Sports fans can cut the cord and still watch all the sports they want online for less! Compare Sling TV vs DIRECTV STREAM to determine if either of these services will allow you to cut the cord and watch sports on the cheap!
Most of the people that I know clinging to cable these days are sports fans. There are so many channels that air sports, and every sport has a series of networks that it airs on. It’s easy to see how people would think it’s easier to just keep cable. I can’t blame them. I don’t want to be without sports either. Of course, you can cut the cord and still watch sports. In fact, most of the top streaming services offer sports coverage at a cheaper price. Why pay more to get the same thing?
When it comes to sports coverage, two popular services that frequently come up are Sling TV and DIRECTV STREAM. Both services offer your choice of live streaming plans with multiple channels, plenty of sports, and several package features. If you’re thinking of jumping into streaming, this look at Sling TV vs DIRECTV STREAM might help you pick a streaming service. Keep reading if you want to compare these two services.
What is Sling TV?
Sling TV has been involved in live streaming since the early days of streaming. It stands out because after all these years, Sling TV is still the cheapest live streaming option to blend general entertainment and sports. Sling TV offers three packages, starting with 30+ channels for just $40 a month. Packages might be smaller, but you’re still getting channels like ESPN, AMC, USA, TNT, and more!
If you want more channels, you can choose a larger plan or you can choose from a variety of channel bundles, which will give you access to the channels you want for less money. Every package comes with some cloud-DVR space, an on-demand library, and use of TV Everywhere apps. Sling TV does not offer a free trial, but they do offer device deals, and with no contracts, you can cancel when you want. Our Sling TV review has additional details.
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What is DIRECTV STREAM?
DIRECTV STREAM is popular with fans of cable that don’t want to pay the typical cable price tag. That’s because DIRECTV STREAM was created by a cable company. That means that you’ll find multiple packages to choose from with some of the top networks in TV. Local channels are included with every package in most parts of the country. The base package comes with more than 65 channels and costs $70 a month.
In addition to sports and entertainment airing live, you’ll have an on-demand library and a cloud-based DVR to ensure that you’re able to watch what you want on your schedule. If you share your account, you’ll be able to stream on three devices simultaneously. You can stream DIRECTV STREAM on Roku, Apple TV, mobile devices, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, computers, and other devices. Our DIRECTV STREAM review is available if you’d like to learn more.
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Pricing Options: Sling TV vs DIRECTV STREAM
Sling TV gives you the option of three channel plans. Plans start at $40 per month with around 30+ channels. You won’t find much local coverage if your area has any at all. What you will find are networks like ESPN, TBS, TNT, USA, AMC, Disney, and much more. You can also add channels to your package for an additional fee. Sling TV does not offer a free trial, but you might be able to find a device deal if you’re willing to prepay for the service.
DIRECTV STREAM also offers multiple plans. With DIRECTV STREAM, the smallest package features over 65 channels for $70 a month. Packages with over 135 channels are available if you’re willing to pay more. Unlike Sling TV, DIRECTV STREAM offers local coverage to most homes. You can also add some channels to your package for a fee. Before your paid subscription begins, DIRECTV STREAM will start you off with a free 5-day trial.
Winner: Sling TV (If we’re going just off price, Sling TV is the definite winner. DIRECTV STREAM nearly doubles the cost, but they also double the number of channels you receive.)
Channel Selection: Sling TV vs DIRECTV STREAM
Before we talk about sports, we’re going to use this section to look at the general entertainment channels that you’ll receive with Sling TV and DIRECTV STREAM. We know that sports are important, but if you’re channel surfing, you might want to know what other options you’ll find.
Sling TV and DIRECTV STREAM provide access to some of the same channels. Of course, DIRECTV STREAM offers a starting package that is nearly double the size of Sling TV’s package, so you’ll find a lot of differences in these plans, too. Depending on the channels you want, it’s possible that the better option will be the cheaper one.
Sling TV starts you off with 30+ channels including:
AMC, Bravo, Comedy Central, Cooking Channel, Disney, Food Network, Freeform, FX, HGTV, History, Lifetime, National Geographic, Syfy, TBS, TNT, Travel, USA, and more!
*Sling TV’s channel lineup is contingent on the package you pick when you signup, but every channel is available in one of Sling TV’s base packages.
DIRECTV STREAM offers:
ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC (locals are based on location, but are available in most areas), A&E, AMC, Destination America, Discovery, Disney, Food Network, Hallmark Channel, Investigation Discovery, Lifetime, Nat Geo, TBS, TNT, truTV, USA, and much more.
*DIRECTV STREAM’s lineup is dependent on your package. Every channel mentioned is available in one of the available DIRECTV STREAM plans.
There are a few networks that just seem blatantly missing from both services, so the winner here could come down to which channels you want more. With Sling TV you’re going to miss out on local channels. Spotty FOX and NBC coverage is available, but ABC and CBS are missing. With DIRECTV STREAM the biggest miss comes with the lack of NFL Network.
