Q. After YouTube TV raised its price, I’ve been thinking of getting Sling TV. But I’m confused when I get to their web site. What is the difference between their Blue and Orange plans? The price is the same so which one is better? — Viv, Spokane, Washington.
Viv, you’re right. YouTube TV’s decision last week to raise its monthly price from $50 to $65 has some subscribers thinking about switching to another live streaming service. I’ve received several e-mails from YouTubeTV customers who can’t understand why it would raise prices now during a pandemic.
I explained in this article the economics behind the price hike so that might help you understand. But allow me now to explain the differences between Sling TV’s two base programming packages.
As you note, Sling TV, a live streaming service owned by Dish, offers both the Blue and Orange plans for $30 a month each. You can purchase both of them for $45 a month combined.
The Blue plan provides more than 50 channels including the three major cable news networks, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, as well as leading ‘basic cable’ networks as FS1, Bravo, The Cartoon Network, AMC, TNT, TBS, and your local Fox and NBC affiliates in select markets.
The Orange package only offers more than 30 channels so you might think Blue is better. But hold on. Orange includes ESPN, ESPN 2 and ESPN 3, which are must-haves for many sports fans. In addition, the Orange plan has CNN, Comedy Central, TBS, TNT and AMC.
As you can see, the biggest difference between the two plans is that ESPN is in Orange while Blue offers more channels, Fox-owned channels and your local NBC and Fox affiliates in certain markets. (Blue also offers three simultaneous streams, meaning you can watch the Blue lineup on three different devices at the same time; Orange allows only one stream at a time.)
So which one you buy depends upon which programming is most important to you. And if you can’t decide, again there’s the combined package for $45 a month.
Viv, hope that helps. Happy viewing, and stay safe!
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann