The complete guide to watching ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC with a Sling TV membership.
Table of Contents
Yes, it is possible to watch some local channels on Sling TV, but availability varies based on location, the Sling package you’re subscribed to, and which local channels you want.
The first thing you notice when studying Sling’s different packages is that Sling Orange offers no local channels, whereas Sling Blue offers FOX and NBC in “select markets only.” In the first section of this guide, we will cover the local channels available to Sling Blue subscribers and the markets where they are currently available.
Clearing up some confusion: Although there are work around that require buying special antennas, by default, Sling TV does not offer ABC or CBS local affiliates. We’ve been surprised to read a few inaccurate accounts online saying that Sling carries ABC and CBS, they do not. Some streaming blogs are likely confused because Sling carries ABC News and CBS News national broadcasts, but not the local affiliates you need to watch local news, regular programming, NFL games, and Big Noon Kickoff for college football fans.
Markets that get both Fox and NBC on Sling TV
If you live in one the major markets listed below, you will get access to your local Fox and NBC affiliate when you sign up for a Sling TV Blue or Sling Orange + Blue subscription:
- New York
- San Francisco / San Jose / Oakland
- Los Angeles
- Dallas / Ft. Worth
- Washington DC
Which markets have access to Fox on Sling TV?
As part of its “Stay in & Sling” initiative launched in 2020, Sling TV offered free news access to the general public. As part of this effort, 18 local markets received access to their local Fox affiliate through Sling. If you are a Sling subscriber and live in one of these markets, you will be able to watch your local Fox station, which is an added bonus for NFL fans especially. I’ve flagged the markets that have an NFC team whose regular season games are carried on the local Fox affiliate.
- New York (AFC/NFC)
- Charlotte (NFC)
- Philadelphia (NFC)
- Chicago (NFC)
- Detroit (NFC)
- Washington D.C. (NFC)
- Atlanta (NFC)
- Phoenix (NFC)
- Seattle (NFC)
- Los Angeles (AFC/NFC)
- Tampa (NFC)
- Dallas (NFC)
- Minneapolis / St. Paul (NFC)
- San Francisco / San Jose / Oakland (NFC)
What this means for football fans
One of the benefits of subscribing to Sling TV in one of the markets where the local Fox affiliate is carried is access to football. Fox is the home of the NFL’s NFC conference games and many of the markets listed above are home to a franchise that plays in the NFC.
If you subscribe to Sling Blue, and live in an NFC franchise NFL city, you can watch most of your favorite team’s games for just $35 per month.
Getting access to Fox also means you can watch Fox’s college football coverage, including Big Noon Kickoff.
Which markets have access to NBC on Sling TV?
The following markets will get access to their local NBC affiliates when they subscribe to Sling Blue or Sling Orange + Blue.
- New York
- Washington, D.C
- Miami/Ft. Lauderdale
- Hartford/New Haven
- Dallas/Ft. Worth
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose
- San Diego
What this means for football fans
The implications of adding local NBC affiliates to Sling are not as big for football fans as the addition of Fox, and yet, NBC does carry some football games, including Sunday Night Football, a nationally televised NFL game every Sunday night during the regular season. NBC also has the rights to a wild card playoff game, which is an added bonus.
I’m not in one of these markets, what now?
Although they represent some of the biggest cities in the country, most of us don’t live in one of Sling TV’s select local markets for Fox and NBC affiliates. For example, I am based in Wyoming, and have no option through my Sling TV subscription for any local channels. The same is true for those who live in major markets nearby, such as Bozeman, Denver, and Salt Lake City.
What can we do to get local channels through Sling?
Well, the good news for cord cutters, is that Sling has a solution. The bad news is that it costs $199, and requires buying a new device that isn’t compatible with Samsung Smart TVs.
AirTV Anywhere is an HD antenna, that connects to your home WiFi network, and that integrates directly with the Sling TV app and Sling DVR.
Installing AirTV Anywhere allows Sling users to stream their local ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC affiliates directly through the Sling app alongside their other content. When Air TV Anywhere is installed, your local channels will appear as part of the Sling TV guide, as a seamless part of the interface.
As you can see from the Sling video below, the hardware does integrate seamlessly with Sling TV and has the potential to save some users money, especially as the cost of streaming services continues to steadily increase.
The main difference between the Air TV Anywhere device, and the older Air TV 2 device, is the Air TV Anywhere doesn’t require a separate hard drive to record local channels to DVR. The Air TV Anywhere allows users to record 150 hours of local content from a built-in 1 TB hard drive.
Adding just CBS via Paramount+
If your top local channel priority is CBS, which is an important network for NFL fans in AFC franchise markets, there is an inexpensive option for getting access to CBS, although it will require subscribing to an additional service alongside Sling TV.
If you only want CBS access for NFL games, the Paramount+ Essentials Plan, at a reasonable cost of $4.99 per month, is the way to go.
If you want NFL games on CBS, plus your local affiliate, then Paramount+ Premium is the best option. Paramount+ Premium is $9.99 per month.