When Sling TV launched in 2015, not only was it one of the first streaming services that offered cord cutters an alternative to cable or satellite subscriptions, but it was also far more affordable than traditional pay TV. While it’s still cheap compared to cable, that price just got a little higher, as today the company announced it is raising the price of its basic Sling Orange plan, which includes key channels like ESPN, from $20 to $25 per month.
“Our team works hard to negotiate fair programming deals, with the goal of keeping your price as low as possible,” Sling TV president Warren Schlichting wrote in a post on the company’s blog. “Programming fees, however, only go one direction, and that’s up!”
This change will affect all subscribers, not just new subscribers. Existing customers will see the first increase in their bill starting in August. Fortunately, if you’re paying for the combination of Sling Orange and the company’s other base package, the $25 per month Sling Blue, the bill for the combined services will remain $40 per month, which means you’re getting a discount of $10 per month.
While the new price still has you paying less than you would for a competing service like DirecTV Now — at least if you’re only paying for one base package — there are cheaper options like Philo, which starts at $17 per month, or even the completely free Pluto TV. If this has you thinking about canceling your subscription, the good news is there will still be content for you to watch on Sling TV. There just won’t be much of it.
Alongside the price increase, Sling TV also announced it would let former customers watch more than 100 hours of free, on-demand programming including shows like Wrecked, The Detour, Good Behavior, and Flip or Flop. In order to watch, you either need to have paid for Sling TV at some point or used the free trial. Right now, this free content is only available via the Sling TV app on Roku devices, but the company said it will bring the new feature to more devices in the future.
Sling also added three more à la carte channels today: Stingray Karaoke, Dove Channel, and Outside TV Features, which join existing choices like CuriousityStream. These are available with or without a Sling TV base subscription.
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