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Sling TV increases prices for everyone as it adds more subscribers

Sling TV — the third-largest streaming provider of live TV in the U.S. — today announced across-the-board price increases. Starting after December 3, 2022, the base Sling TV service will cost $40, up $5 from the previous price. That’s for a single subscription to either the Sling Orange plan, or the Sling Blue plan. If you want both, it’ll now cost $55 — another $5 increase.

And that means you might well be on the lookout for a Sling TV alternative.

The price increase — which applies to new and current subscribers — comes on the heels of parent company Dish’s third-quarter earnings announcement, which saw Sling TV add about 214,000 subscribers for the three months ending September 30, 2022. That gives Sling TV a total of 2.411 million subscribers and snaps a six-month streak of subscriber losses.

Sling TV logo on Apple TV.
Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

Sling TV Group President Gary Schanman explained the price increase in an early-morning blog post.

“Sling doesn’t own the networks you watch — we pay programmers for their channels, and the price of programming continues to rise,” Schanman wrote. “We’re deeply committed to keeping costs low and continually work with programmers to provide service you can rely on, which is why we haven’t raised prices in nearly two years, maintaining a generous cost advantage compared to our competitors.”

Schanman also noted that Sling TV plans to add more than 150 new channels through 2023, new user profiles, and “Auto Bing Watching capabilities.”

Sling TV is as close as you can get to true a la carte TV, in which you theoretically would pay for only what you want to watch. Sling Orange and Sling Blue each have a relatively small number of channels compared to the more expensive YouTube TV or Hulu With Live TV, both of which have a single plan with upwards of 100 channels each. Sling Orange and Sling Blue have some overlap in channel listings, but the idea is that they’re different enough that you’d probably want both. From there, you’d augment your lineup with Sling “Extras” — additional add-ons that augment channels in categories like sports, news, and entertainment.

With the price increase, Sling TV edges slightly closer to the competitors it’s chasing, but its subscriber count also remains pretty stagnant at roughly the same number as it sported at the end of 2018. By comparison, YouTube TV has more than 5 million subscribers as of June 2022, and Hulu With Live TV last announced 4 million subscribers. (Hulu’s parent company, Disney, will update those numbers on November 8, 2022.)

Sling TV remains available on every major streaming platform, including Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Google TV, web browsers, smart TV platforms, and gaming consoles.

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