entry-level packages, which cost $35 per month. And since only one of these two packages has ESPN, sports fans may have an easy choice set out for them. Sling's proven the place to watch the NBA playoff live streams, as ABC games are on ESPN3.

That said, if you also need network TV, it may be worth it to spend a little more to to get the Sling TV Orange + Blue combo pack. 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. That way, you can make the Sling Orange vs. Blue decision, and then not worry if you have the wrong collection of channels.

At the time of publishing, neither Sling Orange nor Blue have a free trial, though , Sling is offering a $25 off offer to new members, where the first month is just $10. Live sports makes Sling Orange vs. Blue a tricky question, as you may want both Orange (for three ESPN channels) and Blue (for 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 — $35 per month. 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 TVView Deal

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

Sling Blue costs $35 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 BlueSling OrangeSling Blue + Orange
FOX NewsYesNoYes
Comedy CentralYesYesYes
Cartoon Network / Adult SwimYesYesYes
Food NetworkYesYesYes
BBC AmericaYesYesYes
Travel ChannelYesYesYes
Bloomberg TelevisionYesYesYes
Local NowYesYesYes
Fox SportsYesNoYes
NFL NetworkYesNoYes
NBA League Pass*
Tribeca Shortlist
Nick Jr.YesNoYes
Tru TVYesNoYes
National GeographicYesNoYes
Nat Geo WildYesNoYes

* for an extra $29 per month

Sling Orange vs Blue: What's changed recently?

In January 2021, Sling increased pricing and its DVR caps. Now, Sling Orange and Blue are $35 a piece for new subscribers, or $50 in the combined Sling Orange + Blue package. You now get 50 hours of recording with Cloud DVR Free, and Cloud DVR Plus gives you 200 hours for $5 per month — formerly it was 10 hours for free and 50 for $5.

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 $50 Orange and Blue pack its “best value.” Granted, $50 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.

Henry T. Casey

Henry is an editor writer at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and Apple. Prior to joining Tom's Guide — where he's the self-described Rare Oreo Expert — he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. You can find him at your local pro wrestling events, and looking for the headphone adapter that he unplugged from his iPhone.

  • Mark Spoonauer
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