With so many streaming options, it can be hard to choose the right one for you. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be. Let’s break it down in this YouTube TV vs Sling TV comparison to see if either of these top services could be right for you!
If you’re like most people, myself included, you decided to research streaming services prior to cutting the cord. Lots of people do this because they want to continue getting the same sports and entertainment that cable provides, they just don’t want to pay those higher prices and hidden fees. Once you’ve checked out some services and begun to narrow the list, a comparison can come in handy. That’s what this is. In the sections below we’re going to compare YouTube TV and Sling TV. You’ll learn how much they cost and what they offer you, from sports and general channel selection, to features and more!
YouTube TV and Sling TV are two of the hottest streaming services currently available. Both services offer plenty of features, decent channel lineups, and plenty of add-ons if you’re looking to personalize your package. If you’re ready to find out which of these services is right for you, keep reading!
What is YouTube TV?
YouTube TV is a live streaming platform that allows you to enjoy a package like cable at a cheaper price. Instead, what you receive is 85+ live local and nationwide networks viewable on everything from your TV to your phone for one-low price. No hidden fees and no contracts, so you can cancel at any point. You can stream YouTube TV on Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, Amazon Fire devices, computers, mobile devices, and more.
YouTube TV offers access to local channels in most areas. You also get a good amount of cable networks offering everything from sports to general entertainment. If that’s not enough, you’ll also have access to on-demand content, a cloud-DVR, and YouTube Originals! You can even add additional channels if you want! You can find out more about this great service in our YouTube TV review.
YouTube TV even comes with a free 7-day trial!
What is Sling TV?
Sling TV is one of the oldest live streaming services currently available in the streaming space. The big difference between YouTube TV and Sling TV is that Sling TV offers a couple of smaller packages that are the cheapest in streaming. You start with a base package, available at a low price, and from there you can add additional channels to build your ultimate streaming plan. Prices start at $40 per month. Sling TV is also a no-contract service. Sling TV has three packages to choose from, the Orange plan, the Blue plan, and the Orange+Blue plan, which combines the smaller two plans into one larger one!
Sling TV offers some access to local channels, though they are on a more limited basis than YouTube TV. While locals are lacking, Sling TV excels at offering sports, general entertainment, and family programming. Each account comes with an on-demand library and cloud-DVR access. You can stream Sling TV on most devices including Apple TV, mobile devices, Chromecast, and more! Check out our Sling TV review for more details.
Try Sling TV today!
Pricing Options: YouTube TV vs Sling TV
YouTube TV offers one basic package that includes over 80 channels for $65 per month. If you’re new to the service, your subscription will start with a free 7-day trial. Unlike with cable, your package price won’t change. The only way your package will cost more is if you add additional channels to your package. The $65 per month package includes live TV, an on-demand library, YouTube Originals, and a cloud-DVR.
Sling TV has three packages that start at $40 per month. You won’t pay any hidden fees and you can end your subscription whenever you want. Each of the smaller packages offer 30+ channels. There are also dozens of fairly priced add-ons so that you can personalize your package. Sling TV does not offer a free trial, but they often offer device discounts or freebies if you prepay for your service.
Winner: Sling TV (if you’re going off price alone, Sling TV is one of the cheapest streaming services that offer sports.)
Channel Selection: YouTube TV vs Sling TV
Channel lineup is one of the most important details when picking a streaming service. There is no point in switching from cable to streaming if you can’t get the channels you love. Finding the right lineup for you, can be time consuming if you’re looking at streaming services separately, but in this comparison, we will compare the general entertainment channel lineup for YouTube TV and Sling TV. As soon we go over regular channels, we will check out what sports channels are offered!
YouTube TV and Sling TV do offer some of the same channel lineup, but there are notable differences in what’s available and how much these packages cost. If you’re interested in channel lineup above all else, this is the section for you.
YouTube TV’s channel lineup includes:
ABC, AMC, Animal Planet, BBC America, Cartoon Network, CBS, Discovery, Disney, FOX, Freeform, FX, HGTV, Nat Geo, NBC, Nickelodeon, Sundance TV, TBS, TNT, USA, and much more!
Sling TV’s lineup may include the following:
A&E, AMC, Bravo, Cartoon Network, Comedy Central, Disney, Food Network, Freeform, FX, History, Lifetime, Syfy, TBS, TNT, Travel, USA, and more!
*Sling TV’s channel lineup depends on the specific package you choose, but all the mentioned channels are available in one of Sling TV’s base packages.
In terms of missing channels, with YouTube TV you won’t find A&E, History, or Lifetime. Sling TV does offer packages with all three channels, but they are largely missing local channels. The only local content that Sling TV currently offers is NBC and FOX, but only in a few key areas.
