Image: Sling

Sling TV, like other streaming services out there, is hiking the price of its base package of channels, making the cord-cutting service five dollars less appealing. Lucky for cheapskates, Sling is also pushing some updates to its app, and letting users purchase certain channels à la carte, potentially saving them a few bucks in the process.

Sling’s $20 “Orange” package, the cheapest of its three primary subscription options, now costs $25 for new accounts, while existing subscribers will see a price hike in August.

Advertisement

Sure, no one likes a price hike, but at least you can now customize your Sling TV service with à la carte programming, in theory the dream of cord-cutters everywhere. Right now, Sling’s only offering nine channels this way, however (including Showtime for $10 per month and NBA League Pass for $29 per month), and additional channels will be made available “in the coming months. It’s a start, and not a particularly compelling one.

With these changes, you’ll also be able to purchase movies and pay-per-view content, as well as watch a selection of “popular TV shows and movies” for free, no subscription of any sort required. But for now, only Roku users can take advantage of those perks.

Overall, the changes might make it easier for potential customers without a paid Sling TV subscription to enjoy the service either for free or for less than the newly updated $25 Sling Orange package. But the pattern of slowly raising prices hasn’t gone unnoticed when it comes to TV-streaming platforms marketed as an alternative to pricey cable packages and bundles. YouTube TV recently bumped up its monthly price from $35 to $40, putting it in line with competitors like Hulu and DirecTV Now. Last year, Sony raised its PS Vue Slim package pricing by $10 last year.

Advertisement

The more prices creep up, the more it may be worth asking yourself whether cord cutting is as good a deal as it once seemed, or if it’s even that much better than signing up for your local cable company’s service and calling it a day.

[TechCrunch]