Sling TV Adds ABC to Sling Blue in 8 Markets, $5 Price Hike in Select Markets
Sling has announced that starting on Wednesday, March 1, customers in certain markets will begin receiving their local ABC affiliates as part of their subscription.
Similar to the way Sling offers FOX and NBC, users will have to be subscribed to Sling’s Blue plan ($40 per month) or Sling’s Orange and Blue Plans ($55 per month) to gain access to the ABC stations in the affected markets. Sling Orange customers will not see ABC added to their plan in any market.
ABC will be coming to Sling in eight markets overall starting March 1:
|ABC DMA||CHANNEL CALL SIGN|
|San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose||KGO|
Users in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, and San Francisco will see a price increase of $5 per month to their bill to account for the increased carriage fees for having NBC, ABC, and FOX, bringing their bills to $45 per month for Sling Blue users, and $60 per month for Sling Orange + Blue users. Customers in Fresno, Houston, and Raleigh-Durham will not see their price increase as a result of the ABC addition.
Customers with Sling Orange already get some ABC sports programming as part of ESPN3, which includes NBA, NHL, and College Football games airing on ABC’s broadcast network. However, those will an ABC local affiliate will get live ABC programming, including syndicated shows (like Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune) and local news.
The restoration of certain ABC channels to Sling customers in these markets marks the beginning of a thaw between Sling and the broadcaster’s parent company Disney. Sling first began offering ABC in 2016 as part of its Broadcast Extra add-on pack, but discontinued the add-on — when they dropped Univision (which was also included) — in 2018.
In October 2022, Sling dropped 17 Disney-owned channels from its service after failing to reach a carriage agreement. The channels were only dark for two days before a handshake deal between Disney and Sling’s parent company Dish restored them. The deal also included the restoration of local ABC stations to Dish satellite users, but this is the first time since 2018 that any Sling customers will have access to ABC.
Sling TV ended 2022 with 2.3 million subscribers, fewer users than it had at the end of 2021 or 2020, in part no doubt thanks to price increases which took effect in November. The service will likely do whatever it can to lure users back over the next year, including new channel offerings like the addition of ABC in select markets.
New features and free access to new streaming services should also help Sling boost its numbers throughout 2023. Earlier this month the service rolled out new user profiles to manage their favorite shows, update their DVR settings, and more. Sling will also be offering what it calls “Freeview” periods in 2023, allowing users free viewing windows of streaming services like MGM+ and more throughout the year.
Sling TV is a live TV streaming service with 2 distinct plans. The US$ 40/month “Sling Orange” plan offers about 30 channels, including Disney Channel en ESPN. The US$ 40/month “Sling Blue” plan offers about 40 channels, including Fox en NBC local channels.
Sling Blue users in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, and San Francisco pay a $5 surcharge because they have access to their local ABC affiliate.
If you subscribe to both plans, you’ll receive a $25 discount. Sling also offers various “Extra” packs that you can add to your subscription.
Sling is great for the budget-conscious cord cutter who just wants to watch live TV, but doesn’t need the most comprehensive channel selection.