Sling TV vs. Hulu Live: Which is the Best Streaming Provider?
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Our guide breaks down the differences and benefits of both so you can pick the one that fits your family.
Sling TV vs. Hulu Live
Honestly, you can’t go wrong with either service. Both of them:
- Have content from popular networks
- Work on nearly every device
- Are easy to use
- Cost a LOT less than cable
Which one is best for you depends on what you watch and how you plan to use the service.
Prices and Plans
Price is one of the most important factors when picking a streaming service. Sling TV has a totally different pricing model than Hulu Live, so comparisons can be confusing.
This Hulu vs Sling price chart helps, and we’ll go over what comes with each package below.
|# of Channels||Price per Month|
|Sling Orange + Blue||50+||$45|
While Hulu costs more, it includes more content. It has more channels and more original content. Live TV, all of Hulu’s original content, and past seasons of many popular TV shows are included.
With Sling, it’s a little less straightforward. Sling TV has three channel packages – Sling Orange, Sling Blue, and Sling Orange + Blue. The big difference is ESPN.
If you want ESPN, choose Sling Orange. Sling Blue contains many of the channels as Sling Orange, but not ESPN. Instead, with Sling Blue you get Fox Sports, FS1, FS2, and the NFL Network.
If you want everything Sling TV offers, choose Sling Orange + Blue. The price is higher, but you get all the sports channels Sling offers.
As we started mentioning above, Sling TV offers less content in its base packages than Hulu Live, but more customization with channel add-ons.
When you look at Sling TV and Hulu Live, the latter is better for one main reason:
- On-demand content
Hulu Live channels include all the major networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC) plus other popular networks like:
- A&E, CNN, Fox News
- ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNews
- FS1, FS2
- Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD
- HGTV, History Channel, TBS, and USA
Variety makes Hulu Live a great cable alternative and one of the best ways to watch ESPN without cable. Hulu also offers two channel packages that you can add to your base subscription:
- Entertainment Package – $7.99 per month, which includes: American Heroes, CNBC World, Cooking Channel, Destination America, Discovery Family, Discovery Life, DIY Network, FYI, LMN, and Science.
- Español Package – $4.99 per month, which includes: CNN en Español, Discovery en Español, Discovery Familia, ESPN Deportes, History Channel en Español, and Universo.
You can even bundle Disney+ and ESPN+ with Hulu to add to your content options.
Sling TV is more customizable than Hulu Live, thanks to its many extra channel packages. Whereas Hulu offers two, Sling TV offers ten.
|Sling Tv Extra Package||Cost/Month||Channels with Orange||Channels with Blue|
|Comedy||$5||CMT, Game Show Network, Logo, MTV, MTV2, truTV, Paramount Network, TV Land, Revolt||CMT, Game Show Network, Logo, MTV, Paramount Network, Revolt, TV Land|
|Espanol (Spanish Channels)||$5 or $10||Channels vary; check Sling.com for full details.||Channels vary, but can include: ESPN Deportes, Cine Latino, Azteca, History en Espanol and more. Check Sling's website for full details.|
|Heartland||$5||AHC, Cowboy Channel, Destination America, Outdoor Channel, Pixl, RFD TV, Ride TV, Sportman Channel, World Fishing Network||same|
|Hollywood||$5||Cinemoi, Fandor, Film Detective, HDNET+Movies, Reelz, SundanceTV, TCM||same|
|International||$5||Globo, MBC, Sony, Welt, Willow, Zeecinemalu and more.||same|
|Kids||$5||BabyTV, Boomerang, Disney Jr., Disney XD, DuckTV, Nick Jr., NickToons, Teen Nick||BabyTV, Boomerang, DuckTV, NickToons, Teen Nick|
|Lifestyle||$5||Afro, BET, Cooking Channel, DIY Network, FYI, Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Drama, Hallmark Murders and Mysteries, Lifetime Movies, Vbrank, VH1, WeTV, ZLiving||Afro, Cooking Channel, DIY Network, E!, FYI, Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Drama, Hallmark Murders and Mysteries, Lifetime Movies, Oxygen, Vbrank, VH1, WeTV, Z Living|
|Locals||Free depending on where you live.||ABC, CBS||FOX and NBC included in select markets.|
|News||$5||BBC World News, The Blaze, CGTN, Euronews, Fusion, FSTV, HLN, News18, NewsMaxTV, RT, SCI||BBC World News, The Blaze, CGTN, CNBC, Euronews, France24, FSTV, HLN, MSNBC, News18, NDTV24x7, NewsMaxTV, RT, SCI|
|Sports||$10||ESPN Goalline, ESPN Bases Loaded, ESPN News, ESPNU, BeinSports, NBA TV, PAC12 Network, NHL, Outside TV, SEC ESPN Network, SEC ESPN +, Stadium, Tennis Channel||BeinSports, NBA TV, NBC Golf, NFL Red Zone, NHL, Olympic Channel, Outside TV, PAC12 Network, Stadium, Tennis Channel|
Popular channels available through Sling TV include the following:
- AMC, BBC America, CNN
- ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3
- Disney Channel, FS1, FS2
- HGTV and USA
The most important thing to remember when looking at Hulu Live vs. Sling channels is that Hulu Live offers everything in one package, for one price – $55 per month.
