Sling Orange vs. Sling Blue: What’s the difference?

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These days, it seems like we’re spending too much time watching TV, which makes finding the right streaming services more important than ever. Dish Network’s Sling TV is still a go-to, over-the-top (OTT) service for novice cord-cutters and discerning TV lovers, offering live TV, on-demand movies, and series and sports. Sling TV has long been known for its relatively small sized programming packages, not just for offering a multitude of channels, allowing users to choose the channel best suited for them. Getting spoiled becomes a problem when it comes to choices: How do you choose?

To get started with Sling TV, you’ll need to decide between two base packages: Sling Orange and Sling Blue, which each cost $35 per month (Sling consistently offers introductory deals, but these are standard fees). Which do you choose? Should you bundle both for $50? The answers depend on your needs and preferences. In this quick guide, we’ll explain the benefits of each so you can make the right decisions and step up your cord-cutter game.

Did you get


If your channel needs are simple enough, it may be easier to choose between Sling Orange and Sling Blue, as both packages include a fair amount of channels. These include iconic cable news channels like Bloomberg and CNN, lifestyle programming like Food Network and Travel Channel, and popular cable staples like AMC, TBS, TNT, Comedy Central and History. That said, there are some essential differences between the two services, especially when it comes to sports and certain groups of networks.

A woman and a dog watching a channel on Sling TV.

How many streams can you watch?

Before getting into programming, a Chief What you need to differentiate between Sling Orange and Sling Blue has to do with the number of devices that can stream Sling TV simultaneously. Sling Orange is limited to a single stream, which means you’ll be limited to watching on one device at a time. You can switch from one device to another, but you can never watch on both devices at the same time. The Sling Blue offers up to three streams, making it a better choice for larger homes. If you’re only watching on one TV or mobile device at a time, it shouldn’t matter, but it’s definitely worth keeping in mind.

sling channel

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Number of streams aside, Orange and Blue offer different channel packages, with some channel overlapping and some significant channel differences. Here are some of the most important points when comparing:

  • Orange is a Disney friendly channel. Specifically, this means viewers get ESPN, ESPN 2 and ESPN 3, which is great for keeping up with live sporting events. This also means that Orange viewers get access to the Disney Channel. Blue doesn’t get any of these channels.
  • Blue has all the Fox networks including FS1, FX, Fox News and more. It also adds MSNBC to the mix. Orange does not have access to any of these channels.
  • If you prefer to watch sports on networks like NBC Sports and the NFL Network, Blue may be a better bet – it has these channels while Orange does not, generally making it a better pick for pro football than Orange.

There are other small differences to consider, depending on what’s important to you. Blue gets access to National Geographic, SyFy, and the Discovery Channel, while Orange doesn’t, and so on. See our table below for more details.

Someone is watching a game on Sling TV on a tablet.

extra channel package

Now that we’ve looked at the core packages for Sling TV, it’s time to start thinking about add-ons for the right mix of content. Some packages, such as Hollywood Extras — which offers movie channels like Sundance, Fandor and Turner Classic Movies — are exactly the same for the Orange and Blue packages. Others are very different: Kids Xtra is only available on Blue, while AMC Xtra is only available on Orange.

Some options also differ in the specific channels they offer. For example, Sling Blue offers fewer channels in its Sports Xtra package, but it costs the same as Sling Orange’s Sports Xtra package, which costs $11 per month. However, Blue’s sports extras include NFL RedZone, NBC Gold, and Big Network. Orange instead offers ESPN News, ESPN U, SEC ESPN and the Longhorn Network.

best of both worlds

Sling TV bills itself as an affordable alternative to cable. However, having access to all the channels you have via cable will cost you both Sling Orange and Sling Blue. After adding up the cost of each of these services, the total edge will be closer to your regular cable bill. Orange and Blue total $45 per month. Keep in mind, you have to pay for Internet access in addition to these services. Below, we’ve put together an all-inclusive list of the base channels available in Sling Blue or Sling Orange and if you have both services combined.

If you still have more questions about Sling TV, check out our complete guide to the service. In addition to a full channel list, you’ll also find more detailed information about Sling, such as time-shifting channels, and more.

Sling is a bit weak in the streaming services market, but its unique approach to streaming adds some real value to its customers. Sling gives you access to streaming content, but it also offers television on-demand. With all these amazing benefits, consider giving Sling a try. You probably won’t regret it.

Full Channel Listing by Package

sling orange sling blue sling orange and blue
a and e Yes Yes Yes
AMC Yes Yes Yes
AXS TV Yes Yes Yes
BBC America Yes Yes Yes
bet Yes Yes Yes
bloomberg tv Yes Yes Yes
Praise No Yes Yes
cartoon Network Yes Yes Yes
cheddar business Yes Yes Yes
Cheddar News Yes Yes Yes
CNN Yes Yes Yes
comedy Central Yes Yes Yes
comet Yes Yes Yes
discovery Channel No Yes Yes
Disney Channel Yes No Yes
I! No Yes Yes
EPIX Drive-in Yes Yes Yes
ESPN Yes No Yes
ESPN2 Yes No Yes
ESPN3 Yes No Yes
free form Yes No Yes
food Network Yes Yes Yes
Fox No Yes Yes
Fox News No Yes Yes
fox sports 1 No Yes Yes
free form Yes No Yes
Fuse Yes Yes Yes
FX No Yes Yes
hgtv Yes Yes Yes
HLN No Yes Yes
History Yes Yes Yes
HLN No Yes Yes
ifc Yes Yes Yes
investigation Discovery Yes Yes Yes
Life span Yes Yes Yes
local now Yes Yes Yes
motortrend Yes No Yes
msnbc No Yes Yes
National Geographic No Yes Yes
NBC No Yes Yes
NBC Sports No Yes Yes
NFL Network No Yes
Nick Jr. No Yes Yes
stadium Yes Yes Yes
SyFy No Yes Yes
TBS Yes Yes Yes
TLC No Yes Yes
TNT Yes Yes Yes
travel channel Yes Yes Yes
America No Yes Yes

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