Sling TV has unwrapped a holiday gift for subscribers in the form of a $5 per month price hike. Both the Sling Orange and Sling Blue base packages now start at $30 per month, up from $25 per month previously. The cost of bundling Sling Orange and Sling Blue together has also increased to $45 per month, up from $40 per month previously.
The flip side is that Sling is adding more channels to the Blue package, including Fox News, MSNBC, HLN, and Fox Business, and it recently lifted the Orange package’s restrictions on recording ESPN channels. Sling is also throwing in 10 hours of cloud DVR service with all packages, though it still charges $5 per month extra for 50 hours of storage.
TV bundles in general have been raising prices aggressively this year as the cost of programming continues to escalate. Hulu and AT&T TV Now have each hiked prices twice this year, while PlayStation Vue raised prices once before giving up on live TV streaming entirely. The price hikes aren’t limited to streaming either, as Comcast, Charter, and DirecTV have all raised prices this year—often through hidden fees.
Despite the price hike, Sling TV still has a cheaper starting price than most other live TV streaming services due to its bifurcated base packages (one that includes Disney and ESPN channels, the other with Fox and NBC channels) and its unwillingness to carry live local channels in most markets. But as costs continue to rise, more people are likely to give up pay TV packages entirely.