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Sling TV Sports Review 2023: Channels, Packages, NFL, and More - Streaming Stadium

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Sling TV Sports Review 2023: Channels, Packages, NFL, and More

Written by John O'Connor

Last updated on

Sling TV, through its base Orange and Blue packages, is the closest thing we have to the dream of an à la carte live TV streaming service. Sling TV offers a lot of value for sports fans, and at a fair price. Read on to learn which Sling TV plan is right for you.

Sling TV sports review
Sling TV review for sports fans in 2023
Table of Contents
  1. Sling TV Pros
  2. Sling TV Cons
  3. Sling Blue vs. Sling Orange: Key Differences
  4. Sling TV sports channels by package
  5. Our Experience With Sling TV
  6. Watching sports on Sling TV
  7. Sling TV features
  8. Sling TV FAQ

I have been using Sling TV for a number of years now. In fact, Sling TV was a go to live streaming option for me way before I founded Streaming Stadium and went down the streaming rabbit hole.

Sling TV Pros

  • NFL and Premier League fans in markets where Sling carries FOX and NBC
  • Minimalists who want à la carte TV
  • Value seekers
  • Families who want robust parental controls

Sling TV Cons

  • Missing ABC and CBS without adding an air antenna
  • Major gaps in nationally televised sports coverage, including NFL, NCAAF, and March Madness games
  • Sling Orange only allows to stream to one device at a time
  • Limited library of content compared to some competitors
  • Paired down mobile experience
  • Inability to create multiple profiles

In an increasingly crowded live TV streaming market, the appeal of Sling, and the reason I signed up originally years ago, is the minimalism the platform offers. Sling is TV one of the best options for people who want access to the news, an extensive lineup of sporting events, and the option of on-demand content, but who don’t want to break the bank.

Further, the option of going with either Sling Blue or Orange, both of which offer an edited selection of channels at a fair price, is about as close as one can get to the dream of an à la carte TV experience. By choosing the news heavy option of Sling Blue, users can get all major cable news outlets, or for a more sports centric experience, Sling Orange offers ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN3. In markets where Sling offers FOX, the platform is a great value for NFL fans. For example, we recommend Sling for Dallas Cowboys fans.

In the time I have used Sling, it was always as a Blue & Orange subscriber.

Sling TV Sports Review 2023: Channels, Packages, NFL, and More logo

Sling Orange & Blue

$50 / month

  • ABC
  • CBS
  • ESPN
  • FS1
  • NFL Network
  • NHL Network
Sling TV Orange logo

Sling Orange

$35 / month

  • ABC
  • CBS
  • ESPN
  • FS1
  • NFL Network
  • NHL Network
Sling TV Blue logo

Sling Blue

$35 / month

  • ABC
  • CBS
  • ESPN
  • FS1
  • NFL Network
  • NHL Network

As we just established, Sling TV has two basic packages named Blue and Orange, both offered at the very affordable rate of $35 per month. You can combine these two packages for an additional $15 per month.

Whether you choose Blue or Orange, the only major difference is the channel roster and the number of devices permitted to stream the content. The user experience and picture quality are identical between the two packages. Both options now offer 50 hours of DVR storage, and that can be upgraded to 200 hours of storage with Sling DVR Plus.

Sling Blue vs. Sling Orange: Key Differences

Sling Orange comes with 32 channels by default and only allows one device to stream at a time. Sling Orange is better for sports.

Sling Blue comes with 43 channels by default and allows 3 simultaneous devices to stream content. Sling Blue is better for news.

A big part of the reason that Sling Orange is the same price as Sling Blue despite having fewer channels is ESPN. Sling Orange comes with ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN3.

Notably, Sling Orange does not come with MSNBC or Fox News, and only carries BBC America and CNN, which will be a plus for some viewers who want to avoid the constant barrage of our 24/7 news cycle. Conversely, if you are a cable news junkie, then Sling Blue is the better choice.

Users have the option of getting both Orange and Blue for an extra $15 per month.

Sling TV sports channels by package

In the easy to use table below, we list all of the sports channels that are available on the various Sling TV packages. Some of you will notice that Sling Orange and Sling Blue have different options for the Sports Extra add-on. To put a finer point on it, Sling TV Orange subscribers can’t get the same Sports Extra channel lineup that Blue subscribers get.

For example, Sling Blue users can add Big Ten Network and FS1 to their channel lineup by paying for Sports Extra, but Orange subscribers can’t add the Big Ten Network or FS1. This arrangement makes it hard to watch Big Ten Football on Sling TV because it divides key sports channels into different packages. Orange users who are Big Ten Football fans would intuitively want to add Big Ten Network and FS1 since these channels carry Big Ten games. We’d like to see Sling make both Sports Extra channel lineups available regardless of whether the user signed up for Sling Orange or Blue.

