About Sling Television

Sling TV is a streaming content company that provides access to live TV, sports, hit shows, movies, and breaking news from dozens of popular networks, in addition to on-demand new releases—without a cable subscription.

Despite what their name might lead you to believe though, Sling TV allows you to do all of this on your television, tablet, computer, or smartphone. Because of this, Sling TV claims to feature “everything you love about TV, for a fraction of the price you’d expect to pay.”

If you’re tired of paying $100 or more per month for your cable subscription and are thinking about cutting the cord, there are some important considerations you should keep in mind about Sling TV.

With this said, let’s start by talking about what “cutting the cord” even means.

What is Cutting the Cord?

Despite the fact that your cable subscription might provide access to hundreds of different channels, the reality is that you probably watch less than 10% of these on a regular basis. And considering that the average American pays $1 per month for their cable bill, this means you’re paying a lot of money for content you’re not even using.

Basically, you’re throwing money out the window.

Factor into this equation that cable rates have risen an average of 9.4% per year since 2011, and you’ve got an increasingly costly monthly expense that’s not fully utilized.

As such, consumers have started cancelling their cable subscriptions in droves, and are instead accessing much of their favorite content through websites like the Sling TV (we’ll delve deeper in the next section). This is what’s known as “cutting the cord.”

While this basic explanation should point you in the right direction, we’d recommend reading our Guide To Cutting the Cord for more in-depth information.

If you’re thinking about cutting the cord though, you have to remember that each streaming service comes with its own set of pros and cons. Let’s explain what we mean.

What Kinds of Content Can You Watch with Sling TV?

Although cutting the cord can save you a ton of money, it’s not a turnkey solution. In other words, although you only watch about 10% of your cable channels, all your content is in one nice, neat package. Simply turn it on, change the channel, kick back, and relax.

However, once you cancel your cable subscription, you’ll likely have to subscribe to other services if you want access to even remotely the same amount of content. Although we’ll provide more detail shortly, take the following as an example: If all your favorite TV shows are on Comedy Central, you might need to choose a service like Hulu Plus, but if you’re more interested in watching documentaries, a service like Netflix and/or Amazon Instant might be more up your alley.

On the other hand, if you can’t live without some premium cable channels, Sling TV might just be your best bet. We’ll wrap up this section with a better look at this, but let’s first talk about the competition.

Netflix

Netflix offers subscribers access to a range of newer (and classic) movies and TV shows, in addition to award-winning original content, although there can be a significant lag between a movie or TV show’s release date and when it appears on Netflix.

Hulu Plus

On the other hand, Hulu Plus features only TV shows from major networks (as well as a limited number of movies and original content), although their content is generally available within 3 days of the air date.

Amazon Instant

Amazon Instant is another popular option for cutting the cord, as you’ll get access to thousands of movies and TV shows, from documentaries to soap operas. But unless you pay for the newest on-demand content, as with Netflix, there will be a fairly decent wait between the date content is released and when it’s available for viewing on Amazon Instant.

Related: Seeso Review

Misc Options

Other options that might not be as popular, but might better match your viewing habits, are Redbox Instant, M-GO, Aereo, and more.

Sling TV

Compared to the competition, Sling TV appears to have carved itself a nice—and much-needed—niche within the content streaming industry, by providing access to content that would otherwise be lost without an expensive cable subscription.

This includes ESPN, HBO, HGTV, Food Network, TNT, and many others, although some options might require additional money. On top of this, you’ll be able to watch live television with Sling TV, or wait until a few days after it airs. It’s your choice.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s first talk about how you can view Sling TV’s content.

Which Devices Are Supported by Sling TV?

According to the product’s website, Sling TV is supported by a wide range of streaming devices and third-party platforms, such as:

  • Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Nexus,
  • Phones and tablets running iOS or Android operating systems (app-based)
  • Xbox One gaming console
  • Macs running Snow Leopard 10.6 or higher, as well as PCs running Windows 7 or higher

When reading through the Sling TV website, we found it curious that there’s no support for AppleTV, which is the third most popular streaming device, trailing only Roku and ChromeCast. However, according to Sling TV’s FAQ, your WatchESPN account from Apple TV will transfer over, so you’ll still be able to watch these associated networks.

Outside of the product’s website, what are people saying about Sling TV?

Customer Feedback for Sling TV

Despite being in business only since January 2015 (as a division of Dish Network), Sling TV already has more than 250,000 subscribers, so it’s an extraordinarily popular service. In fact, type the phrase “Sling TV review” into your favorite search engine and you’re certain to receive millions of hits.

