YouTube TV vs Sling TV: Which Streaming Service Should You Choose?

BY George Tinari

Published 18 Mar 2017

Google and YouTube are receiving a lot of hype over the new YouTube TV subscription service. It’s $35 per month and gives you access to over 40 live streaming networks like ABC, ESPN, Fox, Disney Channel and several others. Yet, there is already a major player in the TV streaming game: Sling TV. In fact, Sling starts at just $20 per month. While YouTube TV is taking its sweet time launching initially in major cities only, Sling TV is available almost everywhere in the United States.

YouTube TV vs Sling TV: Which is the Best TV Streaming Service

If you’re eager to cut the cord and switch to a streaming service, which one should you choose? Is the wait for YouTube TV worth it? This full comparison of features, plans, and availability should help answer these questions.

List of Channels

The full list of YouTube TV and Sling TV channels are available in the graphics below. If you can’t view the images, underneath is a pretty exhaustive list of highlights in each each.

Image credit: Google

YouTube TV includes ABC, CBS, Fox, Fox Sports, Fox News, NBC, NBCSN, MSNBC, the CW, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPN U, ESPNews, USA, FX, FreeForm, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, E, Bravo, Oxygen, Syfy, CNBC, National Geographic, Chiller, Sprout and several others.

Image credit: Sling

Sling TV has several plans, but the one closest in price to YouTube TV’s is the top-tier $40/mo option. Highlights from this plan include ESPN, ESPN2, AMC, CNN, Fox (select markets), NBC (select markets), HGTV, Comedy Central, Cartoon Network, History, TNT, TBS, FX, USA, BET, Disney Channel, Travel Channel, Lifetime, Newsy, Bravo, Food Network, and Nick Jr.

Both plans also include add-on options. YouTube TV will offer Fox Soccer Plus and Showtime for additional fees once it launches.

Sling TV offers dozens of add-on packages like Kids Extra, Broadcast Extra, Comedy Extra, Sports Extra, HBO, Cinemax and many others. View the complete list of add-ons at to see if what you’re looking for is available. (The chances are good.)

While Sling is a bit more all over the place, it does have far more overall channels available. Plus plans start at just $20 per month while YouTube TV is a flat $35 per month. YouTube TV does have a wider selection of big-name broadcast channels though, so it all depends on your priorities. Keep reading for more details on the plans and packages.

DVR and Other Features

YouTube TV includes an incredible cloud DVR service. It allows you to record unlimited amount of shows at once and provides unlimited storage. Plus, each member of the family — up to six — gets their own storage so no one is confused about overlap. The one small caveat is that recordings older than nine months get the boot, so you essentially have nine months to watch what you recorded.

Image credit: Google

As a separate feature, YouTube TV also includes access to YouTube Red premium content as part of your subscription. There isn’t much compelling stuff on there now, mostly just specials from high-profile YouTube celebrities, but it’s more content at least.

Sling TV’s cloud DVR is still in beta but works a bit differently. You get 100 hours of recordings in your DVR, far less than YouTube TV offers. Even worse, when it’s out of beta, it’ll be a $5 add-on to your service. Plus it won’t work with every channel.

Image credit: Sling

Sling TV does have one perk though: on-demand access. The majority of Sling channels support on-demand streaming so you can watch your favorite shows later on at any time. If you miss a show with YouTube TV and forget to record it, you’re out of luck.

Lastly, YouTube TV lets you run three separate streams at a time while Sling TV lets you run four. So if you have four members in your household and you’re all trying to watch TV at once, Sling has an advantage here.

Pricing and Plans

YouTube TV pricing is very simple. It’s $35 per month and you get all the included channels and features like YouTube Red and cloud DVR. The add-on channels will be an additional fee, but those aren’t likely to be too popular anyway.

Sling TV offers several plans starting at just $20 per month. This Sling Orange package includes over 30 channels. For $25 per month, you can upgrade to Sling Blue and get over 40 channels including some broadcast names like Fox and NBC, but you’ll lose other channels in the process. To get all channels in Orange and Blue, it’s $40 per month. Plus Sling has a whole bunch of add-on packages available too. If it sounds complicated, that’s because it is.

Sling TV also has several discount offers. You can get an Apple TV for only $89 when you prepay for three months of Sling TV. Better yet, get a Roku Express free when you prepay just two months. This is ideal if you don’t already have an Internet-connected TV.


Sling TV is available throughout the United States. Certain channels and add-on packages are restricted to specific markets.

YouTube TV is not yet available, but when it comes out later this year, it’ll be just in major cities for now. It’ll eventually roll-out everywhere, but that could very well take years.

That’s it for our comparison between YouTube TV and Slack TV. They both have pros and cons, so decide what’s best for you based on your own context. Happy streaming!