YouTube TV vs. Sling TV: Which Stay TV Streaming Service is Greatest For You?



So you’ve NetflixAmazon Prime and Disney Plus, however you wish to bolster your binge-watching periods with precise stay TV channels. Or possibly you have determined it is time to minimize the cable TV wire to economize and problem, however you do not wish to lose stay information and sports activities. We have examined all six of the main stay TV-streaming providers, and two of them got here out on high: Sling TV and YouTube TV. Each CNET’s Editors’ Alternative recipients stream a bunch of channels stay to your Roku, Amazon Hearth TV or Apple TV streamer or good TV and allow you to ditch the cable field. So how do you select between them?

If cash is not a priority, YouTube TV is your best option, with extra channels and a very good cloud DVR. However it does price $65 monthly. Price range-level Sling TV Blue is the superior worth at simply $35 monthly, nevertheless it has roughly half as many channels and a much less refined DVR. Which one is best for you?

Learn extra: Greatest Free TV Streaming Providers: Peacock, Plex, Roku and Extra    

Sarah Tew/CNET

With a wonderful channel choice, easy-to-use interface and best-in-class cloud DVR, YouTube TV is the service to choose if you need a cable TV alternative. Its search performance is unmatched, as you’d count on coming from Google, particularly should you’re on the lookout for explicit sports activities. The service might not have each channel you need, and Hulu is now catching up with its Disney bundle, however nonetheless YouTube TV remains to be the present gold normal of stay TV streaming.

Learn our YouTube TV overview.


Sarah Tew/CNET

If you wish to save slightly cash, and do not thoughts lacking out on native channels, then Sling TV — particularly the Sling Blue package deal — is the perfect of the finances providers. It is not as complete as YouTube however, with the addition of an antenna or an AirTV 2 DVR, it is an unbeatable worth.

Learn our Sling TV overview.


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Sling TV and YouTube TV in contrast

Sling Orange ($35) Sling Blue ($35) Sling Orange & Blue ($50) YouTube TV ($65)
See at Sling See at Sling See at Sling See at YouTube TV
Variety of in style channels (out of 100) 25 36 40 67
Locals included No NBC and Fox in choose cities NBC and Fox in choose cities ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and PBS in most markets
Simultaneous streams 1 3 as much as 4 3 ($20 for limitless)
Cloud DVR included 50 hours ($5 for 200 hours) 50 hours ($5 for 200 hours) 50 hours ($5 for 200 hours) Sure (limitless)

Value: Sling is cheaper and has extra choices

Sling TV: Sling gives three totally different tiers of plans: Blue ($35), Orange ($35) and Orange & Blue ($50) with a mixture of channels out there. Signing up for the essential Sling TV is reasonable, however the prices can pile up when you begin including channels or options. It prices an additional $5 a month for a DVR, for instance, or $5 so as to add packages comparable to Comedy, Sports activities and Youngsters, which embrace additional channels comparable to TV Land, NBA TV and Disney Junior, respectively.

Sling TV is understood for its promotions, and it’s at present providing reductions on its service for the primary month: Blue, Orange or the combo Orange & Blue are all $10 off.

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YouTube TV: YouTube TV costs $65 and doesn’t offer any add-on channel packages, although it does have a handful of single-channel add-ons including Showtime and EPIX. This one-price approach mitigates the paralysis of choice a little bit. While it’s not the best value, YouTube does offer the $20 4K Plus upgrade, which gives power users unlimited streams in the home, and access to a limited selection of 4K content


YouTube TV’s desktop interface.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Channels: YouTube wins hands-down

YouTube TV offers almost twice the number of channels of Sling Blue, in addition to the major local channels (including PBS) in most markets.

Sling TV offers few to no local channels, depending on your package and where you live. Sling Blue offers Fox and NBC in a handful of major markets but the Orange package has none. Why get Orange at all? If you want sports, and especially ESPN. Yet, if you want a few more channels (and live in the right market for the local channels) then Blue might be more enticing. 

