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Does Sling TV have local channels?

The local Fox network as seen in the Sling TV live guide.
You can get a number of Fox broadcast affiliates on Sling TV, even if you don’t actually live in one of the coverage areas. Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

One of the biggest questions when it comes to getting rid of cable and switching to a streaming service is whether you can still get your local channels. With Sling TV, the answer is somewhat complicated. Yes, you can get local channels on Sling TV. But it can depend on the channel, and it can depend on where you live.

That’s in stark contrast to Sling TV’s competitors, like YouTube TV, Hulu With Live TV, and Fubo. They all have local channels, and in far more markets than Sling TV.

Here’s the deal: Sling TV streams available broadcasts from ABC, Fox, and NBC. (Need CBS? You’re out of luck. It’s not available at all as a stream on Sling TV.) But instead of Sling offering you your own local broadcast Network, it serves up multiple broadcasts from a set list of designated market areas, or DMAs. We strongly recommend checking out Sling’s page that lists which network is available from which market. The DMAs listed by Sling TV in early 2024 include Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Boston; Chicago; Dallas; Fresno, California; Gainesville, Florida; Hartford, Connecticut; Houston; Los Angeles; Miami; Milwaukee; New York City; Oakland, California; Orlando, Florida; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina; San Diego; San Francisco; San Jose, California; Seattle; Tacoma, Washington; Tampa, Florida; and Washington, D.C.

While that covers a big chunk of the U.S., it also doesn’t cover a ton of it. So if you’re counting on Sling TV for, say, your local news broadcast, you’d better cross your fingers.

There’s a way around this, though, and that’s through something called AirTV. It’s Sling TV’s branded, over-the-air tuner that lets you connect an antenna to capture your local broadcast channels. Erect an antenna, connect the cable to the AirTV box, and it all ties in to your Sling TV app. You’ll scan for channels, which will then appear in your Sling TV guide. And that should actually get you more than what you get from any of the streaming services because it’s a proper over-the-air option.

You’ll find that when it comes to local channels on Sling TV, the service will push pretty hard for AirTV, because for many people, that’s the only way they’ll be able to get local channels. And it’s not a horrible option. We’ve long been fans of over-the-air TV because once you’ve made the initial hardware purchase, everything the antenna pulls in is free.

The downsides to all this are that it’s clunky, it’s an extra purchase, and it’s more setup. And it’s going to be confusing to a lot of folks. Whereas YouTube TV and Hulu With Live TV come with local channels as soon as you start them up, Sling TV might not. While Sling TV has local channels, it might well not come with the local channels you need. and that’s before you even start talking about its lack of CBS.

So, yes. Sling TV has local channels. You just might have to work a little bit — or spend a little extra — to get them.

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Phil Nickinson
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