Hulu was originally launched as a joint on-demand content venture between ABC and Fox, whereas Sling TV is aimed more at the increasing number of people cutting the cable cord.
Compare Hulu vs. Sling TV plans
These two services differ in terms of price, how viewers access content and the amount of programming they offer to viewers.
Hulu has streaming and live TV packages, while Sling TV provides two bundles of various channels. We compared the live TV packages only for a simpler comparison.
|Hulu + Live TV (With ads)||Hulu + Live TV (No ads)||Sling Blue||Sling Orange||Sling Blue & Sling Orange|
|Free trial||7 days||7 days||None||None||None|
|Number of channels||60+||60+||30+||40+||50+|
|Cloud DVR storage||50 hours||50 hours||10 hours||10 hours||10 hours|
Hulu Live vs. Sling TV overview
Both Hulu and Sling TV provide a range of packages that offer vastly different content options. The standard Hulu services enable viewers to stream thousands of shows and movies, as well as episodes from major networks one or two days after they broadcast. Plus with a package that includes live TV, users also get 60+ channels. Sling TV, on the other hand, provides two separate packages that offer more than 50 live channels.
Hulu and Sling TV feature varying levels of content for sports viewers. Hulu has a Disney+ package that includes access to ESPN+, while Sling TV’s Orange option provides three ESPN channels and its Blue package includes NFL Network. Hardcore sports fanatics might be happier with Hulu + Live TV, which provides access to ESPN and Fox Sports.
Hulu + Live TV includes coverage of most major networks including ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC, along with 24-hour news services like CNN, Fox News and MSNBC. Sling Blue provides coverage of Fox and NBC, but Sling Orange doesn’t have any local networks.
Hulu’s standard services have subscribers covered with thousands of hours of TV shows and movies. Sling’s Blue package is more entertainment-focused with channels such as AMC, Comedy Central and FX. Hulu also offers a bundle that includes access to the huge amount of content available on the newly launched Disney+ service and the sports streaming app ESPN+.
Hulu and Sling TV both enable viewers to buy further content on top of their selected packages. Hulu subscribers can add channels like Cinemax, HBO, SHOWTIME and STARZ, while Sling TV provides add-ons like kids’ channels, comedy, news and sports, which includes NBC Golf, NFL RedZone and the Olympic Channel.
One area that differentiates the two providers is Hulu’s own programming, which includes shows like Castle Rock, Future Man, Pilgrim and The Handmaid’s Tale, whereas Sling TV doesn’t create any original content.
Hulu provides a seven-day free trial of its Live TV package. At the time of writing, Sling TV wasn’t offering a free trial but did have $10 off the first month of all of its packages.
The best value package available from either provider may be Hulu’s bundle that offers access to Disney+ and ESPN+ for just $12.99/mo. The two additional services alone would cost $12/mo. total if purchased separately.
Hulu + Live TV costs $10/mo. more than Sling TV’s two packages combined ($45/mo.). It includes Hulu’s back catalog of on-demand content as well as a wide range of live streaming, which makes it a decent value for money.
Before Hulu raised prices from $45/mo. to $55/mo., we probably would have given it the edge in this category. But that $10/mo. difference is too large to ignore, especially when the only major channels Sling is missing are ABC and CBS, both of which can be had for free through a TV antenna or Locast. At only $45/mo. for its top package, Sling remains one of the best deals in streaming.
Winner: Sling TV
Hulu provides individual accounts for up to six users, each of which gets a personalized service tailored to their viewing preferences and interests. Sling TV offers just two profiles per subscription.
In terms of recording content, Hulu has 50 hours of cloud DVR storage, while Sling only includes 10 hours. Sling TV subscribers can also pay an extra $5/mo. for 50 hours. However, Sling TV enables viewers to fast-forward through ads on recorded content, a feature that’s only available to Hulu + Live TV viewers through an add-on.
Both streaming services are compatible with popular devices, including Android and iOS phones and tablets, Amazon, Chromecast and Roku sticks, set-top boxes like Android TV and Apple TV, as well as desktops, laptops and gaming consoles.
The bottom line
Hulu and Sling TV offer different flavors of what people expect from live TV streaming services. The decision about which one to purchase may boil down to personal preference over available channels, as well as how much content you can store to binge-watch later on a DVR. Hulu’s Live TV packages provide the best of both worlds with affordable access to a vast library of TV shows and movies and live TV, while Sling TV consists of more expensive packages that give cord cutters access to live TV channels.
Both also feature premium services that enable subscribers to maximize the on-demand or live streaming they consume. Hulu + Live TV is the most all-encompassing service available from the two as it includes not only a huge back catalog of on-demand TV but a solid range of live TV streaming options.