If you know anything about streaming, you know that the market is quickly filling with a variety of options. It started with on-demand options like Netflix and Hulu, then came live streaming options from Sling TV and later a variety of other services including YouTube TV. This doesn’t include all of the smaller networks and niche services that are available. If your goal is to add live TV and you don’t want cable, there are a lot of streaming services that will allow you to do that. The problem is finding the one that has everything you want. It’s easy to narrow it down to a few good services, but then what? That’s the purpose of this Sling TV vs YouTube TV comparison.
In the following sections, you’ll have a chance to compare pricing, package features, channel availability, and the value of each service. This should help you to make a decision as to whether either of these services offers something that’s right for you.
Sling TV and YouTube TV Similarities
We’re going to spend a lot of time pointing out the differences between these two services, but there are some similarities that these two services share, as well. So, let’s start by looking at what makes Sling TV and YouTube TV alike. Both Sling TV and YouTube TV are:
- Free of contracts – You are able to cancel whenever you want
- Filled with a variety of popular channels providing an experience similar to cable
- Less expensive than most cable options
- Available to use with a Wi-fi or Internet connection, as opposed to cable
- Compatible with many streaming devices from mobile devices and computers to Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku, and more
Both of these services offer a wide variety of channels, allowing you to watch sports online or just about anything else you might find on cable. You’ll be able to flip through a variety of channels knowing that you’re paying less and can cancel anytime you wish.
Next up in this Sling TV vs YouTube TV comparison we’re going to look at more of what each of these services can offer you.
Sling TV vs YouTube TV: At a Glance
The following breakdown gives you an easy way to learn more about Sling TV and YouTube TV. While we look closer at things like channel lineup below, this section will give you a pretty good idea of what you can expect if you’re looking for a brief rundown of these two services.
Price/Value – Sling TV has three basic package options. The cheapest is $25 per month and the most expensive one is $40 per month. YouTube TV offers one package option and is available for $50 per month. Sling TV offers the chance to customize your package, which allows you more of what you want for a cheaper price. In contrast, YouTube TV offers more channels to start with, but fewer options for customization.
Channel Selection – Sling TV’s cheaper packages start you off with 30 to 40 channels, but with add-on packages, you could easily create a package with over 100 channels. YouTube TV includes over 70 channels to start. A small variety of add-on bundles are also available offering things like Showtime or NBA League Pass. So, Sling TV provides a better chance for customization but depending on your channel preferences that might not be necessary with YouTube TV.
Features – Sling TV and YouTube TV share a few similar features that are common amongst many streaming services. Both services offer an on-demand library and are compatible with a variety of TV Everywhere apps. Simultaneous streaming is available with both services. With Sling TV the Orange package only allows for one stream, but the Blue package allows you streaming on three devices at once. The combined package adds an additional stream at no charge. YouTube TV allows for streaming on three devices at once.
The main difference in features is that YouTube TV allows for six user profiles, so families can create their own profile and keep their shows separate. Sling TV does not offer user profiles, at this time. The other difference comes with the cloud-DVR. With Sling TV, you can add a DVR with a set amount of space for $5/month. YouTube TV provides a cloud-DVR with unlimited space with each package.
Device Compatibility – In terms of device compatibility, both Sling TV and YouTube TV works on Apple TV, iOS and Android devices, Roku, Chromecast, smart TVs, computers, and Nvidia Shield. YouTube TV also works with Xbox One.
Deals & Free Trial – Sling TV and YouTube TV both offer a free 7-day trial. In most cases, Sling TV also usually offers some sort of member special that offers a discount or sometimes a free streaming device when you pre-pay for a set amount of time. YouTube TV generally doesn’t offer frequent member specials beyond their free trial.
So, based on everything thus far, Sling TV offers the best options when it comes to initial pricing and customization options. You get a low starting price and can build a package with the channels you want without spending too much money. That said, YouTube TV offers user profiles and an unlimited cloud-DVR. If you want a cheap starting price, you’ll likely favor Sling TV, but if you’re interested in package features, YouTube TV might be the right choice for you.
Now, it’s time to learn about the Sling TV vs YouTube TV channel lineup.
Sling TV vs YouTube TV Channels
With Sling TV offering three packages and YouTube TV offering one, it can be slightly difficult to offer a side-by-side comparison of the two services when it comes to channel lineup. As a result, in this section, you’ll get a brief look at the channel lineups from both services.
Sling TV has three packages:
Sling Blue: More than 40+ channels for $25 per month. Highlights include popular channels like Discovery, AMC, USA, FS1, HGTV, TNT, FX, TBS, History, and a limited amount of cities will also receive FOX and NBC.
