Sling TV is one of the best options for cost-conscious cord cutters. It offers flexible channel lineups with multiple pricing options. But one area that might give potential viewers hesitation is the lack of local channels. Sling TV does not offer ABC, CBS, Telemundo, and The CW. But you can get Fox and NBC in select markets.
Here’s everything you need to know about watching locals with Sling TV.
Where Can You Watch Local Channels on Sling TV?
Customers in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, Washington, D.C., Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, Hartford/New Haven, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Los Angeles, San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose and San Diego markets can receive live and on-demand content from NBC.
Customers in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Houston, Milwaukee, Orlando/Daytona/Melbourne, Tampa/St. Petersburg, Gainesville, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Austin, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose markets can receive live and on-demand content from Fox.
NBC and FOX
Viewers in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose receive both your local NBC and FOX affiliates.
Other Options to Watch NBC
If you live in an area not covered by Sling TV’s NBC agreement, you can still watch your local station with a subscription to Peacock Premium for $4.99 / month. That service provides the live NBC feed in 210 markets, which covers most of the country.
Peacock also includes hundreds of great movies and TV shows on demand, so you can watch “Yellowstone,” “Bel-Air,” “The Office,” Sunday Night Football, Premier League, and exclusive MLB games.
Other Options to Watch CBS
While Sling TV doesn’t directly offer your local CBS affiliate, there is an inexpensive option to get it. With Paramount+ Premium Plan, which is $9.99 / month, you can stream your local CBS affiliate. If you just want live sports from CBS, and their entertainment content, you can get all that with their Essentials Plan for $4.99 / month.
Remember, Paramount+ also includes hits like “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Tulsa King,” and “1923.” You’ll also get most shows that aired on BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, and Smithsonian Channel. The Nickelodeon shows are great if you have kids - “PAW Patrol” and “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “Blues Clues” will keep them entertained.
Other Options to Watch FOX
If you don’t live in one of the cities listed above that offers FOX, that can be a little more tricky. FOX doesn’t have a DTC option. If you want to watch local news from FOX stations, you may be able to find that for free on Tubi. That service offers dozens of local stations. If you’re looking for FOX entertainment programming, some of that is available on Tubi (free), while some goes to Hulu.
Other Options to Watch ABC
Other Options to Watch PBS
If you want to watch PBS, the free PBS app is your best bet. You’ll be able to watch your local channel and view on demand programming like the outstanding “Frontline” series.
Other Options to Watch Local Channels
The most straightforward way to watch any local channel is to install a digital antenna. Depending on where you live, you may be able to get dozens of channels in HD. Need an antenna? Here are two we recommend.
Mohu Leaf 30
Up to 30 Mile Range
Mohu Leaf 50
Up to 60 Mile Range
If you only want to see your local newscast, many free services provide this. Depending on your affiliate, you may find your local news on Tubi, Pluto TV, Local Now, NewsON, VUit, Haystack News, or DistroTV. To see network entertainment or sports, you probably need another service like those we’ve listed above.
Will Sling TV Add More Local Stations?
While it’s possible, this seems unlikely. Sling TV management always has an eye on its financial picture, and the owners of local affiliates tend to pick fights with the services that carry them. Since Sling TV is unwilling to engage in protracted carriage battles, we don’t expect this to be a focus moving forward.
What Happened to Locast?
In 2021, Sling TV had been rolling out an integration with a service called Locast to give customers quick access to local channels directly from the grid guide. But with Locast suspending operations, Sling TV removed that feature from the app.
At the time, a Sling TV spokesperson told us:
As a result of Locast suspending its service, it is no longer available via a link through Sling TV. We offer alternative ways to watch local channels for free. Customers can stream local channels like ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC in the Sling app with AirTV. For more details on our local bundles, visit sling.com/locals.
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Sling TV is a live TV streaming service with 2 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.
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.