Sling TV has three channel packages that vary, mostly depending on whether or not you want ESPN.
You can tailor your content to what you want with Sling TV, but that customization comes at a cost. Its add channels are generally an extra $5 per month.
Both services make it easy for you to get premium channels. As with cable, these premium channels come at an extra cost. Hulu Live TV premium channel add-ons are:
- HBO– $14.99 per month
- Cinemax– $9.99 per month
- SHOWTIME– $10.99 per month
- STARZ– $8.99 per month
Sling TV premium channel add-ons are similar, but more expansive:
- Cinemax – $10
- Documentary Channel CuriosityStream – $6
- Epix (three channels) – $5
- HBO – $15
- Pantaya – $6
- Showtime (nine channels) – $10
- Starz (six channels) – $9
- Up Faith and Family – $5
Through its many add-on channel packages, Sling TV makes it possible to cobble together the channels you want most.
One more thing many readers ask as they compare Hulu vs. Sling is local channels. The best way to get local channels is with a digital antenna like the Mohu Leaf on Amazon. However, you can also get local channels on both services.
It’s easier to get local channels on Hulu, making it one of the better alternatives to Sling TV. Major networks ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC are all included in Hulu Live.
To watch local channels on Sling TV, you have to live in the right place. Even then, it’s only some of them. Fox and NBC are included with Sling Blue in some markets.
If local channels matter to you and you’re leaning towards Sling TV, we recommend buying a digital antenna to ensure you are able to watch all your local channels.
After cost and channels, the next thing most readers want to know about Hulu vs. Sling TV is what features are included in each.
|DVR||# Screens||Original Content||Channel Guide|
|Hulu Live||50 hrs. cloud-based; 150 hrs. for $15 extra||Includes 2; Unlimited screens for $15 extra||Yes||Excellent|
|Sling TV||Not included; 50 hours for $5||Orange = 1; Blue = 3||No||Very Good|
Hulu Live beats Sling TV on DVR, number of screens, and original content. Sling TV can be frustrating on the DVR and screens options as it depends on what package you select.
Being able to stream on more than one screen at a time is essential if you have multiple TVs or someone in your home who travels and wants to stream Hulu Live while they’re away from the house.
While both have cable-like guides that you can browse to see what’s airing live as well as what’s coming up later on in the day, Hulu Live’s is easier to search and filter by genre, series name and network.
Both services work with all of the following devices:
- Amazon Fire TV Stick
- Amazon Fire TV
- Apple TV, Chromecast, Tablets, Smartphones, Laptops, and Desktop computers, Samsung, and LG smart TVs
To watch you’ll need two things:
- A subscription to Hulu Live or Sling
- A wireless internet connection
To watch either service on your TV, just download and install the appropriate app. If your smart TV doesn’t come loaded with it, you’ll need to buy one of the above devices.
Which is Better?
Our choice is Hulu Live because of its local channels, original content, channel guide, cloud DVR, and ability to stream on multiple screens. Its pricing is simple and straightforward.
Hulu Live at a Glance
|Pricing & Packages||$54.99|
|Channels||50 - 70 + locals|
|Supported Devices||iOS, Android, Roku, Amazon Fire TV + more|
|Simultaneous Streams||2 - Free / unlimited - $9.99|
|DVR||50 hrs. - Free / 200 hrs. - $9.99|
As you decide which service is right for you, consider what channels you watch most. List out your top five or ten channels and look at Hulu and Sling to see how much you’d need to pay to get them.
If you’re still not sure, use the Sling free trial and Hulu free trial to test drive each for free.
How much do you pay for cable each month? What streaming provider is your favorite? What’s the one thing keeping you from cutting the cord?