When Sling TV showed up in 2015, it was the first streaming service of its kind. Now that competitors like Hulu Live and Philo TV are around, many cord cutters that started with Sling are looking for other options. If that describes you, our guide shares some of the best alternatives to Sling TV.
Depending on your content needs, you might find a cheaper option, or one that offers more of exactly what you want to watch.
What is Sling TV?
When it comes to streaming services, Sling TV is a well-oiled machine. Well-known and supported, it has long been a leader in the cord-cutting space.
While the Sling TV channel lineup has made it a popular choice among many cord cutters, not all are satisfied. It does offer popular channels like ESPN and HGTV without the expensive cost of cable, but some want to explore Sling TV competitors.
Despite its $25 per month price tag, many people find its channel packages confusing and are looking for a simpler alternative. Before diving in to those, it’s worth highlighting what there is to love, and hate, about Sling TV.
Sling TV: The Good
Here’s what subscribers like about Sling TV:
- Good channel lineup
- Reliable streaming quality
- Easy to use menu and channel guide
- DVR is included
Sling TV: The Bad
We used to be Sling TV subscribers. Here’s what we didn’t like about it:
- Sling TV channel packages can be confusing
- Getting the channels you want may require add-ons
- Little on-demand content
There’s also limited access to local channels. Sling TV’s lack of local channels could be a detractor.
Best Alternatives to Sling TV
If you want original shows or live TV for a reasonable price, consider these Sling TV alternatives. All have good channel selection, reliable streaming performance, are easy to use, and are cheaper than cable.
1. Hulu with Live TV
Hulu Live is one of the best Sling TV competitors. It offers live TV, includes DVR, and comes with original content. Shows like The Handmaid’s Tale and Castle Rock are compelling, and you can’t get them anywhere else.
How much does Hulu Live cost? you might be thinking. Hulu Live is more expensive than Sling TV, but it’s worth it. For $54.99 per month, you get 50+ channels of live TV and local channels in far more locations than Sling offers.
When considering Sling TV vs. Hulu Live, the latter wins. Hulu Live includes:
- Ability to stream to two devices at once
- Hulu’s complete library of content
- Better local channels than Sling TV
- Popular networks like ESPN, MSNBC, Disney, National Geographic, HGTV, and Bravo
We cover Hulu with Live TV channels exhaustively in our review, but for now, just realize that Hulu Live gives you the ability to watch and record more content than Sling TV as well as to stream it on multiple devices.
It’s totally different from traditional Hulu in that it includes live TV.
The nice thing about Hulu Live is that you can try it for free. Sign up for a free week of Hulu Live now and see what you think of this Sling TV competitor risk-free.
2. Philo TV
Philo TV is one of the best Sling TV alternatives. Why? Because it’s cheap (less than $20 per month!) and it offers many of the same channels.
If you like lifestyle entertainment, you’ll love Philo TV. It only has one main drawback. Philo TV does not offer sports. You cannot sign up for premium channels like HBO either.
Yet many now offer their own streaming services, so if that is important to you, you can supplement Philo with an HBO Now subscription.
The Philo TV channels list is impressive. Here are some highlights of the service and what it comes with:
- 44 channels for $16 per month
- 57+ channels for $20 per month
- Hallmark channels are included
- DVR is included at no extra cost
- All Philo channels can be rewound without saving for up to 72 hours
- You can login to network sites with your Philo subscription and access gated content there
- Popular channels on Philo TV include: AMC, A&E, Animal Planet, Comedy Central, CMT, Discovery Channel, Hallmark, HGTV, and Lifetime
You won’t find ESPN, Fox Sports, or any other sports channels on Philo. If you like sports, you may want to go with Hulu Live instead.
Another thing that makes it a good alternative to Sling TV is that you can try Philo TV free for seven days with just your phone number.
3. AT&T TV Now
You may be more familiar with AT&T TV Now by its former name, DirecTV Now. As the foremost of Sling TV competitors, this streaming service was often neck and neck with Sling TV.
AT&T TV Now has lots of popular channels and starts at about the same cost as Hulu Live. Watch out though, add-ons and channel packages can send your cost soaring. AT&T TV Now packages top out at $135 per month.
At that rate, you’re not saving much over cable. Still, AT&T TV Now offers the following conveniences:
- Good channel variety
- Reliable streaming quality
- Premium channel add-on ability
- Nice features like custom closed captioning font and size
- Ability to rewind and restart programs in progress
- Parental controls and DVR
If you’re not satisfied with Sling TV and want to explore other options, try AT&T TV Now free for seven days.
If you don’t like it, cancel cost-free and try Hulu Live or one of the other Sling TV alternatives listed.
FuboTV got its start in soccer. Specifically, broadcasting more international soccer matches than anyone else. Today, it’s a full-fledged alternative to Sling TV.
