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

Sling Orange vs Blue is a question that may leave you cross-eyed, but we're here to help you out. Sling TV, one of the best cable TV alternative, is both popular and customizable. Depending on what you need, you can either subscribe to one of its $40 per month Blue and Orange packages, or get them both in a combined $55 option. If you have Blue, though, you may be paying more soon, as detailed below. 

When you sign up, you'll either get an offer for $10 off or 50 percent off your first month. The latter is better, and it's going on right now. Keep up to date with the latest deals on our Sling TV promo codes page. 

Even without any sale, Sling is more affordable than the $73 per month YouTube TV and $77 Hulu with Live TV. That said, when Sling Orange & Blue is only $18 less than YouTube TV, it's not the super-budget alternative it used to be. We have a comprehensive YouTube TV vs. Sling TV face-off to show how Sling differs from its next-pricier competitor. 

Picking Sling Blue or Orange one is a little complicated, as sports fans can tell you. While the NFL is currently in the off-season, pigskin fans can tell you that NFL live streams require both, as FOX and NBC are on Sling TV Blue and ESPN is on Orange. The issues stack up if you're a fan of multiple sports as NBA live streams and Premier League live streams fall on opposite sides, pushing many towards Sling Orange & Blue

Available on all of the best streaming devices, 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. For example Cartoon Network is on both Sling Orange and Sling Blue, so you'll be able to watch Rick and Morty season 7 on both when it comes back.

That way, you can make the Sling Orange vs. Blue decision, and then not worry if you have the wrong collection of channels. And we break all the other facets down in our Sling TV review. Curious about how they stack up against the field? Our Sling vs YouTube TV vs Hulu vs Fubo vs DirecTV face off compares the top 100 channels across services.

Sling Orange vs Blue is a battle of the service's 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?

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Sling Orange used to be the cheaper of Sling's packages, but now it costs the same as Sling Blue — $40 per month. Orange gives you access to 31 live channels, including ESPN, Freeform, Disney Channel and CNN. Want more than that? Check out our picks for the best Hulu movies

You can stream only one channel at a time, whether you’re recording or watching live.

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

Sling Blue costs $40 per month and gives you access to 41 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 option, 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 costs more for users in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose — $45 per month and $60 for the combined Sling Orange & Blue. That's due to getting ABC. Those in Fresno, Houston and Raleigh will get ABC without the price hike.

Sling Blue users also have the opportunity to watch NBC stations, including NBC, USA, Bravo and SyFy. Also, Fox News and MSNBC, which never agree on anything, are both only on Sling Blue, with neither on Orange.

If even these packages are too pricey, check out our Philo review to see if the $25 service has the channels you need.

Sling is on a TV while family surround it.

(Image credit: Sling TV)

Sling Orange vs Blue: What is the difference?

Outside of channels, 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 add on 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:

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Row 0 - Cell 0 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*Yes*Yes*Yes*
FXXYes (with Blue's Hollywood Extra)NoYes
Tribeca ShortlistYesYesYes
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 November 2022, a Sling TV price hike increased pricing. Now, Sling Orange and Blue are $40 a piece for new subscribers, or $55 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 YouTube TV vs. Sling TV face-off for more details about how it stacks up the next-pricier option.

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 $55 Orange and Blue pack its “best value.” Granted, $55 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. Once you sign up, check out our guide for how to record shows on Sling TV.

Kelly Woo
Streaming Editor

Kelly is the streaming channel editor for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.

With contributions from