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Sling TV hikes prices for its existing subscribers

Given that Sling TV decided to raise the prices of its live TV streaming subscriptions for new customers at the beginning of 2021, it should probably be no surprise that the company has now informed its existing customers that the same price hike is coming for them in August.

According to an email sent to subscribers earlier this week, the cost of a Sling Orange or Sling Blue plan will be going up by $5 per month, bringing the price to $35 — the same price that new customers have been paying since January. The combo Sling Orange + Blue package is also going up by $5 to $50 per month. Digital Trends has reached out to Sling TV to confirm these details.

The announcement comes just a few days before the expiration of a temporary one-year pricing guarantee that Sling implemented in August 2020 as a way of helping people through the financial uncertainties associated with the pandemic. That guarantee applied to any new or existing customers who had valid subscriptions as of August 1, 2020. The one-year anniversary of that date is coming in just a few more days.

When Sling announced the price increases for new customers in January, it placed much of the blame for the extra charge on networks: “Unfortunately, we are forced to raise prices because the television networks keep charging us more,” said Michael Schwimmer, Sling TV’s group president at the time. However, Schwimmer pointed out that even with the increase, Sling remained very competitive with all of the other live TV streaming services like YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV, and FuboTV.

To help offset the sting of higher monthly prices, Sling upped the amount of free DVR storage from 10 to 50 hours and added the ability to pause live TV. Those who pay for the $5 per month DVR Plus extra now get 200 hours, up from 50 hours. But those changes were brought into being in January, and they affected all customers at the time, which means existing customers have already had six months to enjoy these extras before needing to pay the higher price.

Recently, Sling TV debuted a new app experience for customers who use Roku devices and it also added Locast integration, which helps a lot with one of Sling’s biggest weaknesses: It doesn’t carry local affiliates for ABC, NBC, CBS, or Fox.

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Simon Cohen
Contributing Editor, A/V
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