Highlights of fuboTV include:
- Priced in line with others at $59.99 per month
- Streams on all major devices including Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Android / iOS devices
- Local channels CBS, Fox, and NBC are available depending on your location
- Non-sports channels like HGTV, History Channel, Hallmark Channel, and Syfy are included
- More Spanish-language options than other streaming services
The one drawback is that fuboTV does not currently offer ESPN. However, many other sports channels are included. In addition to Fox Sports and other mainline sports channels, fuboTV offers:
- NBA TV
- NFL Network
- BeIN Sports
- Big Ten Network
If you love sports and want an alternative to Sling TV, fuboTV is worth a look. Try fuboTV free for seven days now!
5. YouTube TV
Our kids are always on YouTube. I don’t get it as every time I check in with them, they’re watching a mom unwrap toys.
Or, following a random family on vacation. Yet, YouTube is about more than how to videos and family sagas.
YouTube TV is a full-on streaming service. At $49.99 per month, its cost is in-line with other streaming services. Like others mentioned here, you can watch YouTube TV on Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, and Android / iOS devices.
Other things to note about YouTube TV include:
- Local channels ABC, CBS, the CW, Fox and NBC are available depending on location
- Well-rounded channel list that includes ESPN, Fox Sports, Big Ten Network, CNN, Fox News, AMC, Disney, and Bravo
- Six accounts per household are allowed
- Unlimited DVR service at no extra cost
- Ads can be fast-forwarded in recorded programs
Like Hulu Live and the other Sling TV alternatives mentioned here, you get loads of live TV programming for far less than cable. One drawback is that you cannot add on premium channels.
6. Pluto TV
When I think back to my childhood, cable TV was a centerpiece. It was the only way to watch my favorite Disney shorts.
Over the years, cable got more and more expensive. Today, streaming services offer the same content for half the cost.
In the case of Pluto TV, it’s none of the cost. That’s because Pluto TV is absolutely free.
Let that sink in.
Pluto TV lets you stream live TV shows for free.
There are a lot of ads, but there are also a lot of channels.
Pluto TV has a great app that you can install on your TV and smartphone that lets you use your phone as a remote.
My favorite channel is 24 hours of surfing. I could binge watch wave riders for days and not get tired of it.
You can learn more in our Pluto TV review, or you can start streaming free right now. Either way, it’s one of the alternatives to Sling TV worth considering.
I’m not ashamed to say that I am a Disney nerd. I love the new Disney Plus streaming service. It comes with everything Disney has ever made for just $6.99 per month.
If you have kids or you like Disney films, this is one of the best alternatives to Sling TV.
Disney+ shows and movies include:
- Star Wars
- All the Disney Princess movies
- All the Disney animated movies
- The Mandalorian (can you tell I’m a Star Wars nerd, too?)
- National Geographic content
- The Simpsons
Even better, there’s a bundle. For just $12.99 per month, you get Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+. While you won’t get live TV, you will get programming your entire household will enjoy.
Read more about Disney+ in our Disney Plus review.
The fact that even the bundle costs less than Sling TV, makes Disney+ and the Disney Plus bundle one of the best Sling TV competitors on the market.
Try Disney+ today risk-free with a free trial and just try not to binge watch every episode of The Mandalorian.
Speaking of Disney Plus, Netflix is another Sling TV competitor worth mentioning. Here are some basics about the streaming service if you’re one of the few people who haven’t yet tried it.
- Netflix offers three plans ($8.99, $12.99, and $15.99 per month)
- Awesome original content like Narcos, When They See Us, 13, and Orange is the New Black are just a few of the shows you won’t find elsewhere
- Streaming quality is excellent
- Netflix offers 4K content in its $15.99 per month plan
- You can stream Netflix on any device
The one drawback is that there is no live TV with Netflix. Unlike Hulu, there’s not as much network content to stream.
So, you can’t watch your favorite HGTV shows or A&E content, for example.
However, Netflix offers a literal sea of content, so you’re sure to find things you’ll enjoy.
Netflix also offers a free trial, making it easy for you to check out before canceling Sling TV.
Top Devices to Stream Shows Online
If you’ve only ever streamed Sling TV, you might be wondering what you need to start watching shows on the streaming platforms mentioned.
Like Sling TV, these services work on all the major devices, including:
- Amazon Fire TV and Fire tablets
- Roku (boxes, TVs, and sticks)
- Apple TV
- Macbooks, iPads, iPhones
- Any computer with an Internet browser
- Google Chromecast
- Xbox One
- Samsung and LG Smart TVs
The bottom line is that it’s really easy to stream Disney Plus, Hulu Live, FuboTV, Philo, and every other service mentioned here.
If you’re used to using the Sling TV app, you’ll have no issue with any of the Sling TV competitors.
Top Sling TV Competitors: Bottom Line
The bottom line on Sling TV competitors is that you have lots of awesome choices. If you have become disenchanted with Sling TV, there’s no reason to settle.
All of the services mentioned here offer free trial periods. Start with Hulu Live, which is a great replacement for Sling TV.
It’s comparable in price to Sling TV’s Orange + Blue channel package and has a slew of on-demand content.
If you’re looking to pay less, try Philo TV. At only $20 per month, you won’t miss Sling TV.
What service do you use to stream content? How much do you pay per month for cable? What do you look for in a content provider?
Source: Frugal Rules