If you’re looking for a new live TV streaming service, is Sling TV or Hulu Live TV a better choice? The decision may depend on what you value most. Both are excellent streaming options with lots of pros and cons. If you’d like a quick comparison, check out The Streamable’s Service Matchmaker. Let’s dig in to compare your options.
Winner on Price: Sling TV
Hulu clocks in at US$64.99 / month.
Sling TV has a unique cost structure because it allows you to choose from two limited (but inexpensive) channel groups. A slightly more expensive subscription offers a combo package with a bigger channel lineup.
If don’t mind a narrower channel selection, you can go with either the Sling Orange lineup or the Sling Blue lineup for US$35 / month. If you want a wider selection of channels, you’ll need Sling Orange+Blue for US$50 / month. That’s still less expensive than Hulu’s live option.
Winner on Overall Channels: Hulu Live TV
When it comes to the base tiers, Hulu Live TV holds the edge. Hulu includes 32 of the top 35 cable channels, which tops Sling TV’s 27 of the top 35 cable channels.
Sling TV will be your choice if you like to watch AMC.
Overall, Sling TV offers 53 channels, while Hulu offers 97.
Hulu allows you to add a package of additional channels for US$8/month.
That Hulu upgrade adds American Heroes, BET Her, CNBC World, Cooking Channel, Destination America, Discovery Family, Discovery Life, DIY, Magnolia Network, MTV Classic, MTV2, Nicktoons, Science and TeenNick.
In line with its a la carte efforts, Sling TV gives users a staggering menu of channel upgrades starting at US$6/month. The channels available will vary, depending on whether your base is Sling Orange, Sling Blue, or the Sling Orange+Blue combo.
For example, Sling TV offers mini packages with titles like Comedy Extra, News Extra, Heartland Extra, Sports Extra, Kids Extra, Lifestyle Extra, and Hollywood Extra. You could choose them individually or get every bundle for $21-$27 / month. See what each bundle offers here.
Since Sling TV’s channel options are split into so many different packages, The Streamable’s Service Matchmaker is your best tool to identify what package works best for you.
|“Hulu Live TV”||“Orange”||“Blue”||“Combo”|
|Free Trial||Get $25 OFF||Get $25 OFF||Get $25 OFF|
|Disney Junior||•||^ US$6||-||^ US$6|
|FXX||•||-||^ US$6||^ US$6|
|Hallmark Channel||-||^ US$6||^ US$6||^ US$6|
|MTV||•||^ US$6||^ US$6||^ US$6|
|Paramount Network||•||^ US$6||^ US$6||^ US$6|
|VH1||•||^ US$6||^ US$6||^ US$6|
|WE tv||-||^ US$6||^ US$6||^ US$6|
Winner on Local Channels: Hulu Live TV
Sling TV does not offer ABC, CBS, Telemundo and The CW. But you can get Fox AND NBC in select markets. They recently began to integrate donation-based Locast into their grid guide, which allows you to access local channels, for $5.50 a month.
Winner on Sports Channels: Draw
Pro Sports Networks
Professional sports league channels MLB Network, NBA TV, and NHL Network are not available on Hulu Live TV.
Sling TV allows users to bolster their sports coverage with the Sports Extra package (US$11-US$15/month) with channels like beIN Sports, Campus Insiders, ESPN Bases Loaded, ESPN Buzzer Beater, ESPN Goal Line, ESPNEWS, Fox Sports 2, Golf Channel, MLB Network, MLB Network Strike Zone, Motorsport TV, NBA TV, NFL RedZone, NHL Network, Outside Television, SEC Network+, Stadium Plus and Tennis Channel. The channels you receive in this add-on depend on whether you subscribe to Sling Orange, Sling Blue, or the combo.
Regional Sports Networks
Only Hulu offers NBC Sports Bay Area, NBC Sports Boston, NBC Sports California, NBC Sports Chicago, NBC Sports Northwest, NBC Sports Philadelphia, NBC Sports Philadelphia+, NBC Sports Washington, NBC Sports Washington+ and SportsNet NY.
Sling TV does not offer Regional Sports Networks.
College Sports Networks
However, Hulu offers those channels, plus CBS Sports Network in its most basic channel package.
Winner on Included Features: Hulu Live TV
On Demand Library
Hulu Live users get access to Hulu’s vast library of on demand content, although you will see ads unless you’re willing to upgrade for another $6/month. That’s honestly a great deal for the number of movies and shows you’ll get. Normally, ad-free access to Hulu’s library would cost US$11.99 / month. You’ll be able to see “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Little Fires Everywhere,” “Palm Springs,” “PEN15,” “Shrill,” and a great rotating library of blockbuster movies.
Sling TV offers no similar feature.
Hulu includes a cloud DVR with 50 hours of capacity, though you can’t fast-forward through commercials. (Brutal, if you ask us.) You can upgrade to the Enhanced Cloud DVR for $9.99/month. That provides 200 hours of storage space and you can fast forward through ads.
Sling TV also includes 50 hours of recording space with each subscription, but it will automatically delete the oldest watched shows, so it can continue to record the latest shows scheduled to be recorded.
For $5/month, you can add a Sling TV cloud DVR with 200 hours of recording space.
Sling TV has the most full-featured DVR of any of the streaming services. You can record individual episodes, all episodes of a series, or only new episodes of a series. You can also protect recordings to keep them indefinitely. If you cancel your service, Sling will keep your recording for up to 30 days in case you decide to return to the service.
Sling TV is a better bet if you’re price-sensitive, or if you don’t mind occasionally swapping packages from month to month. If you have a narrow group of channels you prefer, Sling may allow you access to those without some of the additional cost of other services. If you think Sling TV is right for you, be sure to run your favorite channels through The Streamable’s Service Matchmaker to be sure you can get them all at a reasonable price through the service. Sling does offer lots of different configurations, but the price can escalate quickly.
If you want a quick solution to provide a huge channel selection, Hulu might make more sense. Its great on-demand library is also a unique feature among all streaming services, and the cost for the ad-free version of that service is very reasonable. The superior local channel availability also makes Hulu a stronger choice if those are a priority.