Sling TV now costs $40 a month, the fourth price hike in five years

Technology

If you’re paying Dish to stream live TV channels over the internet, prepare for a higher bill yet again: the company’s Sling TV streaming service is raising prices by $5 a month for the fourth time in five years. Sling Orange and Sling Blue pay TV packages will now cost $40 a month each — up from $35 previously — and you’ll pay $55 for the package with both Orange and Blue.

Existing subscribers should see the price increases on the first bill they get after December 3rd; new customers will have to pay the higher rate starting today.

In an official blog post, Sling TV president Gary Schanman blamed the rising cost of programming for the latest price hike, without offering further explanation. We’d probably put money on Disney having something to do with it, though: Sling TV abruptly lost The Disney Channel, ESPN, ABC, and other Disney channels for two days in October during renewal negotiations, with Dish claiming Disney wanted “nearly a billion dollar increase.”

Below, find a quick chart I whipped up with the history of Sling TV’s price hikes; notably, the company promised not to raise prices in 2020 during the early days of the pandemic, and it kept that promise. But monthly prices have gone up $5 per year practically every other year since its debut, and you’ll have to decide if its increasing list of channels and features is worth the ever-increasing cost. (I pay for my father-in-law’s Sling subscription, so we’ll be having a chat this month.)

Sling TV is far from alone in raising prices to such a degree, of course. Most streaming services have done something similar. As one example, Netflix’s prices have also nearly doubled since day one — more than doubled if you stream in 4K. Though you do now have the option of an ad-supported Netflix tier that, at $6.99 per month, costs less than the 2011 original.

YouTube TV currently costs $65 a month, up from its original $35 per month after its last price increase in June 2020. Hulu with Live TV currently costs $70 per month after a November 2021 price increase that also added Disney Plus and ESPN Plus.