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You might be disappointed by what you find.

If you’re looking for local channels on Sling TV, you might end up disappointed.

You’re probably used to getting local channels for free. You either have a newer smart TV that picks them up automatically or you’ve purchased an external HD antenna. If you’re a bit older, maybe you remember positioning the bunny ears to get a better picture of a channel.

But if you’ve cut the cord or you’re trying to watch TV from anywhere outside of your living room, it’s a little more difficult than you might expect. While every major live TV streaming service—PlayStation Vue, YouTube TV, FuboTV, DirecTV Now, and Hulu with Live TV—offers some form of local channels, some network standards are often not included, and availability varies wildly based on your location.

Here’s everything you need to know about Sling TV local channels.

Sling TV local channels

If you want local channels on Sling TV, you’ll need to select either Sling Blue or Sling Orange + Blue as your base package. Unlike other live TV streaming services, which offer some form of local channels in every package, local channels are not included in Sling Orange.

Sling Blue costs $25 per month comes with more than 40 channels, including AMC, CNN, FS1 and FS2, FX and FXX, NFL Network, and plenty more. It’s the more complete option of Sling’s two basic packages.  

Sling Orange + Blue costs $40 per month and contains everything from Sling Blue, plus the eight channels exclusive to Sling Orange, which includes four ESPN-centric channels and the Disney Channel. Sling Orange + Blue also allows you to stream on up to four devices to at once, compared to just three in Sling Blue and only one in Sling Orange.

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To see which local channels will be included in your package (it’ll be the same for Sling Blue and Sling Orange + Blue), you can enter your ZIP code here. This feature will also show you which regional sports networks are available in your area. As you can see in the example below, which uses the 20003 ZIP code for Washington, D.C., the local affiliates for Fox and NBC are available, as well as the regional sports network, NBC Sports Washington.

sling tv local channels Sling TV

If a local affiliate for Fox or NBC isn’t available in your area, Sling TV will either provide a national alternative or an on-demand version of the channel instead. With the on-demand channel, you won’t be able to watch any live programming, but you’ll be able to watch new episodes of your favorite shows when they’re made available, typically the morning after airing. If you’re stuck with the on-demand channels, it’s worth trying to use your Sling TV subscription credentials with the official apps for Fox and NBC, both of which offer live programming

Note: You may not be able to fast-forward through commercials if you use Sling TV’s cloud DVR feature to record your local Fox affiliate or other Fox channels like FX and FS1. “For these select recordings,” Sling TV notes, “FOX requires that Sling shows you a Video On-Demand version of your recording, which does not allow you to fast forward through commercials.” Sling TV DVR costs $5 per month for 50 hours of storage. You can learn more here.


Sling TV local channels

  • Atlanta: Fox
  • Austin: Fox
  • Boston: NBC
  • Charlotte: Fox
  • Chicago: Fox, NBC
  • Dallas/Ft. Worth: Fox, NBC
  • Detroit: Fox
  • Gainesville: Fox
  • Hartford/New Haven: NBC
  • Houston: Fox
  • Los Angeles: Fox
  • Miami/Ft. Lauderdale: NBC
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul: Fox
  • New York: Fox, NBC
  • Orlando/Daytona Beach/Melbourne: Fox
  • Philadelphia: Fox, NBC
  • Phoenix: Fox
  • San Diego: NBC
  • San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose: Fox, NBC
  • Tampa/St. Petersburg: Fox
  • Washington, D.C.: Fox, NBC

Sling TV local channels: What’s not included

Sling TV does not carry ABC, CBS, PBS, or the CW, and honestly, it’s one of the biggest strikes against the service. Sling TV recommends that you pick up an HD antenna to watch those channels—you can check local availability here—but that doesn’t help you if you’re viewing on mobile.

CBS All-Access, a standalone app that costs $4.99 per month, will allow you to watch CBS live, along with Star Trek: Discovery, which is exclusive to the service. You can watch the CW online a couple of different ways, and new episodes can be streamed directly from its app or website without even having to sign in.

New to cord-cutting? Here are our picks for the best movie streaming sites of 2018 and free live TV apps and channels. If you’re looking for a specific channel, here’s how to watch HBO, Showtime, Starz, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, AMC, FX, Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, CNBC, FS1, TBS, TNT, Golf Channel, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, the CW, BBC, CSPAN, NBA TV, MTV, the Weather Channel, and NFL RedZone without cable, as well as free movies on YouTube. If you’re on the move, here’s how to watch Fox Sports Go and live stream NBC Sports.

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Austin Powell

Austin Powell

Austin Powell is the managing editor of the Daily Dot. His work focuses on the intersection of entertainment and technology. He previously served as a music columnist for the Austin Chronicle and is the co-author of The Austin Chronicle Music Anthology.