While YouTube, AT&T, and Hulu have all since entered the streaming TV market, Sling TV was among the first to offer consumers a new way to pay for live TV. While it hasn’t been able to offer all of the same perks as its competitors, it’s managed to keep its prices down to remain competitive. But price hikes were inevitable, and today, Sling announced that it would be raising its Orange package from $20 to $25 — the first price increase for the package.
The inflated price for Sling Orange — which includes ESPN, CNN, TBS, Cartoon Network, and HGTV — takes effect immediately for new subscribers, while existing customers will see the price change reflected in their bill starting next month. Sling Blue (the other package) will remain at its $25 price point, and both can be had for $40.
“Our team works hard to negotiate fair programming deals, with the goal of keeping your price as low as possible,” said Sling president Warren Schlichting. “Programming fees, however, only go one direction, and that’s up!” But to put this into perspective, DirecTV Now starts at $35, while Hulu Live TV, YouTube TV, and PlayStation Vue all start at $40. If price is your number one concern, Sling TV is still the most affordable mainstream internet TV service.
Plus, in addition to raising the price, Sling is also introducing a “new user experience” that includes a selection of free, on-demand content on the Sling TV Roku app for non-subscribers, the ability to purchase a la carte channels, and the option to watch live pay-per-view events without having to purchase a subscription.
No one likes price hikes, but if you’re a sports fan and want to watch college football games live this coming fall, there is still no cheaper way to get your hands on ESPN than Sling Orange, even if it is $5 more than it was. AT&T’s new WatchTV service might be cheaper, but keep in mind that it doesn’t include ESPN.