Sling TV Orange or Sling Blue: Which one is the right choice for you?

sling tv

Dish Network’s Sling TV service offers something cord-cutters have dreamed of for years: live TV and sports without the need for pricey cable or satellite packages. One major strength of Sling TV is that it offers programming in relatively bite-sized packages, rather than one major glut of channels, letting users pick and choose the channels best suited to them. The only problem is that it isn’t always easy to figure out which packages are best for you.

To get started with Sling TV, you’ll need to choose between two base packages: Sling Orange ($20 per month) and Sling Blue ($25 per month). Which one do you pick? Or should you bundle both for $40? The answer really depends on your needs and preferences. In this quick guide, we’ll explain the benefits of each so you can make the right decision and raise your cord-cutter game.

What you get with either

If your channel needs are fairly simple, the choice between Sling Orange and Sling Blue could be an easy one, as there are a fair amount of channels included in both packages. These include coveted cable news channels like Bloomberg and CNN, lifestyle programming like the Food Network and Travel Channel, and popular cable staples like AMC, IFC, TBS, TNT, and History. That said, there are some essential differences between the two.

Major differences between Sling Orange and Sling Blue

How many streams?

Before we get to programming differences, there is one major difference between Sling Orange and Sling Blue that potential customers need to be aware of at the outset: the number of devices that can stream Sling TV at once. Sling Orange is limited to a single stream, meaning you’ll be limited to watching on one device at a time. Sling Blue offers up to three streams, making it a better option for larger households. If you’re only ever watching on one TV or mobile device at a time, this may not matter, but it’s definitely worth keeping in mind.

Sling Orange programming

Number of streams aside, if you’re a fan of all things sport, Sling Orange may be your best choice. That’s because it’s the only one of the two to feature Disney’s suite of ESPN channels, including ESPN, ESPN2, and the generally online-only ESPN3, all loaded into Sling Orange’s $20 per month core price tag. Speaking of Disney, Sling Orange will also land you other Disney properties, including Disney Channel and the family-friendly FreeForm (formerly ABC Family) network, which aren’t available on Sling Blue alone.

Sling Blue programming

While it may not have the coveted ESPN lineup, Sling Blue makes up for this in terms of its sheer wealth of channels, not to mention the multiple streams mentioned above. In place of ESPN programming, Sling Blue offers NFL Network, as well as multiple Fox sports networks. Also, and this is key, Sling Blue is the only way to get the NFL RedZone channel, available as an add-on in Blue’s add-on Sports Extra package, which we’ll discuss below. Meanwhile, a substantial amount of popular channels like Bravo, FX, FXX, Syfy, and USA are also included — so, while you give up ESPN, you get a lot in return.

Extra channel packages

Now that we’ve looked a Sling TV’s core packages, it’s time to start thinking about add-ons for the perfect blend of content. Some packages, like Hollywood Extra — which offers movie channels like Epix, Sundance, and Turner Classic Movies — are exactly the same. Others, like Kids Extra, vary based on the package — you’ll need Sling Orange in order to have access to the additional Disney children’s channels, for example.

Sling Blue also offers fewer channels in its Sports Extra package, but it costs twice as much as Sling Orange’s Sports Extra Package, at $10 per month. That’s due to the inclusion of the all-powerful NFL RedZone channel, which lets you watch a smorgasbord of scoring plays from every NFL team every Sunday, without commercials. Meanwhile, Sling Orange’s $5 Sports Extra package grants customers even more ESPN channels, including ESPNEWS, ESPNU, and a handful of seasonal sport-specific channels, but no RedZone.

Best of both worlds

A lot of Sling TV’s marketing focuses on how little it costs per month, but if you want the best of what it has to offer, you’ll want to subscribe to both Sling Orange and Sling Blue, bringing the price a lot closer to what you’d pay for cable, at $40 per month (plus your internet fees, of course). While the $5 bundling discount isn’t the deal of the century, getting both also gives access to all of the channels available in the add-on packages.

For a full rundown of the base channels available in either Sling Blue, Sling Orange, or both, see below.

If you’re still left wondering if Sling TV is right for you, make sure to check out our complete guide to the service, which includes a full channel list and other info, including which channels allow for time-shifting, and more.