Sling’s $50 Orange & Blue package combines the two packages, but as it only adds four more channels out of the 100 most popular (including ESPN and Disney) it represents fairly poor value. Get YouTube TV instead.

You can check see how the YouTube TV and Sling differ in their channel lineups in this handy chart, or just scroll to the end of this article, but here’s a quick summary of the main missing channels:

  • Major channels missing from Sling Orange: ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, Bravo, Animal Planet, Fox News, FS1, FX, MLB Network, MSNBC, Nickelodeon, USA Network
  • Major channels missing from Sling Blue: ABC, CBS, Animal Planet, Disney Channel, ESPN, Fox News, MLB Network, Nickelodeon
  • Major channels missing from YouTube TV: A&E, Comedy Central, History, Lifetime, Nickelodeon

The Sling TV EPG on Apple TV.

Ty Pendlebury/CNET

Usability: Pretty much a tie

The menus and interfaces on both are relatively utilitarian, especially in the Roku versions. If you’re an Apple TV user things are a little better — e.g. the Sling interface now offers thumbnails which is a helpful addition.  

YouTube TV: In general the YouTube TV interface is easier to use, and not just to people used to using regular YouTube. If you’re using the desktop or app versions, Google’s streamer offers a more streamlined structure that’s also nicer on the eye. 

Sling TV: Sling TV was the worst-looking live TV streamer for the longest time, and we kind of forgave it that because it was so cheap. However, a recent upgrade has meant it’s both easier to use and easier on the eye. Sling has shaved down the number of button presses needed to watch a live show from the guide — three down to one — which makes it now on a par with YouTube TV. 


The YouTube TV interface on Roku.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The difference in number of simultaneous streams is worth noting, especially for families and other households who watch a lot of TV. YouTube TV lets you stream to three different devices — say the living room TV, a bedroom TV and a tablet — at the same time. So does Sling TV Blue. But with Sling TV Orange you can only watch one stream at a time. Trading up to Sling TV’s Orange & Blue package delivers up to four streams at once, but only one of them can be from an Orange-only channel. You still can’t watch ESPN on two separate TVs simultaneously, for example.

YouTube TV’s biggest usability advantage is its excellent cloud DVR: It’s included in the cost, offers unlimited storage and works great, much like the hardware DVR inside your cable box. Sling TV also offers a cloud DVR and it has 50 hours of storage; upping that to 200 hours (and adding the ability to “protect” recordings from erasure) costs an extra $5 per month. 

Read more: Best Streaming Device for 2022

Which service is best for you?

If you want to save the most money, Sling TV offers a compelling mix of cable-only programming and recent changes to the interface mean it’s also fun to use. Sure, you lose access to locals but an antenna can fix that very cheaply, and you’re still paying a lot less than on many cable TV packages. On the other hand, the $65 YouTube TV is inching closer to cable bundle territory, with the caveat being that it comes without any contracts. It’s worth contemplating YouTube TV for the extra $30 a month if you want the greater channel selection, the inclusion of local channels and a great DVR. 

Channel comparison

Below you’ll find a chart that’s a smaller version of this massive channel comparison. It contains the top 100 channels from each service. Some notes:

  • Yes = The channel is available on the cheapest pricing tier. That price is listed next to the service’s name.
  • No = The channel isn’t available at all on that service. 
  • $ = The channel is available for an extra fee, either a la carte or as part of a more expensive package or add-on.
  • Not every channel a service carries is listed, just the “top 100” as determined by CNET’s editors. Minor channels like AXS TV, CNBC World, Discovery Life, GSN, POP and Universal Kids didn’t make the cut.
  • Regional sports networks — channels devoted to showing regular-season games of particular pro baseball, basketball and hockey teams — are not listed. In general YouTube TV has more RSNs but it varies widely by area. To find out if your local RSN is available you can search YouTube TV by zip code here and search Sling TV by team or zip code here.

