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Sling Says Hulu TV Increase ‘Not The Holiday Spirit’ (Sling’s 2019 Price Hike Arrived Dec. 23)

However, Sling is right when it says its plans now cost less than half the price of Hulu Live TV or YouTube TV

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Sling has sent out a “make the smart choice” marketing email stating that Hulu Live TV’s recent price increase is not in “the Holiday spirit.” This is in spite of the last Sling TV price rise arriving on December 23, 2019 for new subscribers. Regardless, the email does make the point that subscribing to Sling TV is now less than half the cost of subscribing to either Hulu Live TV or YouTube TV.

Sling TV has always been known as a more affordable service and while it has seen some price rises over the years, none have been to the level that Hulu Live TV and YouTube TV subscribers have had to endure. For example, while Sling TV launched in 2015 for $20 per month, it now costs $30 each month in 2020. Neither Hulu Live TV nor YouTube TV were around then and yet, by the end of December 2020, each service will cost $65 per month. That’s up from launch prices of $40 and $35, respectively.

With Hulu Live TV only having confirmed its latest price increase yesterday, Sling TV is already sending out marketing emails stating that “Hulu + Live TV is raising its price” and adding how “That’s not the holiday spirit!” The email also goes on to refer to Hulu Live TV and YouTube TV as “The Other Guys” that charge $64.99 per month.

The Hulu Live TV price increase is due to take effect on December 18 and that will make 2020 the second year in a row that Hulu has increased the live TV price on December 18. While this might raise the question of whether Sling TV might follow suit on the one-year anniversary of its own December price rise, that’s a question Sling already answered.

Why Sling is confidently taking aim at Hulu Live TV

Besides the fact that, as Sling points out, Hulu Live TV is set to cost more than twice as much as its base Orange and Blue plans, there’s another reason why the Slinging service is so confident that it won’t be raising its prices so soon – it already promised it won’t.

YouTube TV announced its last price increase (to $64.99 per month) on June 30, with fuboTV announcing an increase just one day later. Similar to the current marketing email, Sling was quick to jump into action and on July 1 announced a one-year price guarantee. Essentially, Sling TV committed to not increasing the cost of its plans before August 2021.

However, the price guarantee came with one major caveat. At the time, Sling was only willing to ensure existing subscribers, along with any that signed up in the weeks following (before August 18) would be protected. As a result, any subscriber signing up after August 18 was not automatically covered by the same guarantee. Of course, it seems highly unlikely that Sling would increase the price for its newest customers, and so far ahead of when the majority of its user base would be eligible. Therefore, they too are likely (indirectly) protected, at least for the next few months.

Regardless of Sling TV conveniently forgetting how it increased prices just two days before Christmas for new subscribers (existing subscribers didn’t see the increase until Jan. 22, 2020), it is right in that, anyone looking for live TV access in the wake of the Hulu Live TV price rise, can save considerably by opting for Sling.

Although, price is only one of the variables to take into consideration. The number of channels, cloud DVR hours, and simultaneous streams are also important (and a way to save money) when choosing a live TV streaming service these days.

John Finn

By John Finn

John started Streaming Clarity to help consumers navigate the live TV streaming and subscription service landscape. John has been writing about technology and TV-related services and devices since 2014 and believes the best streaming approach is to bounce between services as needed. Contact John via email at john@streamingclarity.com or on Twitter

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