Full channel listings by package

Sling Orange Sling Blue Sling Orange and Blue
ABC  Yes  No  Yes
A&E  Yes  Yes  Yes
AMC  Yes  Yes  Yes
AXS TV  Yes  Yes  Yes
Baby TV  Yes  Yes  Yes
BBC America  Yes  Yes  Yes
BBC Cbeebies  Yes  Yes  Yes
BBC World News  Yes  Yes  Yes
Bein Sports  Yes  Yes  Yes
BET  Yes  Yes  Yes
Bloomberg TV  Yes  Yes  Yes
Bloomberg TV El Financiero  Yes  Yes  Yes
Boomerang  Yes  Yes  Yes
Bravo  No  Yes  Yes
Cartoon Network / Adult Swim  Yes  Yes  Yes
Cheddar  Yes  Yes  Yes
Cine Latino  Yes  Yes  Yes
Cine Sony  Yes  Yes  Yes
CMT  Yes  Yes  Yes
CNBC  No  Yes  Yes
CNN  Yes  Yes  Yes
CSN  No  Yes  Yes
Comedy Central  Yes  Yes  Yes
Cooking Channel  Yes  Yes  Yes
Cowboy Channel  Yes  Yes  Yes
De Pelicula  Yes  Yes  Yes
De Pelicula Classico  Yes  Yes  Yes
Disney Channel  Yes  No  Yes
Disney Junior  Yes  No  Yes
Disney XD  Yes  No  Yes
DIY NEtwork  Yes  Yes  Yes
Duck TV  Yes  Yes  Yes
E!  No  Yes  Yes
Epix Drive-In  Yes  Yes  Yes
El Ray Network  Yes  Yes  Yes
ESPN  Yes  No  Yes
ESPN 2  Yes  No  Yes
ESPN 3  Yes  No  Yes
ESPN ACC Extra  Yes  No  Yes
ESPN SEC  Yes  No  Yes
ESPN U  Yes  No  Yes
ESPNEWS  Yes  No  Yes
Euronews  Yes  Yes  Yes
Fandor  Yes  Yes  Yes
Flama  Yes  Yes  Yes
Food Network  Yes  Yes  Yes
Fox  No  Yes  Yes
Fox Sports  No  Yes  Yes
Freeform  Yes  No  Yes
FS1  No  Yes  Yes
FS2  No  Yes  Yes
FX  No  Yes  Yes
FXX  No  Yes  Yes
FYI  Yes  Yes  Yes
Galavision  Yes  Yes  Yes
Golf Channel  No  Yes  Yes
GSN  Yes  Yes  Yes
Hallmark Channel  Yes  Yes  Yes
Hallmark Drama  Yes  Yes  Yes
Hallmark Movies & Mysteries  Yes  Yes  Yes
HDNET Movies  Yes  Yes  Yes
HGTV  yes  Yes  Yes
History  Yes  Yes  Yes
HLN  Yes  Yes  Yes
IFC  Yes  Yes  Yes
Lifetime  Yes  Yes  Yes
Lifetime Movies  Yes  Yes  Yes
Local Now  Yes  Yes  Yes
Logo  Yes  Yes  Yes
Motorsport.tv  Yes  Yes  Yes
MSNBC  No  Yes  Yes
MTV  Yes  Yes  Yes
MTV2  Yes  Yes  Yes
National Geographic  No  Yes  Yes
Nat Geo Wild  Yes  Yes  Yes
NBA TV  Yes  Yes  Yes
NBC  No  Yes  Yes
NBC Sports  No  Yes  Yes
Newsy  Yes  Yes  Yes
NFL Network  No  Yes  Yes
NFL Red Zone  No  Yes  Yes
NHL Network  Yes  Yes  Yes
Nick Jr.  Yes  Yes  Yes
Nicktoons  Yes  Yes  Yes
Olympic Channel  No  Yes  Yes
Outdoor Channel  Yes  Yes  Yes
Pac 12 Network  Yes  Yes  Yes
Pixl  Yes  Yes  Yes
RideTV  Yes  Yes  Yes
RFD TV  Yes  Yes  Yes
Shortlist  Yes  Yes  Yes
Spike  Yes  Yes  Yes
Sportsman Channel  Yes  Yes  Yes
Stadium  Yes  Yes  Yes
Sundance TV  Yes  Yes  Yes
SyFy  No  Yes  Yes
TBS  Yes  Yes  Yes
TCM  Yes  Yes  Yes
Teennick  Yes  Yes  Yes
The Blaze  Yes  Yes  Yes
TNT  Yes  Yes  Yes
Travel Channel  Yes  Yes  Yes
Tribecca Shortlist  Yes  Yes  Yes
Tru TV  Yes  Yes  Yes
TV Land  Yes  Yes  Yes
USA  No  Yes  Yes
VH1  Yes  Yes  Yes
Viceland  Yes  Yes  Yes
We TV  Yes  Yes  Yes
World Fishing Network  Yes  Yes  Yes

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Update: Updated the channel packages and availability.