Does Sling TV have ABC?

The ABC News Live channel on Sling TV.
Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

Despite being one of the least expensive options to stream live television, Sling TV can be a bit complicated at times. And one of those complications comes when you consider what local channels Sling TV has. To wit: Ask a simple question, like “Does Sling TV have ABC?”

The answer? Yes. No. It depends.

Here’s the deal with Sling TV and ABC: You might be able to stream your local ABC broadcast — it depends on where you live. That’s true for three of the four major broadcast networks. (Fox and NBC are the other ones Sling supports. CBS is left out entirely.) If you’re in the right city, you’ll get ABC on Sling without having to do anything else. (Note that this is different than the ABC News Live over-the-top channels, which Sling TV also has.)

Here are the cities and affiliates that Sling TV supports as of early 2024:

  • WLS in Chicago
  • KFSN in Fresno
  • KTRK in Houston
  • KABC in Los Angeles
  • WABC in New York City
  • WPVI in Philadelphia
  • WTVD in Raleigh-Durham
  • KGO in San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose

And that’s it. Sling has ABC in six of the country’s top 10 markets. But if you’re outside of those regions, you’ll have to make other arrangements. Using a different streaming service is one of those options; using an over-the-air antenna is another.

And to that end, Sling TV has an interesting option for an antenna, with something called AirTV. It’s basically a Sling-branded tuner. You connect an antenna to the tuner and the tuner to a TV. And then your local broadcast channels — all of them that are available to you; not just ABC — will show up in your live guide in the Sling app. And while that’s maybe not the most elegant solution, as it requires a little more money and energy on your part, it does get everything in one place at the end of the day.

And it’s worth noting that if you deploy an over-the-air antenna, you’ll probably be able to get more than just ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC. You’ll likely get some of those networks’ sub-channels, as well as other channels like your local PBS affiliate. And, again, once you’ve paid for the AirTV hardware, you’ll get all those OTA channels for free. (It’ll just vary a little depending on your setup and where you live.)

Why doesn’t Sling TV have more local channels in more markets? It says, “Unlike the other guys, Sling helps you keep your monthly bill low by offering customizable packages and Extras to connect you with the programming that you love — all without forcing you to pay for locals that you can receive for free with an Over-the-Air (OTA) antenna connected to your TV.”

So basically, Sling TV says that you pay less because it gives you less.

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