YouTube TV vs Sling Top 100 Channels

Channel YouTube TV ($65) Sling Orange & Blue ($35) Sling Orange ($35) Sling Blue ($35)
See at YouTube TV See at Sling See at Sling See at Sling
Total channels: 79 40 25 36
ABC Yes No No No
CBS Yes No No No
Fox Yes No No Yes
NBC Yes Yes No Yes
PBS Yes Yes No No
CW Yes No No No
MyNetworkTV Yes No No No
A&E No Yes Yes Yes
ACC Network Yes $ $ No
Accuweather No No No No
AMC Yes Yes Yes Yes
Animal Planet Yes No No No
BBC America Yes Yes Yes Yes
BBC World News Yes $ $ $
BET Yes Yes Yes Yes
Big Ten Network Yes $ No $
Bloomberg TV No Yes Yes Yes
Boomerang No $ $ $
Bravo Yes Yes No Yes
Cartoon Network Yes Yes Yes Yes
CBS Sports Network Yes No No No
Cheddar Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cinemax $ No No No
CMT Yes $ $ $
CNBC Yes $ No $
CNN Yes Yes Yes Yes
Comedy Central Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cooking Channel No $ $ $
Destination America No $ $ $
Discovery Channel Yes Yes No Yes
Disney Channel Yes No Yes No
Disney Junior Yes $ $ No
Disney XD Yes $ $ No
E! Yes Yes No Yes
EPIX $ $ $ $
ESPN Yes Yes Yes No
ESPN 2 Yes Yes Yes No
ESPNEWS Yes $ $ No
ESPNU Yes $ $ No
Food Network Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fox Business Yes $ No $
Fox News Yes Yes No Yes
FS1 Yes Yes No Yes
FS2 Yes $ No $
Freeform Yes Yes Yes No
FX Yes Yes No Yes
FX Movies Yes $ No $
FXX Yes $ No $
FYI No $ $ $
Golf Channel Yes $ No $
Hallmark Yes $ $ $
HBO/HBO Max $ No No No
HGTV Yes Yes Yes Yes
History No Yes Yes Yes
HLN Yes Yes $ Yes
IFC Yes Yes Yes Yes
Investigation Discovery Yes Yes Yes Yes
Lifetime No Yes Yes Yes
Lifetime Movie Network No $ $ $
Magnolia Network (formerly DIY) No $ $ $
MLB Network Yes $ $ $
Motor Trend Yes Yes Yes No
MSNBC Yes Yes No Yes
MTV Yes $ $ $
MTV2 Yes $ $ $
National Geographic Yes Yes No Yes
Nat Geo Wild Yes $ No $
NBA TV Yes $ $ $
NFL Network Yes Yes No Yes
NFL Red Zone $ $ No $
NHL Network No $ $ $
Nickelodeon Yes No No No
Nick Jr. Yes Yes Yes Yes
Nicktoons Yes $ $ $
Olympic Channel Yes $ No $
OWN Yes No No No
Oxygen Yes $ No $
Paramount Network Yes $ $ $
Science No $ $ $
SEC Network Yes $ $ No
Showtime $ $ $ $
Smithsonian Yes No No No
Starz $ $ $ $
Sundance TV Yes $ $ $
Syfy Yes Yes No Yes
Tastemade Yes $ $ $
TBS Yes Yes Yes Yes
TCM Yes $ $ $
TeenNick Yes $ $ $
Telemundo Yes No No No
Tennis Channel No $ $ $
TLC Yes Yes No Yes
TNT Yes Yes Yes Yes
Travel Channel Yes Yes Yes Yes
TruTV Yes Yes $ Yes
TV Land Yes $ $ $
USA Network Yes Yes No Yes
VH1 Yes $ $ $
Vice No Yes Yes Yes
WE tv Yes $ $ $