sling tv

A whole lot of people are working from home or just stuck at home due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. To give those at home an option to keep informed and entertained, Sling TV is reminding customers that it offers some channels — including both news and entertainment — free of charge.

In a press release today, Sling TV announced its “Stay in and SLING!” initiative. Starting today, Sling TV will offer this no-charge content to those without a paid account in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Warren Schlichting, group president, Sling TV said:

To stay informed in these uncertain times, Americans need access to news from reputable sources. With many Americans finding themselves staying at home, we have an opportunity to use our platform to help them deal with this rapidly evolving situation.

Sling TV’s free experience has been available since last October, but it may become especially important right now. ABC News is perhaps the most important channel in the free tier currently, offering reputable news regarding the outbreak 24/7. Beyond that, though, the free Sling TV experience offers on-demand, ad-supported movies and TV shows for all ages.

Update 3/19: Sling TV has now managed a deal with FOX News. Starting today, FOX News and local FOX affiliates will be free temporarily during the coronavirus outbreak in the US. Sling details:

FOX News and select local FOX affiliates today joined SLING TV’s “Stay in & SLING!” initiative, a program that delivers cost-free access to news and entertainment, as the nation confronts the COVID-19 crisis. SLING TV’s free experience provides Americans with news, plus thousands of shows and movies for the whole family, with no paid SLING TV account required.

FOX News and local FOX affiliates in 18 markets including: New YorkPhiladelphiaChicagoDetroitWashington D.C.AtlantaHoustonPhoenixSeattleLos Angeles and San Francisco. FOX News and certain FOX broadcast stations will remain on the SLING TV free experience temporarily

Update 3/20: In addition to ABC and FOX, a few more channels are joining in on Sling’s free TV initiative. Starting today, Cheddar News is available on Sling’s free experience still with no payment required. On top of that, several other channels are adding “free previews” as listed below, all for a limited time.

  • FX Movie Channel – now through April 17
  • Nat Geo WILD – now through April 17
  • Game Show Network – now through April 30
  • Hallmark, Hallmark Drama, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries – now through May 13
  • Sundance TV – now through April 17
  • CNBC – now through April 20
  • Cheddar News – now through April 18

Update 3/23: More and more broadcasting channels are joining in on Sling’s initiative. Over the weekend, 19 more channels have been added to Sling’s collection of free channels, this time all with international news channels in Europe, Brazil, South Asia, the Middle East, and East Asia. The full list follows.

Middle East:

  • Al Jazeera
  • Al Arabiya
  • BBC Arabic
  • DW Arabic
  • France 24 Arabic
  • Sky News Arabia

South Asia:

  • Aaj Tak — India
  • NDTV 24 x 7
  • Times Now
  • Republic TV
  • Geo News


  • EuroNews
  • France 24 (French)
  • France 24 (English)
  • France 24 (Spanish)
  • TV5 Monde Info
  • Polsat News


  • Band News

East Asia:

  • ETTV News

Update 3/27: The updates just keep rolling in. This week, Sling TV has also announced that it will be giving all new customers the chance to try out a free 2-week trial of Sling TV with no strings attached. This offer is valid through April 5th.

On top of that, Sling TV is also adding even more free channels. This weekend (3/27-30), all of Showtime’s channels will be free even if you don’t subscribe to Sling. Further, EPIX is introducing a new “sampler” on Sling which offers free episodes of the network’s TV shows. Finally, Kabillion is offering its popular animated children’s TV shows on Sling’s free experience.

Update 4/2: As the COVID-19 pandemic goes on, more free channels are being added to Sling TV. In the latest collection, Sling is broadcasting CNN’s “Coronavirus: Facts and Fears: A CNN Global Town Hall” for free from 8-10pm ET tonight. Further, Sling is adding several Discovery channels to its free experience including:

  • American Heroes Channel
  • Cooking Channel
  • Destination America, Discovery en Español
  • DIY Network
  • Great American Country
  • Science Channel

These channels will remain free through May 31st.

Google’s YouTube TV, as it stands today, does not offer a free tier like this. You can access Sling TV’s free content here.

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Ben Schoon

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