With this in mind, TechRadar gave Sling TV a 3.5-star rating. While they appreciated the service’s clean picture, user-friendly interface, and easy setup, they didn’t like Sling TV’s limited content selection, it’s relatively high price, and the fact that you can’t pause a show on one device (such as a smartphone) and easily resume on another (such as your TV).

Similarly, CNET users also gave Sling TV a 3.5-star rating, with complaints primarily revolving around:

  • Connection problems (buffering/loading times, app crashing, etc.), and
  • The fact that some channels don’t allow you to rewind live content or watch previous episodes.

As with the TechRadar review, CNET’s users recommended that you’ll need to obtain the fastest internet connection you can find in order to fully enjoy the service.

Finally, there were more than 1,500 Sling TV reviews on Amazon at the time of our research, with an average rating of 2.9 stars. There, common compliments cited ease of setup/use, access to premium content, and ability to customize your subscription (more in the next section).

On the other hand, Amazon reviewers didn’t appreciate Sling TV’s buggy apps, high price-to-content ratio, and inability to pause, fast forward, or rewind some content.

From a company perspective, Sling TV, LLC wasn’t listed with the Better Business Bureau, although their parent company Dish Network was. As of 7/28/15, Dish had an A- rating with the BBB, despite having more than 11,500 (yes, you read that right!) complaints. Many of these appeared to reference difficulty cancelling service and higher than expected prices.

Admittedly, this doesn’t mean you’ll experience the same with Sling TV.

Sling TV Pricing

If you’re looking to try Sling TV without a commitment, you can sign up through their 7-day trial. Once this time has passed, you’ll be rolled over to a recurring subscription priced at $20 per month.

However, if you’d like to add additional packages (known as Extras), they’re priced as follows:

  • HBO Access: $15/mo
  • Sports Extra – Includes Universal Sports, ESPN U, ESPN News, SEC Network, and more: $5/mo
  • Kids Extra – Includes Disney Junior, Disney XD, Boomerang, and more: $5/mo
  • Hollywood Extra – Features networks like Epix 1, 2, and 3, Turner Classic Movies (TCM), and more: $5/mo
  • World News Extra – Adds Euronews, News India 18, France 24, and other networks: $5/mo
  • Lifestyle Extra – Includes the Cooking Channel, DIY Network, TruTV, Lifetime, and more: $5/mo

For a full list of available networks and package options, be sure to check out Sling TV’s Programming page.

At the time of our research, Sling TV was running a promotion that offered a free Roku Streaming Stick, 50% off a Roku 3 (total of $49.99), or 50% off a Nexus player (total of $49.50), as long as you paid for 3 months of service in advance.

Thinking about Cutting the Cord? If So, Watch Your Costs

Since pricing is fresh on our minds, let’s quickly discuss costs here.

If you’re like most people, you decided to cut the cord and cancel your cable subscription because you were interested in saving money. However, as we saw above, a single streaming device like Sling TV could set you back $60+ per month.

See Also: 3 Easy Steps for Cutting the Cord & Saving Money

Then, if you also factored in online subscription services such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant, Redbox Instant, and others, you could easily spend as much (or more) than your original cable bill.

With all of this in mind, let’s answer the important question: is Sling TV right for you?

Can Sling TV Replace Your Cable Subscription?

If you watch most of the channels that come with your (even basic) cable subscription, then you definitely won’t be able to replace all of them with Sling TV.

However, if you find yourself regularly watching shows on networks such as ESPN, HBO, HGTV, Food Network, TNT, and more, but don’t want the burden of an expensive cable bill, Sling TV might be just what you’re looking for.

Remember this though: Right now, Sling TV is the only game in town if you want to live stream content from premium “cable” networks, without a cable subscription, so your options are limited.

Read Next: Streaming Services: With So Many Choices, How Can You Pick the Right One?

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50 Consumer Reviews for Sling Television

Average Consumer Rating: 1.1
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 1 4 star: 0 3 star: 0 2 star: 1 1 star:  48
Bottom Line: 6% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 50
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  • Updated review

    Update - week two

    • Orlando, FL,
    • Aug 16, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    The Roku Ultra FINALLY showed up per Victor's promise, so I did feel a little better about that. Once the simple-to-install Roku was connected, the Sling interface was MUCH easier and more usable, and I'm thinking the 3-month commitment and Roku Ultra deal may be OK. I bought Sling primarily to be able to watch MotoGP on the BeIN channel and college football coming up in a few weeks. The free Roku channels are impressive and unexpected. Netflix through the Roku is also very impressive.

