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

Updated

Oct. 19 Update: This story has been updated per recent changes to the Sling channel assortments.

If you're looking to cut the cord, Sling TV offers three different tiers of service at different prices: Orange ($25), Blue ($25) and Orange + Blue ($40). But what's the difference?

Editor's Note 11/10/2018: The holidays are upon us and we're crawling the Internet to bring you the best Black Friday TV deals of the season.

Read on to find out more about Sling’s plans, and figure out what's right for you.

What Is Sling Orange?

Sling Orange used to be Sling's entry-level package, but it now costs $25 per month (up $5 from $20, after a June 28 price hike), the same as Sling Blue. Orange gives you access to 30 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.

What Is Sling Blue?

Sling Blue costs $25 per month and gives you access to 42 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 up to three channels at the same time. 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.

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What’s the Difference Between Orange and Blue?

The single-stream nature of Orange versus the multi-stream nature of Blue is the biggest difference. 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.

Is my favorite channel available through Orange or Blue?

Consult our handy chart below to find out:


Sling BlueSling OrangeSling Blue + Orange
ESPNNoYesYes
AMCYesYesYes
CNNYesYesYes
HGTVYesYesYes
Comedy CentralYesYesYes
Cartoon Network / Adult SwimYesYesYes
Disney
No
Yes
Yes
HistoryYesYesYes
ESPN2NoYesYes
ESPN3NoYesYes
TNTYesYesYes
Food NetworkYesYesYes
TBSYesYesYes
BBC AmericaYesYesYes
FreeformNoYesYes
IFCYesYesYes
A&EYesYesYes
VicelandYesYesYes
Fuse
Yes
Yes
Yes
LifetimeYesYesYes
Travel ChannelYesYesYes
AXS TVYesYesYes
NewsyYesYesYes
CheddarYesYesYes
Cheddar Big News
Yes
Yes
Yes
Bloomberg TelevisionYesYesYes
Local NowYesYesYes
FoxYesNoYes
NBCYesNoYes
Fox SportsYesNoYes
FOX RSN
Yes
No
Yes
ACC Network Extra
No
Yes
Yes
CSNYesNoYes
NFL NetworkYesNoYes
NBA League Pass*
Yes*
Yes*Yes*
FXYesNoYes
USAYesNoYes
BravoYesNoYes
FS1YesNoYes
FS2YesNoYes
NBCSNYesNoYes
NBC RSN
Yes
No
Yes
FXXYesNoYes
Tribeca Shortlist
Yes
Yes
Yes
SyFYYesNoYes
Nick Jr.YesNoYes
Tru TVYesNoYes
BETYesNoYes
National GeographicYesNoYes
Nat Geo WildYesNoYes


* for an extra $29 per month

What's changed recently?

Sling lost the Univision channels — which include El Rey — blaming Univision for a rate hike that was untenable.

On the upside, both Sling Blue and Orange have added Fuse, EPIX Drive-In and Tribeca Shortlist.

Can I Get Both Orange and Blue?

Yes; in fact, Sling encourages you to, calling its $40 Orange and Blue pack its “best value.” Granted, $40 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.