ABC Coming to Sling TV in Select on Markets March 1; Will Your Subscription Cost Go Up?
Out goes February, in comes March, and that means that select Sling TV customers are getting a new channel! Starting Wednesday, March 1, users of the live TV streaming service’s Blue Plan will be granted access to ABC in eight markets across the United States.
The upshot is, in five of those markets, users will now have access to ABC, NBC, and FOX, giving them three of the four major broadcast networks. The downside is, users in those markets will be asked to pay an extra $5 per month thanks to the addition of ABC.
The markets set to begin receiving ABC on March 1 are:
|ABC DMA||CHANNEL CALL SIGN|
|San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose||KGO|
Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, and San Francisco users will see their bill increase by $5 per month. This will bring their total 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 inclusion of ABC in their channel lineup.
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 with an ABC local affiliate will now get live ABC programming, including syndicated shows (like “Jeopardy” and “Wheel of Fortune”) and local news.
The reintroduction of ABC to Sling could signal the beginning of improved corporate relations between Disney and the streamer. Sling used to carry ABC as part of one of its add-on channel packs until the local affiliates were removed in 2018. Then, a carriage dispute in 2022 led the live streamer to shed 17 Disney-owned channels. 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 may not be making too many similar additions in the future. Dish’s co-founder and chairman Charles Ergen recently referred to carrying local broadcast affiliates as “a tax,” and that the company wasn’t seeing much of a return on its investment in them. If the roll-out of ABC on Sling TV does not go well in the markets listed above, it could be one of the last times the service makes a push to add local broadcast affiliates.
If you are a Sling customer, but still do not have access to your ABC channels, you are still able to get local news via free streaming platforms like VuIt, NewsON, Local Now, Very Local, and more.
Sling TV is a live TV streaming service that helps users save money with the option of two distinct plans. The $40/month “Sling Orange” plan offers about 30 channels, including Disney Channel and ESPN. The $40/month “Sling Blue” plan offers about 40 channels, including Fox and 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.