This guide compares Sling TV vs. AT&T TV Now. You can either scroll down for in-depth information, or use our Cord-Cutter Express tool to see how all the major streaming services stack up. Just answer a few quick questions and we’ll match you to the perfect streaming service, taking into account all of your watching preferences.
Fact 1: Sling TV Has the Cheapest Plans
Even with a few recent price hikes, Sling TV is still one of the cheapest streaming services on the market. Before you sign up, you should know that Sling TV has yet to make deals with local TV broadcasters in many areas. As a result, the amount of channels that you get may vary depending on where you live.
AT&T TV Now has better local broadcast affiliate coverage, but it’s also a lot more expensive. Instead of two different base plan options, AT&T TV Now offers one-size-fits-all plans that are designed to accommodate various entertainment budgets. The more you spend, the more channels you get.
Let’s take a closer look at what Sling TV and DirecTV Now have to offer in the way of subscription plans.
If you’re willing to settle for a thinner selection of channels, the Orange plan or the Blue plan should satisfy your needs. But if you want to give up cable without making a sacrifice, the Orange + Blue plan is your best bet.
Another cost-related benefit to Sling TV that’s worth mentioning here is that Sling TV has the best special deals out of all the streaming services. For example, Sling TV is currently offering a 14-day “Quarantine” promotion in an attempt to get more potential subscribers during the coronavirus lock-downs. Other deals let you get free streaming hardware by pre-paying for several months of service in advance.
Limited time offer
$20 for your first month
1 simultaneous stream.
Limited time offer$20.00/ month
$20 for your first month
3 simultaneous streams
|Sling Orange + Blue|
Limited time offer
$35 for your first month
4* simultaneous streams
AT&T TV Now recently changed its entire subscription menu and increased prices across the board. The cheapest is called Plus. It costs $50, but comes with HBO and around 45 channels. Max has more than 60 channels and it costs $70, but comes with Cinemax and HBO.
Fact 2: AT&T TV Now Now Has More Available Channels
AT&T’s vast resources and connections in the TV industry may have helped it gain an advantage over Sling TV when it comes to available channels. The sheer number of channels you can get through AT&T TV Now is pretty impressive. Sling TV also has lots of channels, but not quite as many.
Ordering more AT&T TV Now channels is a very straightforward process. The more you pay, the more channels you get. Sling TV’s subscription plans, however, seem designed to trick you into paying more for less. If you bought all of Sling TV’s extras, you’d wind up paying well over $110. That’s just about as much as you probably pay to your cable company if you haven’t cut the cord.
Sling TV’s base plans are cheap, but they have a small number of channels compared to AT&T TV Now’s more expensive but more robust entry-level plans. If you want more channels through Sling TV, you have to buy add-on bundles. Confusingly, the channels you get with each Sling TV bundle varies depending on which Sling TV base plan you have.
For example, let’s say that you cut the cord and buy Sling Orange for $30. You stick with Orange for a few months and then you decide you miss watching one of your favorite cable TV channels, Oxygen.
But there’s no way to get Oxygen with Sling Orange. You have to upgrade to Orange + Blue, then and get the Lifestyle Extra add-on.
In other words, some Sling TV subscribers have to spend twice as much every month just to get one additional channel!
Fact 3: AT&T TV Now Has Better Discounts and Deals
Though Sling TV and AT&T TV Now are both competitive when it comes to promotions, AT&T TV Now tends to have better deals and discounts.
With various AT&T TV Now promo codes, you can get:
- $15 recurring discount on any plan if you have AT&T Unlimited.
- A free Apple TV 4K (if you pre-pay for 3 months of service).
- $25 off your first month.
- 3 free months of Cinemax/HBO.
- $10 off for signing up in a Cricket store.
With Sling TV promo codes, you can get:
- A free Roku Express (if you prepay for 2 months of service).
- A 50% discount on Roku Ultra (if you prepay for 3 months of service).
- $80 off AirTV Player (if you prepay for 3 months of service).
- $105 off an HDTV antenna / AirTV Player bundle (if you prepay for 3 months of service).
- A free HDTV antenna (if you prepay for 1 month of service).
Fact 4: Sling TV Has a Better Sports Lineup
Here’s a quick look at how Sling TV’s sports lineup compares to AT&T TV Now’s.
Here is a selection of some of the best sports channels you can get with Sling TV:
- NFL Network, NFL RedZone.
- ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPN Bases Loaded, ESPN Goal Line, ESPNews, ESPNU.
- beIN Sports, Motorsport TV, NBA TV, NHL Network, Outside Television, Pac-12 Network, Stadium, Univision Deportes.
- ACC Network Extra, SEC Network, SEC Network+, Golf Channel.
Here are some of the sports channels that you can get with AT&T TV Now:
- ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS and ESPNU.
- Golf Channel.
- MLB Network.
- NBA TV, NHL Network.
- Olympic Channel.
- Sportsman Channel.
- SEC Network.
Both AT&T TV Now and Sling TV offer a solid sports lineup, but Sling TV is the better deal overall.
However, there is one caveat: your more likely to need a TV antenna to get NBC, CBS, ABC and all the other broadcast network stations if you get Sling TV.
Sling TV has only made deals with a small number of local broadcast stations, so you may not be able to get some broadcast channels via Sling TV depending on where you live. AT&T TV Now has much better local TV coverage.
Fact 5: AT&T TV Now Has Full HD Channels
AT&T TV Now currently has five 1080p / 60fps “Full HD” channels: CBS, CBS Sports, The Olympic Channel and POP.