    So I stand by my conclusions above that are still valid, but for some people, Sling TV may be a good alternative is saving money is very important.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Previous review
    • Aug 12, 2018

    Very unhappy after only one week of service!

    I've heard about Sling TV's "Free 7-Day Trial" for a long time and as my local cable company gave us a 20% increase in our bill this month, I decided to make a change based on cable's price increase.

    I went to Sling TV's website and looked at their numerous options before choosing to buy a Roku Ultra for $50 in addition to three months of service. Later I found out that I did not qualify for the "Free 7-Day Trial" because I purchased the Roku at a discounted price. So highly recommend trying the Sling TV 7-Day Free Trial before any financial commitment I'm not sure how many people will want Sling TV after a free trial because of so many issues like buffering, pauses, hard to use interface with the app alone, etc.

    On August 1st, one day after I placed the order online, I received an email from Sling TV saying, "Good news! Your Roku Ultra is on the way. Expect a package to arrive within the next few days. You’ll be watching your personal channel lineup on your big screen in no time." This was NOT TRUE and set me up for an unrealistic expectation!

    On August 7th, eight days after I ordered Sling TV, I called them to inform them that my Roku Ultra has not arrived. It turns out that their week-old email was a LIE because the Roku had not even been sent, thus delaying it as much as an additional week!

    I have been playing with the Sling TV app since last week, but it is clunky and hard to work with on my computer and not nearly as easy or convenient without the Roku or other interface. The worst part is the channels often pauses or buffers, and that is REALLY annoying! Sling TV recommends a minimum internet speed of 25 Mbps and my internet is over 100 Mbps, plus I'm hard-wire connected with a CAT-5 cable instead of connecting wirelessly, but still get frustrating buffering when I watch!

    So I contacted Sling TV today (via chat and phone) asking to cancel my subscription and refund my money. I did so because they had not fulfilled their email promise to me. I politely asked to get out of the contract and have a refund issued, but all three Sling TV representatives/supervisors I talked with told me that it was NOT possible because I agreed to purchase the Roku Ultra and three months of service. I was told, "Sorry you're unhappy, but we can not help you!"

    I was then promised by Victor that my Roku Ultra would "definitely" be here in three days (this Friday, August 10th.) So IMHO, Sling TV’s customer service won’t help you even if your complaint is fair and reasonable. I’m hoping the Roku will come by Friday and that this interface will make Sling TV a better experience. If not, I will re-connect to our local Spectrum cable and pay three times more for a much better picture quality, better customer service, and far greater channel selection.

    In hindsight, switching to Sling TV was a bad decision for me.

    CONCLUSION:

    (1) NEVER sign up for Sling TV without a "Free 7-Day Trial," that way you can quit without going through the frustration I did.

    (2) Be sure your internet speed is high enough, and be willing to accept the fact that your Sling TV program will pause and buffer regardless of your internet speed!

    (3) The old saying, "you get what you pay for" is most often true! Paying three times as much for cable TV may be worth it as you get MANY more channels with a better interface and no buffering or annoying pauses of your TV programs. Plus Spectrum’s customer service IS far superior…I’ll give them that!

    (read moreread less...)

  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Watch out

    • Hills, IA,
    • Jul 2, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    If you sign up or have Sling TV, watch out, they may be or may overcharge you. They have been double billing me for nine months. When I called, I was given the run around about having two accounts, which I didn’t, and was told they would not be refunding my money or crediting my account. So I canceled "both" of my accounts today.

    Watch out, this company are crooks and will rob you then tell you to have a good day. I’ll stick with Netflix and Hulu, screw Sling.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    It's a scam

    • Miami, FL,
    • Jun 24, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    It's a scam.

    I was not able to watch the Fifa World Cup in Portuguese as they told me.

    Terrible customer support. I have tried several times to solve this issue, but they never did.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Inconsistent streaming

    • Memphis, TN,
    • May 19, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have used the basic $20 version of Sling TV for about a year now. I do appreciate the low price, although the actual streaming is very weak. I have used this account on multiple different WiFi connections. On every single WiFi source, the streaming has been very inconsistent. I like the idea of Sling TV, but I do not believe they are capable of holding a solid stream. Time after time I pay for a product that does not meet the standards supplied by the company. Do not trust Sling TV. It is a crappy cheap alternative to typical cable and does not supply what is said to be supplied.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Lied to and scammed

    First off, giving this company a 1-star rating is putting it nicely!