Sling Orange + Blue: This package is a combined offering of the two packages listed above. You’ll pay $40 per month and receive 50+ channels. This package includes every channel in the two separate packages.
Add on Packages: If you want more channels you can add them to any package. Add-on packages are typically between $5 and $10 per month, though can cost more depending on the package. In most cases, each add-on offers anywhere from 5-10 (or more) channels.
YouTube TV has one package:
YouTube TV gets you started with more than 70 channels in a full range of genres. You’ll have everything you need to watch everything from your local news to sports, movies, and more. There are also a few add-on options, though there are less than with Sling TV. Package options include:
YouTube TV: More than 70 channels are available for $50 per month. Popular channels include ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX (depending on location), AMC, BBC America, Animal Planet, Big Ten Network, FX, Cartoon Network, CW, Discovery, Syfy, Freeform, HLN, NBA TV, Lifetime, and many others.
Add-on Packages: YouTube TV offers less options when it comes to add-on channels. Currently, they have nine add-on packages to choose from including AMC Premiere, EPIX, NBA League Pass, FOX Soccer Plus, Showtime, Starz, Shudder, and others. Pricing depends on the package you choose, but options start as low as $3 for some add-ons.
With the basics behind us, it’s time to take a look at how a package like Sling Orange + Blue would stack up against YouTube TV in a variety of areas.
Sling TV: Several ESPN networks, Regional channels from FOX Sports and NBC Sports, FS1, NFL Network, and other channels.
News & Locals
Sling TV: Local coverage is available in limited areas, but only for FOX and NBC. Other available news networks include Cheddar News, Newsy, CNN, Viceland, and more
YouTube TV: All four major local channels (CBS, ABC, NBC, and FOX) are available in most areas. Available news channels include BBC World News, Cheddar News, CNBC, FOX News, HLN, CNN, and MSNBC
Sling TV: AMC, TNT, Bravo, Disney, truTV, Comedy Central, Food Network, Lifetime, FX, HGTV, TBS, USA, and more
YouTube TV: AMC, Animal Planet, Bravo, Cartoon Network, CW, Food Network, Discovery, HGTV, Oxygen, Syfy, Sundance TV, TLC, TNT, TCM, and more
Notable Channels Missing
SlingTV: Local access is incredibly limited, but ABC & CBS aren’t included at all. Other missing channels include Animal Planet, CW, OWN, FOX News, and Nickelodeon
YouTube TV: A&E, History, MTV, Hallmark, and Comedy Central
With that in mind, here’s a more complete Sling TV vs YouTube TV comparison.
Local Channels = YouTube TV is the clear winner if you want to watch local channels online. All of the local channels are available in most areas. In fact, YouTube TV is second only to Hulu Live when it comes to offering local market coverage. In comparison, Sling TV only offers NBC and FOX and they are available in only a small part of the country.
Sports Channels = YouTube TV is missing some key channels, like NFL RedZone and NFL Network. Both Sling TV and YouTube TV have the major national cable news sports channels and regionals in most markets. Given that Sling TV has most all of the regional and national sports channels you need at a lower price than its competitors, they edge out YouTube TV in this category.
News Channels = YouTube TV offers all of the major cable news channels plus local channels. Sling TV offers CNN, MSNBC, Cheddar News, international news stations, and more. However, FOX News isn’t available, and local coverage is too limited for the majority of households to receive it.
Entertainment Channels = YouTube TV is missing key channels like A&E, History, and Comedy Central, which are available with Sling TV. Both services offer a wide variety of popular channels, but most of the channels YouTube TV offers, Sling TV has, as well. We believe Sling TV is the winner here.
As you can see, both services have something to offer. This is just a basic overview of some of the most popular options that are available. The best way to learn more is to check out these services for yourself!
Sling TV vs YouTube TV: Final Thoughts
Sling TV is the winner when price comes into play. If you’re looking for a cheap starting price and plenty of options to create your own package, this is a good service to consider. Sling TV might charge less, but they offer many of the popular features found with more expensive services. You can find out more in our Sling TV review or try it free for 7 days.
In contrast, YouTube TV costs a little more, but they give you a large package with family-friendly options, like user profiles, that aren’t found with Sling TV. They are also one of the few services that offer a cloud-DVR with unlimited space. This makes YouTube TV a great choice, not only for families but also for binge-watching fans. Make sure to check out our YouTube TV review if you want to learn more.
Both services offer a cheaper option than cable with many of the channels that people want to watch. There’s no need to sign a contract, which means that you will have a chance to cancel whenever you determine that the service isn’t right for you. Best of all, you can sign up for the free trial and make sure you like the service before you ever pay a dime to use it. So, even if you pick a package and experience buyer’s remorse, you can cancel during the free trial and you won’t have risked a thing!
Have you made your decision?