Sling TV doesn’t have any information about the picture quality of its channels on its website, but all Sling TV channels seem to be “Standard HD” streams.
In order to qualify as “Full HD,” a stream has to have a resolution of 1080p or better.
“1080p” refers to the number of pixels that a stream can display. 1080p streams can display nearly twice as many vertical pixel lines as “Standard HD” 720p streams.
“FPS” stands for “frames per second.” The more frames per second, the smoother the stream looks.
High FPS video streams make sports action look much smoother.
Fact 6: AT&T TV Now Unlocks More Cable TV Apps
AT&T TV Now is far more TV Everywhere compatible compared to Sling TV.
If you don’t have TVE credentials, you can often still use a cable website or app — but you’re often limited to bonus content and short clips. With TVE, you can unlock full episodes of TV shows and live streams of cable TV channels.
AT&T TV Now lets you unlock over 50 TVE websites/apps:
- Broadcast networks: ABC, Fox Now, NBC.
- News: CNBC, BBC America, MSNBC Now, Viceland.
- Movies: IFC, SundanceTV.
- For kids: DisneyNOW, Nick, Nick Jr.
- Sports: WatchESPN, BTN2GO, NBC Bay Area, NBC California, NBC Chicago, NBC Mid-Atlantic, NBC New England, CBS Sports, Fox Sports Go, MLB.com At Bat, MLB Network, FOX Sports Go, NBC Golf, The Olympic Channel, NBC Sports,
- Arts and education: Nat Geo TV, FYI, History.
- Lifestyle: Lifetime, A&E, BET, CMT, LOGO MAX GO, MTV, WEtv, VH1.
- Entertainment: Freeform, Comedy Central, AMC, FX Now, Oxygen Now, SYFY Now, TV Land, Sprout Now, Bravo Now, HBO GO, Showtime Anytime, USA NOW, Paramount Network.
- Spanish: Telemundo Now, UNIVERSO NOW.
Note: Some of the apps listed above won’t work unless you subscribe to the appropriate channel package. For example, you can’t unlock the HBO or Showtime apps unless you pay extra to add them to your AT&T TV Now plan.
Sling TV only works with a smaller selection of TVE websites/apps:
- Broadcast networks: Fox Now, NBC.
- News: CNBC, MSNBC Now.
- Movies: None.
- For kids: None.
- Sports: Fox Sports Go, Golf Channel, NBC Sports, NFL Network, WatchESPN.
- Arts and education: Nat Geo TV.
- Lifestyle: None.
- Entertainment: Bravo Now, E! Now, FX Now, Oxygen Now, SYFY Now, USA NOW.
- Spanish: UNIVERSO NOW.
Note: Some of the apps listed above won’t work with Sling TV unless you subscribe to the appropriate channel package. If you don’t have the channel, you can’t unlock the app.
If you have a big family that you want to share your account with or roommates, TVE apps can help. None of the streaming services will limit your access to TVE. They only limit the amount of streams you can access simultaneously through their main app. That means that if you encounter a “too many streams” error because too many people are using your account, you can use a TVE app instead as a workaround.
Fact 7: AT&T TV Now Has Better Recording Features
All the most popular streaming services have some type of cloud recording feature. Cloud DVR (Digital Video Recording) lets you record TV content and access your recordings though the internet.
Even with a recent upgrade to Sling TV’s DVR, AT&T TV Now has the edge here. All AT&T TV Now subscribers get 500 hours of recording time. In contrast, Sling TV subscribers only get 10 free hours, with a paid upgrade that expands the limit to 50 hours.
Fact 8: Both Services Have Poor Sharing Features
All the channels on Sling Orange can only be streamed to one device at a time. That means that if you’re watching ESPN in your living room, nobody else in your house will be able to watch any of the other Orange channels until you stop. Up to 3 devices can stream Sling Blue channels simultaneously, though.
AT&T TV Now lets you stream to two different devices at once. However, there is an upgrade that lets you get 3 simultaneous streams.
Fact 9: AT&T TV Now Has a Bigger On-demand Library
A few months back, AT&T TV Now announced that it has 25,000 on-demand shows and movies, and that it had added 10,000 more titles.
Sling TV doesn’t say how many titles are in its on-demand catalog. Instead, they say they have over 10,000 hours of on-demand content.
Fact 10: Sling TV Has More Apps
Sling TV has apps for Air TV, Amazon Fire tablets, Xbox One and some smart TVs/Blue-ray players. AT&T TV Now does not. That makes sense, since AT&T TV Now is relatively new compared to Sling TV. If AT&T TV Now continues developing apps, it should catch up soon. But for now, Sling TV has the edge here.
Fact 11: They Both Have 7-day Free Trials
If you’re still not sure which is right for you, try them both out yourself and see what you think.
Sling TV Vs. AT&T TV Now: Which Is Better?
Unless you’re a sports junkie, AT&T TV Now is a better deal in almost every category. And even though Sling TV has more sports channels, AT&T TV Now has several 60fps sports channels.
Aside from sports, the only other aspect of Sling TV that’s clearly better than AT&T TV Now is app support. Sling TV has a handful of apps that AT&T TV Now lacks. Of course, if you don’t have the devices that work with those apps, that doesn’t matter.
Though Sling TV’s subscriptions do start at a lower price point compared to AT&T TV Now, AT&T TV Now offers more channels. Another thing to think about is price hikes. Both services recently raised their prices, but AT&T TV Now’s price hike was far more dramatic.