Winner: Tie (Both networks lack something. The question is do you want local channels or NFL Network?)
Sports Coverage: Sling TV vs DIRECTV STREAM
Sling TV and DIRECTV STREAM both offer plenty of sports channels. Despite Sling TV being a smaller service, you’ll still find some of the biggest networks in sports available. Both services also offer sports coverage that can be added to your base package. So, if you don’t see something you want, that could be another option for you.
Sling TV’s Sports Lineup could include: ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3 (airs ABC games), FOX and NBC (in a few, limited markets), FS1, MotorTrend, NFL Network, Stadium, TBS, TNT, truTV, USA, and more!
Depending on the package you choose, there is a sports bundle available that you can add to your account. This bundle includes channels not available in your package that might be featured in other plans. Some available channels include ACCN, ACCN Extra, beIN, BTN, ESPNU, ESPNews, FS2, Golf, Longhorn Network, MLB Network, NBA TV, NFL RedZone, NHL Network, Pac-12 Network, SECN, SECN+, Tennis, and more.
DIRECTV STREAM offers the following sports channels: Local Channels, ACCN, Big Ten Network, CBS Sports Network, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNews, ESPNU, FS1, FS2, MLB Network, NBA TV, NHL Network, SECN, Sportsman, TBS, TNT, Tennis, and more!
DIRECTV STREAM features over 20 sports channels in the largest package! The number of channels you end up with will depend on the package that you pick. DIRECTV STREAM offers one sports add-on, which is NBA League Pass. You can pick that up during basketball season for $40 per month.
Winner: DIRECTV STREAM (Both of these services have some of the top sports channels, but DIRECTV STREAM offers local channels to most homes, too.)
Package Features: Sling TV vs DIRECTV STREAM
The last big decider in the streaming scene is package features. These are perks that come with your live streaming package. They are meant to make your streaming experience better. For example, some services offer you multiple profiles for a shared family account or the ability to use TV Everywhere apps with your streaming credentials. Here are the package features offered by Sling TV and DIRECTV STREAM.
Sling TV provides many of the standard features that cord cutters have become familiar with over the years. You’ll get an on-demand library and access to a cloud-DVR with 50-hours of space. Simultaneous streaming is available on up to four devices at once, though this is dependent on your package. You’ll also be able to use TV Everywhere apps by signing in with your Sling TV login.
DIRECTV STREAM offers all the features listed above with just a few changes. With DIRECTV STREAM you can stream simultaneously on three devices, no matter which plan you choose. You’ll also have access to use TV Everywhere apps and your account comes with an on-demand library. You even get your own cloud-DVR, but this one comes with an unlimited amount of cloud-DVR storage.
Winner: DIRECTV STREAM (Both services offer the same basic features, but DIRECTV STREAM gives you an unlimited DVR while Sling TV only offers 50-hours of space.)
Pros & Cons: Sling TV
Sling TV is a great choice for budget conscious consumers. However, price alone isn’t going to make a service right for you. If you’re interested in learning more, here are the pros and cons of subscribing to Sling TV.
- Take your pick of three plans starting at $40 a month
- The cheapest option in streaming that offers 30+ channels
- Personalize your package with low-cost channel bundles
- Top sports networks are part of the base package
- Cloud-DVR with limited space is included
- Stream on all popular streaming devices
- Local channels aren’t a focus and only available in a few cities, if at all
- No free trial, but device details are frequently offered
- Too many package and add-on options could be confusing
Pros & Cons: DIRECTV STREAM
DIRECTV STREAM is another good choice for cord cutters. While they are like Sling TV in some ways, there are quite a few differences, too. Here are the pros and cons to signing up for DIRECTV STREAM.
- Multiple plans available plus add-on content
- Local networks are available in most areas
- Most popular sports networks are included or available
- Decent package features like cloud-DVR and TV Everywhere usage
- Simultaneously stream on three devices at one time
- DIRECTV STREAM offers a 5-day trial
- Too many package options can be a bad thing
- NFL Network is not available
- These plans can become pricey when you’re trying to get the channels you want
Winner: Tie (Both services have more positives than negatives, so it just comes down to what you’re looking for in a streaming service.)
Conclusion: What’s Better? Sling TV or DIRECTV STREAM?
Both Sling TV and DIRECTV STREAM are excellent streaming services. They both offer many of the top sports and general entertainment channels and they have some add-ons if you want to add channels to your package. At the end of the day, this choice will likely come down to whether you want a smaller or larger package and how much you want to pay for it. For example, if you don’t need local channels, but you want ESPN and some other cable networks, Sling TV would be the cheapest option for you. If you want a larger package that looks and feels a little more like cable, DIRECTV STREAM is the way to go. If you have any additional questions on Sling TV vs DIRECTV STREAM, feel free to let us know in the comments.