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Sling TV vs. Hulu + Live TV: Which is the Best Option

Syndication: The Abilene Reporter-News
Credit: Ronald W. Erdrich/Reporter-News / USA TODAY NETWORK

On the surface, Sling TV and Hulu + Live TV offer the same services — both provide users with a library of on-demand content as well as access to live TV channels. However, the two platforms have some important differences leading many to wonder which services wins in the battle of Sling TV vs. Hulu + Live TV. 

Sports fans, news junkies, and anyone who just wants to binge watch their favorite series might want to know which service stands above the other. Find out which of the two best suits your needs as we dissect Sling TV vs. Hulu + Live TV.

How to choose the best streaming service for you

When trying to decide on a streaming service, you need to know what you’re looking for. A streaming service that appeals primarily to sports fans, like FuboTV, isn’t going to have a lot to offer someone who just wants to curl up on a Friday night with their cat and their favorite series (or full season of said series).

Different services come with different price tags as well, so it’s important to know what your highest priority is when you’re shopping for a streaming service.

Sling TV vs. Hulu + Live TV compared 

Sling TVHulu + Live TV
On-Demand LibraryYesYes
Add-On ChannelsMany8
Free TrialNoYes

A deeper look into Sling TV

Sling TV offers a little bit for everyone depending on which plan they choose. Sling Orange, which costs $40 per month, gears itself toward sports fans and offers ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, and TBS as some of its most appealing options. For the sports fan who needs more, the Sports Extra package includes an additional 10-plus networks, including SEC Network, ACC Network, and NBA TV. 

Sling Blue runs $45 per month and aims itself more at news and entertainment audiences, offering networks like E!, MSNBC, TLC, and truTV. Sports fans will appreciate the inclusion of Fox Sports 1 (FS1), NFL Network, and the optional Sports Extra package, which includes NHL Network and Fox Sports 2 (FS2). The Sling Orange & Blue plan combines the two packages, offering a wider array of channels and options for $60 monthly. 

If you need local channels, make sure Sling offers them in your area — most Sling TV customers don’t get access to Fox, NBC, CBS, or any other local networks. Users can expect to pay a little more for their Sling TV plan in the areas where those networks exist.

Sling TV’s on-demand library can be largely described as adequate. There isn’t much to wow users, but a solid selection of movies and series is available. Every genre has at least one high-quality option for users. Sling TV users also can record 50 hours of live content via DVR storage to watch later if the on-demand options are lacking.

A deeper look into Hulu + Live TV

Everything Sling TV does, Hulu + Live TV does better — almost. Sling TV doesn’t offer local channels, while Hulu + Live TV does. However, the least expensive Hulu + Live TV plan starts at $76.99 per month, which is more than you’ll pay for Sling TV’s top-tier plan. That said, Hulu + Live TV offers about twice as many networks as Sling TV depending on the plans in question.

You can bundle your Hulu + Live TV service with Disney Plus and ESPN Plus if you need more variety. HBO Max also offers a Hulu + Live TV add-on, as does STARZ, Cinemax, and SHOWTIME.

Hulu + Live TV includes all the sports networks Sling TV does and more. Sports fans will find ABC, CBS, ESPN, ESPN2, FS1, FS2, TNT, TBS, NFL Network, SEC Network, local and regional sports networks, or even more with the Sports Add-on, which includes FanDuel TV and NFL RedZone.

Hulu + Live TV also includes Hulu’s extensive on-demand streaming library, which dwarfs that offered by Sling TV. If you can’t find something to watch on Hulu, chances are you’ve not looked hard enough. 

Sling TV vs. Hulu + Live TV: Which is cheaper?

Sling TV offers a cheaper base plan — Sling Orange starting at $40 and Sling Blue costing $40 per month, while Sling Orange & Blue costs $55 per month. Hulu + Live TV plans start at $76.99 per month and reach as high as $82.99 a month before add-ons.

For less than a basic Hulu + Live TV plan offering 95-plus channels, you can subscribe to a Sling Orange & Blue plan with two add-on packages and get almost as many channels. They’re pretty well-matched in terms of value, and you can cancel or pause either service at your discretion. 

Are streaming services worth it?

Cable or satellite TV plans are expensive and can include tons of channels you don’t want or need. Streaming services allow you to tailor your channel list, pruning away the ones you don’t want and their extra costs. In the end, those added savings make streaming services worth it.

Final thoughts

Overall, both Sling TV and Hulu + Live TV are excellent platforms that provide good value for their costs. The main difference is price, with Hulu + Live TV costing more but also offering more.

If Sling TV offers everything you need, then it’s an excellent low-cost alternative to streaming services like Hulu + Live TV, which can start to cost as much as a cable TV plan. 


Is Sling TV better than Hulu Live?

Sling TV is less expensive than Hulu + Live TV, however, Sling TV doesn’t offer all the channels Hulu + Live TV offers. 

What’s the downside of Hulu + Live TV?

Hulu + Live TV is an expensive streaming service. Sling TV offers many of the same networks as Hulu + Live TV for a fraction of the cost. 

What are the disadvantages of Sling TV?

Sling TV doesn’t offer local networks in all areas like Hulu + Live TV does. Also, Sling TV’s on-demand library isn’t as extensive as many other streaming platforms.

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