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Sling TV Free Trial: How Long & Options Explained

Most live TV streaming services provide an option to try without paying, but a Sling TV free trial is far more complicated than that.

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Sling TV currently doesn’t offer a free trial although that often changes throughout the year. As a result, it is never quite clear if a Sling TV free trial is available, let alone how long it lasts. In spite of this, Sling TV often runs promotions to reduce the cost of signing up and even offers the option to stream content for free.

Sling TV is one of the oldest and most popular live TV streaming services around. One of the reasons for its popularity is the low cost. With plans starting as low as $30 per month, a Sling TV subscription is a much cheaper option for live TV than Hulu Live TV, YouTube TV, and others. However, the low monthly price is only the base cost as Sling TV is also highly customizable and this can greatly impact the overall price.

Read more: Sling Total TV Deal: Every Add-on & Cloud DVR Plus Explained

In spite of plans starting at only $30 per month, having access to a free trial is important as it allows consumers the opportunity to test out the service before having to pay. While most live TV streaming services are happy to provide a free trial to lure potential subscribers in, things are a lot more complicated with Sling TV.

Sling TV standard free trial

Most live TV services, including Hulu Live TV and YouTube TV, offer a standard free trial, but that’s not the case here. In fact, Sling TV currently doesn’t offer any free trial at all. As a result, interested consumers will need to immediately pay for the first month when signing up.

Even when the company does offer a free trial, the length is anything but standard. For example, the most recent free trial offered by Sling TV was for three days. This is is significantly less time than the usual seven-day free trial offered by live TV streaming services.

With the duration always changing with Sling, and while the previous free trial was only for three days, in the past the service has provided a seven-day free trial, and in some cases, free periods that last for weeks.

Sling TV’s alternative to free trials

In spite of not currently offering a free trial, Sling TV tends to attempt to get consumers to sign up through deals. In fact, Sling TV is nearly always running some sort of promotion, providing consumers with a way to save while signing up.

In some cases, these deals are straight cash discounts. For example, previous deals have included offering new subscribers a $10 reduction on their first month, bringing down the cost to $20, or the option to pay for one month and get the second month for free.

As well as offering financial discounts, Sling TV very often offers free devices to add value to subscriptions. These are nearly always AirTV devices (AirTV and Sling TV are both owned by Dish Network), although there are sometimes bundles on offer which include third-party branded products, such as over-the-air antennas.

All of these device-based deals require the subscriber to prepay for at least one month. In some cases, the deal might require two or more months to be paid in advance, with the value of the free devices and bundles increasing as the prepaid amount increases.

Sling Free streaming

Although Sling TV currently doesn’t offer a free trial, that’s not to say consumers cannot access the service for free. In fact, Sling TV does have a tier that’s completely free. As is probably to be expected, this is an overall lesser product than its paid live TV streaming plans, but it is an option for those who want to get a feel for the service before signing up.

Sling TV free
Sling Free episodes and movies

Sling Free is largely made up of on demand show episodes and movies, although it does also provide access to some live news and sports as well. This shouldn’t be thought of as a typical live TV streaming service as most of the channels consumers want access to are reserved for paying subscribers. It is simply an example of the type of experience Sling offers.

One of the added benefits of Sling Free is that there are no commitments at all. Users don’t need to sign up for an account or provide any payment information. Instead, they can simply access Sling and start streaming shows and movies. What’s more, as this is a non-commitment free service, there’s nothing stopping consumers using Sling Free even when they are paying for an alternative live TV streaming service, such as Hulu Live TV or YouTube TV.

Sling TV free trial summary

Sling TV currently doesn’t offer a free trial, but that changes throughout the year. In the past the free trial has been as short as three days and as long as multiple weeks, with no clear indication of a standard length. While Sling does not provide a standard free trial like other live TV streaming services, Sling TV is nearly always running a promotion which either reduces the cost of the subscription for the first month or provides the subscriber with a free streaming player or device.

Regardless of whether Sling TV offers a free trial, discounted first month, or a free streaming device, consumers are able to get a sense of what Sling TV has to offer and the general experience without paying. The Sling Free tier provides an option to stream select show episodes, movies, live news and sports at no cost.

Read more: Sling TV DVR: Recording Cost, Upgrades & Limits Explained

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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