Sling TV is the Original Gangster of the live TV streaming world. Started in 2015, at the end of 2018 they had over 2 million subscribers, the most of any live streaming platform.
But when you hop over to their website to sign up, Sling’s package options can seem confusing since their 2 plans are priced the same. So what’s the difference between Sling Orange and Sling Blue?
At face value: channel count. One layer under the surface: number of simultaneous streams.
But why does one have more than the other, if they both cost the same?
We slogged through every one of Sling Blue and Sling Orange’s channels to find the key differences and laid them out here. What channels go with which? Keep reading to find out and finally be able to choose the right one for you.
Sling Orange vs Sling Blue: Channel Count and Multi Streams
|Plan||Number of channels||Number of Streams|
First things first: the main difference is channel count. Sling Orange has 34 channels and Sling Blue has 49. Another noticeable difference? The number of simultaneous streams each package offers.
Sling Orange lets you stream just 1 show at a time. Sling Blue lets 3 people stream simultaneously.
There is a 3rd option here, though – Sling’s combo package, Orange + Blue. We’ll talk more about that one in a later section, but you basically get a combo of each package: 56 channels overall and Orange channels can be streamed by 1 person; Blue channels can be streamed by 3.
Sling Orange vs Sling Blue: Overall Channel Lineup
|ACC Network Extra||Yes||No|
|Nat Geo Wild||No||Yes|
Sling’s single- versus multi-stream nature for its Orange and Blue packs is a considerable difference if you have a multi-user household.
But as alluded to already, the channels each package provides are different too – and that’s why they’re priced the same. Some channels are only available with one or the other.
That said, there’s plenty of overlap in channels that are included in both. For example: TBS, History, AMC, IFC, and others like Bloomberg TV, CNN, and the Travel Channel.
Beyond these and other basics, things start to split between the two channels.
Sling Orange Vs Sling Blue: Exclusive Channels
|Orange Exclusives||Blue Exclusives|
|ACC Network Extra, Disney Channel, ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN 3, Freeform, Motor Trend||BET, Bravo, Discovery Channel, E!, FOX, FOX Sports, FS1, FS2, FX, FXX, National Geographic, Nat Geo Wild, NBC, NBC Sports, NFL Network, Nick Jr. Paramount Network, SYFY, Tru TV, USA|
To find the exact channels you’re looking for, consult the table above. We color-coded it to make things easy. But basically:
- Sling Orange: You get Disney and ESPN.
- Sling Blue: You get FOX and NBC channels, included FOX Sports channels.
Sling Orange also has channels like Freeform and Motortrend, and if you need ESPN – they’ve got ESPN 1, 2, and even 3.
But Sling Blue has more volume of FOX Sports channels, plus channels like National Geographic, Paramount Network, and SYFY.
|Add-on packages||Orange channels||Blue Channels||Prices|
|Kids||Disney Jr, Disney XD, Nick Jr, NickToons, TeenNick, Boomerang, Sling Kids, BabyTV, DuckTV||NickToons, TeenNick, Boomerang, Sling Kids, BabyTV, DuckTV||Orange/Blue - $5/mo.|
|Sports||NBA TV, SEC NEtwork, SEC NEtwork+, Pac-12, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, NHL Network, beIN Sports, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Bases Loaded, ESPN Buzzer Beater, Stadium, Outside Television, Motors TV North Am, Univision Deportes, Tennis Channel, MLB Network, MLB Strike Zone||NFL Redzone, NBA TV, NHL Network, Golf Channel, beIN Sports, Pac-12, Stadium, Univision Deportes, Outside Television, Motorsport TV, Tennis Channel, MLB Network, MLB Strike Zone||Orange - $5/mo. Blue - $10/mo.|
|World News||BBC World News, the Blaze, HLB, Fusion, euronews, News18, NDTV 24x7, RT Network, CGTN, Weather Nation, Science Channel||MSNBC, CNBC, BBC World news, the Blaze, HLN, euronews, France 24, News18, NDTV 24x7, RT Network, CGTN, Weather Nation, Science Channel||Orange/Blue - $5/mo.|
|Heartland||PixL, Family net, The Cowboy Channel, Outdoor Channel, RFD-TV, Sportsman Channel, World Fishing Network||PixL, Family net, The Cowboy Channel, Outdoor Channel, RFD-TV, Sportsman Channel, World Fishing Network||Orange/Blue - $5/mo|
|Lifestyle||VH1, E!, BET, Cooking Channel, DIY, FYI, Hallmark Channel, WE TV, Lifetime Movie Network, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, Vibrant TV, Z Living HD, Hallmark Drama||VH1, Oxygen, Cooking Channel, DIY, FYI, Hallmark Channel, WE TV, Lifetime Movie Network, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, Vibrant TV, Z Living HD, Afro, Hallmark Drama||Orange/Blue - $5/mo.|
|Comedy Plus||MTV, TruTV, Paramount Network, MTV2, CMT, Logo, GSN, TV Land||MTV, MTV2, CMT, Logo, GSN, TV Land||Orange/Blue - $5/mo.|
The channels you get with Sling’s Extra add-on paks differ based on your package, too – several of the Extra paks have 2 versions: one for Orange, one for Blue.