Winner: YouTube TV (the addition of local channels, not only gives you all the primetime content you might want, but it ensures the addition of local sporting events.)
Sports Coverage: YouTube TV vs Sling TV
You’ll find a variety of sports channels available on both YouTube TV and Sling TV. Ultimately, either service could offer what you’re looking for, it just depends on the sports you like to watch. Additionally, both services offer add-on sports content for an additional fee.
YouTube TV’s Sports Lineup: ABC, ACCN, BTN, CBS, CBSSN, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNews, FOX, FS1, FS2, Golf, Los Angeles Football Club, MLB Game of the Week, MLB Network, MotorTrend, NBA TV, NBC, NBC Sports Network regional channels, NFLN, Olympic Channel, SEC Network, and SNY.
With YouTube TV you get over 20 sports channels with your base plan! There’s also the option of adding the NBA League Pass for $40/month or you can get the Sports Plus Bundle for $11/mo. The Sports Plus Bundle includes FOX College Sports, FOX Soccer Plus, Gol TV, MAVTV, NFL Red Zone, Stadium, and TVG.
Sling TV’s Sports Lineup: ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, FOX (limited markets), FS1, MotorTrend, NBC (limited markets), NFL Network, Stadium, and more!
Sling TV has two sports add-on packages based on the package you have. Both packages are available for $11 per month. The available channels in these packages include: ACCN, ACCN Extra, beIN Sports, BTN, ESPNU, ESPNews, FS2, Golf Channel, Longhorn Network, MLB Network, MLB Network Strike Zone, NBA TV, NFL RedZone, NHL Network, Olympic Channel, Pac-12 Network, SECN, SECN+, and Tennis.
Winner: YouTube TV (Each of these services have something to offer to sports fans. Ultimately, YouTube TV offers more sports channels.)
Package Features: YouTube TV vs Sling TV
Beyond price and channel selection, added features are another important part of choosing a streaming service. Having the channels you want, might be at the top of your list, but being able to enjoy a cloud-DVR, access to TV Everywhere apps, and other features could make a service stand out against the rest.
YouTube TV offers a lot of the common features you’ll find with a streaming service today. They offer a cloud-DVR with unlimited space, access to TV Everywhere apps and YouTube Originals, streaming on three devices simultaneously, and the use of up to 6 profiles per account.
Sling TV offers a lot of the same features as YouTube TV, with just a few differences. You’ll receive a cloud-DVR, but Sling TV only offers 50-hours of space. Depending on your package you will get simultaneous streaming on between 1 and 4 devices. They also offer both TV Everywhere app access and an on-demand library.
Winner: YouTube TV (While many features are similar, YouTube TV offers access to YouTube Original content you can’t find elsewhere and the cloud-DVR features unlimited space.)
Pros & Cons: YouTube TV
Comparing a service to another service is a good idea if you’re just not sure which one will work best for you. Of course, it’s also important to look at each service individually to determine the pros and cons of subscription. Here are the pros and cons of YouTube TV:
- Access to local channels & 20+ sports networks
- All major cable news channels plus plenty of channels for the kids and general entertainment
- Price is comparable to other services with similar offerings
- Unlimited cloud-based DVR
- Available on computers, mobile devices, and most streaming boxes/sticks
- YouTube Originals are part of your package
- YouTube TV begins with a free 7-day trial
- There are a few missing channels that you might want
- When it comes to sports, the one limitation of YouTube TV is with RSNs
There are plenty of reasons to consider YouTube TV, even with the few cons that come with it. Now here are the pros and cons of Sling TV.
Pros & Cons: Sling TV
Sling TV is one of the oldest and most affordable streaming options that are currently available. Let’s see what they have to offer.
- Choose from 3 packages starting at just $40 per month
- Many popular sports channels included with the base package
- Add-ons mean more channels and the option for a personalized package
- Most of the top pay channels are included with Sling TV
- Available on your choice of streaming devices
- Local channels are not all available and the ones that are aren’t available nationwide
- Cloud-DVR access is limited
- The price is right for most, but some could find the package options confusing
Winner: Tie (Both services are worth considering, in the end it will depend on the channels you want, the price you’re willing to pay, and the features you need.)
Conclusion: What’s Better? YouTube TV or Sling TV?
Ultimately, the right answer is going to be whatever you decide for you. Both YouTube TV and Sling TV have positives. Both services offer an abundance of sports channels, a decent general channel lineup, and some important features. If you want local channels, your best bet will be YouTube TV. If you want a cheaper price and don’t need local channel access, Sling TV might be the choice for you!