Sling BlueSling OrangeSling Orange & BlueBlue Sports ExtraOrange Sports ExtraOrange & Blue Sports Extra
ABC ABC
ACC Network ACC Network
ACC Network Extra ACC Network Extra
AMC AMC
beIN Sports beIN Sports
Big 10 Network Big 10 Network
CBS CBS
ESPN ESPN
ESPN2 ESPN2
ESPN3 ESPN3
ESPNEWS ESPNEWS
ESPNU ESPNU
FOX FOX
FS1 FS1
FS2 FS2
Golf Channel Golf Channel
Longhorn Network Longhorn Network
MLB Network MLB Network
NBA TV NBA TV
NFL RedZone NFL RedZone
NHL Network NHL Network
Olympic Channel Olympic Channel
Pac-12 Network Pac-12 Network
SEC Network SEC Network
TBS TBS
Tennis Channel Tennis Channel
TNT TNT
USA Network USA Network

Our Experience With Sling TV

For this review, we played around with different subscription options, testing out what our Sling experience would look like if we downgraded to just Sling Blue.

Immediately, one of the things we liked most about Sling was the à la carte focus, which, to the greatest extent available in the world of streaming, offers subscribers the opportunity to only sign up for channels they want, and leave behind the ones they don’t.

Sling setup and personalization process

After choosing the Blue plan, we were offered a bevy of small upgrades for channels, and packages of channels, that appeal to niche audiences. For example, users have the option of pairing the Sling Blue or Orange subscription with fun upgrades, known as Extras.

One Extra, called Total TV Plus at $21 per month, comes with the upgraded 200 hour DVR option, plus a great sports upgrade for college sports fans, family programming, extra comedy streaming options, and more.

Each of the Total TV Plus options are then also available as à la carte add-ons, so sports fans can get just the Sports Extra package for $11 per month. I’ve included a screenshot of the available Sports Extra channels offered through Sling below. NHL Network is an interesting option as an upgrade because it offers the ability to stream NHL games that are blacked out on ESPN+.

Sling TV allows for subscribers to add a la carte “Extras” to either an Orange or Blue subscription. Here we highlight the additional sports channels available with the Sports Extra package.

Sling users also have the option of purchasing one-off channels, like BET, or premium movie channels like Showtime, AMC, and Starz for between $7-10 per month. The overall level of customization for channel shopping is impressive.

For example, one pairing option is Sling Orange plus IFC Films unlimited, which is a fun library of independent film titles, for an additional $6 per month.

Sling doesn’t allow multiple user profiles within an account

Note: One major drawback with Sling is the inability to setup multiple user profiles. For a siloed content experience, each main user would have to create their own Sling subscription. This means that multiple people logging into and watching Sling will have to do so from one cluttered account resulting in a shared DVR and shared favorite channels.

Sling DVR Options

The “out of the box” basic Sling DVR functionality comes with 50 hours of cloud storage.

For an additional $5 per month with DVR Plus, Sling upgrades users to 200 hours of DVR storage per month.

Once a Sling user starts recording content to the DVR, Sling conveniently adds a “My DVR” section to its rows of content types and options. Of all the live TV streaming platforms we reviewed, we found accessing DVR content was the easiest with Sling. I really appreciated how seamlessly Sling integrates its DVR feature into the primary user dashboard.

Sling’s interface seamlessly integrates DVR recordings and makes it easy to keep favorite channels at the top of the queue for easy access.

Sling TV Channels

Below, we have laid out the channel options for Sling Orange vs. Blue. If you choose to upgrade to the combo package, which is aptly named Sling Orange & Blue, you will get all these channels for an additional $15 per month.

ChannelSling TV OrangeSling TV Blue
A&EYesYes
AMCYes Yes
AXS TVYes Yes
BBC AmericaYes Yes
BETYes Yes
Bloomberg TelevisionYes Yes
BravoNoYes
CNNYesYes
Cartoon NetworkYes Yes
CheddarYes Yes
Comedy CentralYesYes
CometYesYes
Discovery ChannelNoYes
Disney ChannelYesNo
E!NoYes
EPIX Drive-InYesYes
ESPNYesNo
ESPN2YesNo
ESPN3YesNo
FOX (Select Markets)NoYes
FOX Sports 1NoYes
FXNoYes
Food NetworkYesYes
Fox NewsNoYes
FreeformYesNo
FuseYesYes
HGTVYesYes
HLNNoYes
History ChannelYesYes
IFCYesYes
Investigation DiscoveryYesYes
LifetimeYesYes
Local NowYesYes
MSNBCNoYes
MotorTrendYesNo
NBC (Select Markets)NoYes
NBC Sports NetworkNoYes
NFL NetworkNoYes
National GeographicNoYes
Nick Jr.YesYes
SYFYNoYes
StadiumYesYes
TBSYesYes
TLCNoYes
TNTYesYes
Travel ChannelYesYes
USANoYes
ViceYesYes
truTVNoYes
Sling Orange vs. Blue channel comparison.