For example, if you grab the Kids pak with the Blue package, you’ll miss out on the Disney channels. But grab the Kids pak with Orange, and you’ll get those extra Disney channels.
Or, grab Sports – but you’ll lose all ESPN channels if you chose the Blue plan. You’ll also pay $10 for the “Blue version” of the add-on, versus the $5/month you’ll pay when you’re subscribed to Orange.
But if grab Sling’s Orange Sports Extra and you’ll lose the FOX channels: namely NFL Redzone and NFL Network, which account for the actually-decent $10/month price tag on the Blue version of the pak.
Thankfully, those are the main paks that differ depending on your chosen base. Other add-on paks, like Heartland and Lifestyle, are the same no matter which one you choose.
Sling Orange vs Sling Blue: Pricing
|Plans||Orange||Blue||Orange + Blue||Add-on Paks|
Again – basic pricing is the same for both packages. Sling seems to justify the slightly lower channel count of the Orange package with its exclusive inclusion of all Disney and ESPN channels – highly coveted ones amongst kids and sports fans alike.
And Sling TV must weigh the FOX and NBC channels included in Blue as being a little less valuable in comparison, allowing them to charge the same for 15 more channels. That’s great if you’re a fan of more of the channels included there.
While we still find the way Sling’s arranged their channel offerings between the two packages (including with the Extras), maybe they’re just trying to convert everyone to their Orange + Blue plan.
Sling Orange + Blue
If there are channels featured in one package or the other that make it hard to decide which one to go with – say, Disney with Orange, but you also want FX from Blue – you don’t have to.
Sling gives a 3rd package option: “Orange + Blue.”
But something you should know about Orange + Blue: how it works is you get access to both packages from the same account, but your number of streams doesn’t change.
Confused? We certainly were.
Basically, if you’re watching an “Orange” channel (like Freeform), only 1 person will be able to stream that channel. So your sister can’t also stream the Disney Channel (Orange) at the same time.
But if your sister wanted to stream a “Blue” channel (like Nick Jr.), they could do that. So could your mom watch National Geographic (Blue) while your dad watches SYFY (Blue).
That totals up to 4 simultaneous streams – 1 Orange, and 3 Blue. But it has to be a combo like that – you can’t stream any more Orange channels than if you were subscribed to just Orange. Nor can you stream 4 Blue channels, either.
It’s a little odd, but unless your household likes to watch more than 1 different ESPN or Disney-related channel at once, it shouldn’t be too big a deal. Only you can decide that.
When it comes down to it, there are 2 essential differences between Sling Orange and Sling Blue.
- The number of streams; and
- The specific channels included.
So if you want channels like Disney, ESPN, and Freeform – Sling Orange is your package. But if you need FX, FOX Sports, NBC, or Nat Geo Wild, then Sling Blue is your pack.
And if you want a combo? Go with Orange + Blue.
No matter which you pick, out of nearly every live TV streaming service out there – Sling TV’s price is still the cheapest you’ll find.
Is CBS on Sling TV?
No. The only major networks that Sling offers are NBC and FOX (with Blue, or Orange + Blue). To access CBS and other locals like PBS or CW, you’ll need to pick up a digital antenna.
However, Sling does offer to throw in a free digital antenna if you prepay for 2 months of service with them.