An alternative to steeply-priced cable packages, Sling TV brings together some of the top TV channels in the US, including NBC, E!, CNN, the Discovery Channel and FX. With over 50 channels and a number of add-ons to build out your perfect streaming package, it's good value even without a freebie.
And if you like to try before you buy, you'll be looking to take advantage of a trial offer when it's available. Not every streaming service offers a free trial. (And even those that do, don't offer it all the time.) So, it's worth jumping at the chance when Sling TV is offering one.
Sadly, Sling is not offering a free trial period just now. They are, however, offering half off your first month for new subscribers — that's the next best thing to a free trial, right?
Sling TV offer for new customers — how it works
So, there's currently no Sling TV free trial but Sling has put in a place a great alternative offer, giving new customers half off the first month's subscription (so, $17.50, instead of the usual $35 monthly Sling TV price). We think this represents pretty good value for all the channels you get for the price.
Note, it's got the same restrictions as the Sling TV free trial had
- It's only available for new customers. So you can't have been a Sling subscriber, "Slingers," they call 'em, in the past and use that same email account to the sign-up offer.
- After your first month, you'll be billed for Sling every month at the standard price (unless you go online to cancel.)
Although the free trial has gone (for now at least), with this new offer you still get a whole month to try out the service for just $17.50. That's plenty of time to kick the tires, for a pretty reasonable price.
Even though you get a whole month to test the service, it's still worth making sure you plan your viewing — you don't want to sign up and pay for the offer and then not actually use it very much.
- How do you get the deal? Head to the Sling website for the 50% discount (opens in new tab)
What comes after that Sling TV offer period?
Once your reduced-price trial period has ended, it's time to pay up in full. How much you'll pay depends on what, exactly, you signed up for.
Sling TV packages come in two flavors — Orange and Blue. They cost $35 a month each and share some channels while keeping others exclusive to their own track. If that seems like it's Sling trying to get you to sign up for both the Orange and Blue plans, then you're right. And that'll cost you $50 a month for Sling Orange and Sling Blue — still less expensive than the two leading streaming services, YouTube TV vs. Hulu.
Once you've answered that basic question, it's time to really build out your Sling TV package with all the "Extras." Those are mini-bundles of channels that complete your experience — and start to get you as many channels as the competing services.
It's not a bad deal, really. Your first month for $17.50 and then the ability to (mostly) build your streaming package the way you want it. Don't care about news channels? Don't buy that Extra add-on. But you will want to keep an eye on how many of those add-ons you're adding on, because $6 here and $15 there and suddenly you're spending a lot more than you anticipated — and even more than you might be spending on one of the competing services that had those channels to begin with.
Does the Sling TV trial include live sports?
Yes! If you're taking advantage of the 50% off your first month offer, you'll most certainly be able to watch live sports. That includes all kinds of Major League Baseball as well as the NFL. If you want to watch Formula 1 online, you can do that with Sling TV, too.
The usual caveats to the way Sling TV does things still apply, though. You'll need to make sure the channels you want are on either the Sling Orange or Sling Blue plan — or you'll need to get both with your free trial. That's the other side of the coin when it comes to the way Sling does things. Yes, you have more control over the channels you're choosing — but that also means you need to make sure you're choosing the right packages.
What else comes with your Sling TV trial period
There's one more little feature of Sling TV that's worth a mention — the DVR service. The "digital video recorder" is sort of a misnomer these days, but what it means is that you're able to "record" shows for playback whenever you want. It's all cloud-based in this case — you're not actually recording anything on your phone or digital device — but the end result is that you can watch what you want when you want to watch it.
As standard, your Sling TV subscription comes with 50 hours of free DVR. That's a great way to make the most of all the shows and movies you might want to catch up on during your first month.
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