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Sling TV vs. Hulu Live: Which Service Is Better For Live TV?

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June 17, 2021

When you begin comparing streaming platforms to subscribe to, you may be overwhelmed with the options available. There’s Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney Plus, just to name a few of the most popular services out there. If you’re looking for live TV or a more cable-like experience from your streaming service, two of the most popular are Hulu Live and Sling TV.

Sling TV is a recent app-based streaming platform that’s similar to cable in function. Similarly, Hulu’s Plus plan includes live TV. But how do the two platforms compare to one another? Which service should you invest your money in to get the most out of your streaming service?

Let’s take a closer look at what the two platforms offer, and then you can decide which is best for you.

Factors to consider

To compare the two, let’s get into the details and look at things like cost, content, add-ons, and more.


If you haven’t already made a household budget, now is the time. Budgeting is a way to control your money and help you manage it throughout the month. No more surprise credit card bills or impulse buys! Part of budgeting is factoring in the cost of a streaming service. Let’s talk about how much Hulu Live and Sling TV cost.

Hulu Live

Hulu Live TV is part of the Hulu Plus package, and there are two options. The first option is Hulu Plus Live TV with ads. This plan costs a total of $64.99 a month, and you would get commercial breaks just like you would with regular cable. 

The second Hulu Live TV option comes free of ads at $70.99 a month, so only $6 extra a month.

Sling TV

Sling TV has two different options as well, but these options are the same price and vary in content. Known as their Sling Blue and Sling Orange options, each is $35 a month. 

Compared to the price of the average cable TV (which is a whopping $217 a month), this price is a steal. It also adds up to about half the price of Hulu Live TV, so if you’re sticking to a budget, Sling TV is definitely the more affordable price.


As far as content goes, Hulu Live has the upper hand. They have more options and more add-on features and channels as well.

Hulu Live channels

Hulu Live TV offers a wide variety of channels, plus channels you can add-on for a few bucks a month (we’ll get to those later.) The channels that Hulu offers that Sling TV does not are below.

  • ABC and ABC News Live
  • ACC Network
  • Animal Planet
  • Big Ten Network (BTN)
  • Boomerang
  • CBS, CBSN, and CBS Sports
  • CNBC
  • CNN International
  • Cozi TV
  • CW
  • Disney Junior
  • Disney XD
  • ESPN College Extra, ESPNews, and ESPNU
  • Fox Business Network
  • Fox Sports 2 (FS2)
  • FXM
  • FXX
  • FYI
  • Golf Channel
  • LMN
  • Nat Geo Wild
  • Olympic Channel
  • Oxygen
  • Pop
  • QVC
  • SEC Network
  • Smithsonian Channel
  • TCM
  • Telemundo
  • Universal Kids
  • Vice
  • WGN America

Sling TV channels

Sling TV only offers a few channels that Hulu Live doesn’t. These include:

  • Stadium
  • Nick Jr. NFL Network
  • Newsy, Local Now
  • IFC, Fuse
  • EPIX Drive-In
  • Comedy Central
  • Comet
  • BBC America
  • AXS TV
  • AMC
  • BET

Sling TV has fewer local channels available, so if you want to watch your local news network like ABC, CBS, FOX, or NBC, you may need to use a digital antenna or go with Hulu Live. If your content needs aren’t high, the Sling TV may fulfill your cable needs with a much lower cost. However, if you want access to more channels, Hulu Live will be your better option.

Original content on Hulu and Sling TV

If original content is important to you, you may want to go with Hulu Live over Sling TV. Here’s a quick comparison.

Hulu Live

Hulu offers many original content options in the form of movies and TV shows. For instance, The Handmaid’s Tale, Ramy, Mrs. America, Normal People, and PEN15 to name a few. With access to actors, directors, and producers, Hulu is able to make their own content.

Sling TV

Unfortunately, Sling TV doesn’t offer any original movies or TV shows. If you’re a movie buff and are always looking for original content to get your hands on, you may want to invest in the extra cost of Hulu. However, if you just want a few channels for a cheap price, Sling TV may just be the best bet.

Streaming devices 

It’s important that whatever streaming service you choose is supported on your devices. Chances are that either platform will support your device. The main thing to consider in this topic is that Sling TV currently does not function on any gaming systems. 

Both services, however, support Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, most smart TVs, Chromecast, Roku, and more.

Additional features 

Another factor to consider when choosing a streaming platform is what additional features are offered. Hulu Live and Sling TV offer similar add-ons, with a few key differences. Let’s take a closer look.

Hulu Live

Hulu Live TV offers Cloud DVR included with both packages. This holds 50 hours of recorded TV shows or movies. If this isn’t enough storage for you and your family, you can upgrade to record 200 hours of TV shows and movies for just $9.99. As a bonus with this upgrade, you get the ability to fast forward through commercials.

With Hulu Live TV you can only have up to two streams at the same time. You can purchase a streaming upgrade to get unlimited streams, which is perfect if you have a large family or want to share your Hulu Live profile. This upgrade is $9.99 a month.

Hulu Live also offers many additional channels you can purchase that Sling TV does not offer. Here are a few of the additional channels and how much they cost.

  • HBO Max is $14.99 extra per month
  • CINEMAX is $9.99 extra each month
  • Showtime is an additional $10.99 a month
  • Starz for is $8.99 extra per month

Sling TV

Sling TV also has a Cloud DVR included in the package. This is the same as Hulu Live’s Cloud DVR as it includes 50 hours of recorded TV shows or movies with commercial breaks. However, for half the price of Hulu, you can get 200 hours of recorded TV shows and movies with no commercial breaks, so Sling’s DVR add-on is only $5 extra per month.

Sling TV offers anywhere from 1 to 4 streams at a time. While this is a solid number of simultaneous streams, there are no upgrades available. If you do end up needing more streams than this, you’ll be maxed out at four.

How to save money on streaming 

While you think about whether Hulu or Sling is the best option for you, here are some tips to save money on streaming.

  • Know your internet needs. If you don’t know how much internet you need you may run into problems. If you have too little data, you may reach your data cap and end up with overage fees to pay out of pocket. Or you may be overpaying for data you don’t use. By knowing how much internet you need, you can protect yourself from extra costs and save money.
  • Look for discounts and deals. Discounts are available all over. If you’re a student or want to bundle your service with another, there’s probably a discount for you. Check with your service provider to see what discounts you qualify for.
  • Stop paying for services you don’t need—like cable. Still need some convincing? Check out this article on  why you should cut the cable cord.


The bottom line when it comes to Hulu vs. Sling is the amount of content each offers and the price difference. Sling TV is almost half the price of Hulu Live, and while this is a great discount, Hulu Live offers more channels and content options. If you only want access to a few of your favorite cable channels, Sling may be right for you. However, if you want access to award winning original shows and movies or more channels, you may want to go with Hulu Live. 

>>SAVE: Compare streaming services