Select Sling TV customers soon will be able to enjoy another local channel on the streaming service. But it may come as mixed news if you’re looking to keep your streaming costs down in 2023.
The good news: The popular live TV streaming service announced that eight ABC affiliates will be added to the channel menu in some major markets beginning March 1, 2023.
The bad news: Subscription prices are going up on impacted Sling packages in markets that will now feature ABC, NBC and FOX affiliates.
Let’s take a look at what we know about this developing change to Sling’s product offering.
These Markets Will Have Access to ABC Affiliates on Sling
If you are subscribed to either Sling’s Blue or Orange + Blue package, you may start receiving access to your local ABC channel on March 1 if you live in the following markets:
|ABC Affiliate||Market(s) Impacted|
|KABC||Los Angeles, Calif.|
|WABC||New York, N.Y.|
|KGO||San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose, Calif.|
Note that Sling Orange subscribers in these markets will not be impacted. You need Sling Blue or Orange + Blue to get the local ABC channel.
And depending on the market in which you live, this addition could come with a price increase.
Customers who will be receiving this ABC affiliate alongside their local NBC and FOX channels should be on the lookout for a $5 monthly increase for their subscriptions.
Sling says this increase is to “accommodate this access” to your local channels. It also says that impacted customers can expect to see the increased rate on their bill on or after March 1, 2023.
You may remember that Sling raised prices on all customers in December 2022, so this would be a “double whammy” for these markets. Customers who were paying $35 for Sling Blue as recently as November may find themselves paying $45 for it in March. Likewise, the cost of Orange + Blue in impacted areas would shift from $50 to $60 over that time period.
Is Sling TV Worth It In 2023?
After the price increases that closed out 2022, some streaming TV customers may be pondering whether Sling TV is still worth the monthly subscription cost.
Team Clark is constantly evaluating the best options in an ever-changing live TV streaming marketplace. As it stands in 2023, we recommend either YouTube TV or Hulu + Live TV for those who are wanting the best overall cable replacement experience at a reasonable monthly cost.
However, we do still think there is a place at the table for Sling TV as it still offers the chance to get some of the major channels cord-cutters desire at a price that checks in at least $20 per month lower than our top picks. That savings could add up to $300 per year for customers who can get what they want from a $40 Sling package instead of a $65 YouTube TV package.
Sling’s customizable add-on packages could also allow you to pinpoint exactly what you want while still minimizing monthly costs relative to cable pricing.
Here’s a look at what consumers can expect from the Sling Orange + Blue package in 2023:
|Sling Orange + Blue ($55.00)|
|FOX News Channel|
|FOX Sports 1|
While the availability of a very popular local channel is great news for many streamers in the impacted markets, it’s fair to wonder if these customers are likely to be less-than-enthused by the price hike that accompanies it in some markets.
It will be interesting to see if Sling expands the ABC affiliate offering beyond these initial markets.
Sling offers NBC and FOX in many markets, but does not offer CBS on the platform. Adding ABC brings it closer to competing with major players like YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV and DIRECTV STREAM, which offer all four of the major local channels in most markets.
Does this news on ABC affiliates change the way you feel about Sling in 2023? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the Clark.com community.