Watching sports on Sling TV

Below, we have summarized every sports package offered by Sling so sports fans can easily compare add-ons.

Sling Orange & Blue Sports Extra logo

Orange & Blue Sports Extra

$65 / month

  • ACC Network
  • ACC Network Extra
  • beIN Sports
  • Big 10 Network
  • ESPNEWS
  • ESPNU
  • FS2
  • Golf Channel
  • Longhorn Network
  • MLB Network
  • NBA TV
  • NFL RedZone
  • NHL Network
  • Olympic Channel
  • Pac-12 Network
  • SEC Network
  • Tennis Channel
Sling Blue Sports Extra logo

Blue Sports Extra

$46 / month

  • ACC Network
  • ACC Network Extra
  • beIN Sports
  • Big 10 Network
  • ESPNEWS
  • ESPNU
  • FS2
  • Golf Channel
  • Longhorn Network
  • MLB Network
  • NBA TV
  • NFL RedZone
  • NHL Network
  • Olympic Channel
  • Pac-12 Network
  • SEC Network
  • Tennis Channel
Sling Orange Sports Extra logo

Orange Sports Extra

$46 / month

  • ACC Network
  • ACC Network Extra
  • beIN Sports
  • Big 10 Network
  • ESPNEWS
  • ESPNU
  • FS2
  • Golf Channel
  • Longhorn Network
  • MLB Network
  • NBA TV
  • NFL RedZone
  • NHL Network
  • Olympic Channel
  • Pac-12 Network
  • SEC Network
  • Tennis Channel

Of all the channels available on Sling, I find myself gravitating to ESPN by far the most. Sling offers a nice, simple option for tuning into Monday Night Football, college football, and a decent number of nationally televised NHL games, as well as some NBA matchups through TNT.

There are also some interesting, and relatively obscure, college basketball options through ESPN3.

Note: if you are an “in-market” NBA, NHL, or MLB fan, Sling is not a good option as the platform does not carry a single RSN, which are the local cable channels that carry regular season professional basketball, hockey, and baseball.

Streaming Sling TV content on the web

Sling offers a good experience for subscribers who want to stream content on a laptop or desktop computer. The omni-present channel bar at the top of the page allows for easy scrolling through the various channel options included in your package. By selecting the “All Channels” icon at the upper left hand corner of the screen, users can filter channels by type. For example, users can select just the sports channels, or just kids, or movies.

Sling TV includes a convenient channel menu bar at the top of the page.

Sling is one of our favorite platforms for streaming content on the web.

Sling TV Mobile App

The Sling TV mobile app is basic compared to some competitors, but it works for Sling because of their more limited content library. The app is built for function not style, and has a utilitarian feel, yet it’s easy to use, and the more I watched mobile content on Sling, the better I liked it.

As I did with all of the streaming apps I tested, I used Apple AirPlay to stream content to our living room TV using an older Apple TV. The picture quality and experience was solid. Sling also keeps up with the competition by offering picture in picture for mobile users.

Sling On-Demand vs. Rentals

Sling also offers a library of on-demand content, which is separate from its Rental library. Both options are available as primary navigation options at the top of your screen, so they are easy to find.

Sling On-Demand is a feature for free movies and TV shows, content which can be added to the DVR.

Sling Rentals are pay to watch content, usually ranging in price from $3.99 to $19.99 in some cases for a single title. Once rented, subscribers have 30 days to watch Sling rentals.

Sling TV features

Sling TV carries some unique features that other providers don’t offer, one of which is the Sling Watch Party feature.

Sling TV Watch Party

Watch Party allows families to watch a movie or game together through a Zoom like feed. I also wrote a guide on how to start a Sling Watch Party. Unfortunately, the maximum number of viewers is 4.

Sling TV Parental Controls

As a new Dad, one of the features I have reviewed carefully while using every single streaming platform is parental controls. Sling TV has the best parental controls I have seen since using DirecTV. Their settings allow parents to protect accounts with a PIN and also offer a parental filter by type of content, meaning you can block all R rated or NC-17 content for example. Sling is to be congratulated for best in class parental controls. If parental controls are your main priority, Sling is the winner for live TV streaming with peace of mind.

Sling TV FAQ

Still have questions about using Sling TV? We have you covered below.

Does Sling TV stream in 4k?

No, Sling doesn’t currently offer streaming content in 4k. Sling’s live TV streaming is in 720p, and the platform offers a nice selection of HD options.

How do I cancel my Sling account?

After reviewing the deliberately difficult cancellation process at DirecTV, which requires an annoying “chat to cancel” feature, providers like Sling, who offer a transparent cancellation process are appreciated. It is very easy and straightforward to cancel a Sling membership from the account dashboard.

Does Sling TV play ads?

Yes, Sling’s live TV programming plays ads. The on-demand paid rental library does not.

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