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Sling TV vs YouTube TV: Which Option is Best in 2024

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Wondering which service wins in the debate of Sling TV vs YouTube TV? Sling TV and YouTube TV offer a wide selection of live channels for a monthly subscription fee. Sling TV is the low-cost alternative to cable, with plans starting at $40 per month and multiple add-on options. Web-based video platform YouTube has extended its reach into live TV streaming with YouTube TV’s extensive channel lineup. 

Sling TV and YouTube TV both have plenty of programming for sports fans, newshounds, and movie buffs. Depending on the plan, Sling TV subscribers can access a wealth of content via ESPN, ESPN2, Fox Sports 1, MotorTrend, TNT, and the NFL Network. YouTube TV may have lost the MLB Network, but baseball fans can still follow their favorite teams on local networks. And starting this fall, subscribers have the option of purchasing NFL Sunday Ticket at a reduced rate. 

As a bonus, subscribers of both streaming services are not bound by long-term contracts. They can cancel anytime without the hefty fees typically associated with cutting the cord on a cable TV package. Ultimately, choosing a service depends on individual needs and preferences. Read on to find out which livestreaming service wins the battle — YouTube TV or Sling TV.

How to choose the best streaming service for you

Knowing which channels you want is the first step in selecting the streaming service that best suits your viewing preferences. Your best option to stay current with the four major sports leagues is a service with a robust sports package, while movie buffs must have a sizable on-demand library of popular and classic films. In addition to cost, you should consider how many channels are available, how much DVR space you need, and what extras come offered with each service.

Sling TV vs YouTube TV compared 

Sling TVYouTube TV
On-demand libraryYesYes
Add-on channelsYesYes
Free trialYesYes

A deeper look into Sling TV

Sling logo

For $40 per month, more than 30 channels are available on Sling TV’s Orange plan, including AMC, CNN, HGTV, Disney Channel, Freeform, A&E, and the History Channel. The Blue plan offers about 40 channels for $40 per month and swaps some of its channels from the Orange plan. The Blue plan adds FX, Bravo, and Discover Channel to the channels list

With Sling TV’s basic plans, the sports content is fairly limited. The only sports options available with the Orange plan are ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, MotorTrend, TNT, and TBS. The NFL Network, TBS, TNT, USA, and FS1 are all included in the Blue plan. The Orange & Blue plan is a hybrid of the two, so it may be wise to consider a sports add-on for an additional $11 per month if you crave all things active. 

The Sling Orange Sports Extra package features ACC Network, ACCNX, beIN SPORTS, ESPNews, ESPNU, Longhorn Network, MLB Network, MLB Network Strike Zone, NBA TV, NHL Network, Pac-12 Network, Tennis Channel, SEC Network, and SEC Network Plus.

Sling Blue’s Sports Extra add-on nets subscribers the Big Ten Network, beIN SPORTS, FS2, Golf Channel, MLB Network, MLB Network Strike Zone, NBA TV, NFL RedZone, NHL Network, Pac-12 Network, and the Tennis Channel.

The fact that Sling TV includes only 50 hours of DVR storage, far less than YouTube TV’s limitless capacity, is a significant drawback. Subscribers can, however, always opt for the DVR Plus add-on to up their storage to 200 hours for $5 monthly. Another flaw? Customers who prefer to keep their local channels may lament to learn that NBC, CBS, and ABC aren’t available in many areas. Still, Sling TV remains an attractive option thanks to its lower cost.

Further exploring YouTube TV

YouTube TV logo

For a fixed price of $72.99 per month, YouTube TV offers 100-plus live channels. The service’s extensive lineup includes local channels ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC, as well as BBC America, CNN, Disney Channel, MSNBC, TNT, and TBS. 

Sports fans can rejoice that CBS Sports Network, ESPN, ESPN2, the NFL Network, TNT, and NBA TV are all part of the package. The Sports Plus add-on bolsters the plan with beIN SPORTS, Billiard TV, Fox Soccer Plus, MAVTV Motorsports Network, NFL RedZone, Outside TV, PlayersTV, PokerGO, SportsGrid, Stadium, FanDuel TV, VSiN, Fight Network, and Impact Wrestling for $10.99 per month. 

In a coup for the streaming service, NFL Sunday Ticket is coming to YouTube TV this fall as an add-on, allowing viewers to watch every out-of-market game on a Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately for baseball fans, the MLB Network is no longer available on YouTube TV.

Unlimited DVR storage, three simultaneous streams, and up to nine months of recording storage are all included with a YouTube TV subscription. Subscribers may share up to six accounts with family or roommates. 

Sling TV vs YouTube TV: Which is cheaper?

Sling TV’s base plan is almost half the price of YouTube TV. The Sling Orange and Sling Blue plans start at $40 per month, while the combined Sling Orange & Blue costs $55. YouTube TV’s base plan costs $72.99 monthly before add-ons. 

You are not locked into a contract with either service and can pause or cancel at any time without incurring penalty fees. A subscriber’s access to Sling TV or YouTube TV will remain active until the end of the billing cycle should they pause or cancel the service.

Are streaming services worth it?

Cable or satellite TV plans can be pricey and usually include a ton of channels you don’t want or need. Livestreaming services are an excellent choice for people who want to cut the cord and save money while still accessing top-notch content. With streaming services, you can customize your channel list by eliminating those you don’t need and their additional fees. The flexibility of pausing or canceling subscriptions penalty-free is another welcome feature of these services. 

Final thoughts

Cost is where Sling TV vs YouTube TV differ most. Unlike many of its competitors, Sling TV starts off at a lower price and with a much smaller channel selection. That said, it allows users to customize their channel lineup with affordable add-on packages, including sports, comedy, kid-friendly, news, lifestyle, Hollywood, and Heartland content. The plans also cover many national and international sports events, which should please even the most fervent fans.

YouTube TV is pricier but well worth it for 100-plus channels, including NFL Network, ESPNU, TNT, NBA TV, and local networks to follow your hometown team. Another key selling point is the upcoming inclusion of the popular NFL Sunday Ticket as an add-on (at a discount for current subscribers). Unlimited DVR storage makes the deal even more appealing, but it’s important to note that YouTube TV recordings expire after nine months.


What’s the downside of YouTube TV?

Baseball fans may fret to learn that the MLB Network is no longer available on YouTube TV after Major League Baseball could not agree to renewal terms with the streaming service. Since Bally Sports and most Sportsnet RSNs are absent from the YouTube TV channel lineup, it’s also not the best option for regional sports networks. 

What streaming service is better than Sling TV?

Finding a better option than Sling TV depends on personal preference and your priorities. Sling TV’s plans are some of the most budget friendly on the market, but YouTube TV offers more channels and boasts unlimited DVR storage. 

What’s the No. 1 streaming platform?

Again, personal preference goes a long way in determining which streaming service is best. Both Sling TV and YouTube TV offer value to their subscribers. Sling TV is a low-cost and highly customizable option for budget-conscious customers, however, YouTube TV offers more content across many more channels.

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