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Is Sling TV free with Amazon Prime?

Sling TV.
Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

If you’ve ever wondered whether Sling TV is free if you also have Amazon Prime, wonder no more. It is not. And that’s because they are two entirely separate services, each with its own subscription.

Here’s the deal: Sling TV is what’s known as a multiplatform video distributor, or MPVD, in industry parlance. You pay a fee every month, and Sling TV gives you access to a bunch of linear channels in return. It’s a bit like cable TV in that way, only via the internet, and you have a little more control over how much you spend every month, and also which channels you end up getting.

And that’s because Sling TV is built on two tracks — Sling Orange, and Sling Blue. Each has its own set of base channels, with a good bit of overlap (and a handful of channels that don’t overlap). Each track is plenty affordable in its own right, and you get both tracks together at a bit of a discount (which is what Sling will strongly encourage you to do). Each track also has its own set of add-ons, called Extras, that allowsyou to fill out your service with even more channels in even more categories. You’ll just want to mind what you’re spending, because all those add-ons can add up over time.

Then there’s Amazon Prime. Or, rather, Amazon Prime Video. The former is the annual subscription from Amazon that gets you all sorts of things, like faster shipping, a good bit of music, and, yes, video. And Amazon Prime Video is the service that has a bunch of movies and series available as part of that subscription, and even more available for rent or purchase. (And that’s in addition to Amazon Prime Video Channels, which is an entirely different ball of wax.)

So in that regard, Sling TV and Amazon Prime Video are somewhat similar. But otherwise, one has nothing to do with the other.

You can find Sling TV in the results if you search for it on Amazon. That’s because Sling TV has an app for devices like Amazon Fire TV, and Amazon Fire tablets. The app itself is free on those platforms. But if you want to watch Sling TV, you’ll need to have a Sling TV subscription. You can, however, still watch Sling Freestream on the Sling app that’s available on Amazon devices. That’s Sling’s free, ad-supported option that doesn’t require a subscription at all. You just fire it up and watch what you want, and in exchange you have to watch the occasional piece of advertising.

And if you want to watch something on Amazon Prime Video, you’ll need an Amazon account.

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Phil Nickinson
Section Editor, Audio/Video
Phil spent the 2000s making newspapers with the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, the 2010s with Android Central and then the…
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