    My husband signed us up, or so he thought. They told us about a package that would work best for us. So we got it and paid the amount that was supposed to be for two months (Lie #1).

    After two days of trying to get our box to work and several calls to the company, we are told we were sent the wrong box. Now we talked to several reps and got so many different stories. We were told labels were coming to be able to send it back (Lie #2).

    They never came. After several days, we call back. More run around! So we end up sending the box back to the address on the package. More money spent on their mistake, not ours! We are told several times "no refund." So I have to laugh when we cancel. The man told us we have until May 20th to continue enjoying Sling. HELLO, we were sent the wrong box! Your mistake! We haven't been able to watch anything, but they sure did get our money!

    They lie to you in the beginning, and to be able to get what you thought you were signing up for to begin with, they tell you to pay more money. These people are liars and thieves!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 3 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Sling TV are thieves!

    • California,
    • Apr 16, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I signed up to watch soccer champions league games (which they state that they will cover). I was planning to watch Barcelona vs. Roma (4/10/2018) and 10 minutes before my game, I opened Sling TV's app and I was unable to see it!

    I call them and they tell me that they have some blocked games that they will not show!! They DID NOT state this in the contract that I signed up for!

    In addition, last week they broadcasted the same exact game, but all of a sudden, today, they decided to not broadcast it! Also, they are not broadcasting another VERY important game from tomorrow, Bayern vs. Sevilla.

    I will do my best to sue those thieves, and their company should shut down!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Sling lies!

    • Colorado,
    • Apr 5, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Sling customer reps lie to the customers about billing. Once you get billed the wrong amount, they say sorry, can't help you. I signed up to do a promotion, and they didn't honor it. I'm serious, they lie and don't care if you cancel your service over it. They just say sorry you feel that way, and pretty much laugh. I don't write many reviews, but Sling needs some serious improvements in customer relations. You have been warned! If you're a Sling subscriber and haven't had an issue yet, just wait, I promise you will, and you'll receive ZERO help!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Double charged

    If anyone is thinking about getting Sling TV, I wouldn't recommend it! Tim was paying my credit card bill and asked me a question and I noticed Sling charged twice. So I hit the dispute button and today I checked and Capital One refunded it. So I went back on statements to September of last year and they doubled charged me every month for six months.

    So I call Sling and they looked my account up and said I see you only have one account. I said exactly. My credit card reimbursed me for this month and now you owe me $250 for other months. He said let me look under your name. He then states I have another account with the same information but one letter off on the email and there's nothing he can do but refund this month. I said my credit card already did that, so you're doing nothing? He said right! I called my credit card company to file a dispute.

    Please feel free to share, so people don't deal with this.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Refusal to refund for non-delivered service

    • New Mexico,
    • Mar 7, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I recently signed up for Sling, prepaying for two months ($80) in order to get a free Roku Express. Unfortunately, Roku (who processes the shipments) refused to accept the validity of either my street address or my P O Box. I went through many weeks of near-daily contacts with Sling and Roku (and multiple "escalations") to try to get delivery before finally giving up. Sling refused to refund my $80 (for service that I was unable to watch) and to truly cap things, they also charged me ANOTHER $40...because by the time I finally canceled my service, things had gone one day into a THIRD month.

    Needless to say, I will have no future dealings with Sling (or Dish) in this lifetime or any other. An outright refusal to correct errors caused by a company (or their marketing partner) is NOT is a good policy.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Terrible service, terrible experience

    I tried to sign up for their service tonight. I had both my debit and credit cards available as well as PayPal for another option just in case. I register an account and try to get the service. I've seen my friends use it, so I am ready to just sign up and pay. I register and get to put in my details. I'm not eligible for the 7-day trial for some reason. That's fine. Let me just pay you. Can't do that. I'm not eligible. I live in the United States, all of my neighbors use it. How am I not eligible? I will never try it again; their service has failed me and their support, whom I contacted, were not helpful at all.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Scam, liars!

    Don't get scammed like I did! I signed up for the 7-day free trial. I could never get it to work. I canceled on the 7th day, but they went ahead and charged my card. When I contacted them, they said I canceled too late. I'm going to my bank in the morning to try and dispute the charge. This company should be put out of business. I wish I had read the reviews before signing up.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • May 15, 2018

      Heidi Waterfield

      Ditto! Total scammers. Do NOT sign up for anything with this company. They will charge you for services that they don't deliver. Worst company ever.

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