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How to Watch Live News and TV without Cable in 2024

In the modern era of cord-cutting, many individuals are seeking ways to watch live news and TV without cable. Whether you’re an avid news consumer, a sports enthusiast, or a fan of prime-time TV shows, there are numerous alternatives to cable TV that can keep you updated without the burden of hefty monthly bills.

Live News vs Live TV Shows

Before exploring the options, it’s essential to distinguish between streaming live news and streaming live TV shows. The services and hardware you choose will largely depend on whether you’re primarily interested in news, TV shows, or both.

Local News or Cable News?

Consider whether you’re looking for an easy way to access your local news or if you’re more inclined towards cable news channels like CNN, MSNBC, or Fox News. If cable news is your preference, your best cord-cutting option might be a streaming service like Sling or FuboTV.

Conversely, local news is available for free over the air (OTA) with a TV antenna and a digital tuner. Once you’ve installed your antenna and tuner (or digital converter box), you’ll be able to access your local news channels for free, provided you’re within the broadcast range of your local station.

Do You Need TV Shows the Moment They Air?

TV shows, in general, seem easier to access than specific types of news. The things to consider with TV shows are: how much do you want to spend or save, how immediately do you want to watch the shows as they air, and are you already spending money on services that carry the shows you want?

If you like to gather with friends and have watch parties for your favorite shows right when they air, access to the network broadcast might be the best way to go. As with local news, that would mean installing an antenna and digital tuner.

However, realize that with many streaming services you can access new shows minutes after they air. You’ll need to check the specific show and service to determine whether or not this will work for you.

Watching Sports Without Cable TV

Watching live sports without cable TV can be a challenge. It’s absolutely possible to enjoy live sports without cable if you’re willing to pay for the privilege. However, if you’re a sports fan who likes to watch any game, any team, any sport, at any time, you’re going to be frustrated at some point.

There are services that specialize in providing content for sports fans, FuboTV for instance is regularly rated the best streaming service for sports fans. It’s also at the top of the range in terms of cost.

How and Where to Stream Live News and TV Online

If you know you’re opting for streaming content instead of, or in addition to, an antenna and a digital tuner, let’s take a look at some of the services you can choose from.

Network Apps

One way to get 24/7 live news coverage is through network apps available for download on your device. You can also stream news with these apps directly through a Roku device, an Amazon Fire TV Stick, or a smart TV. Some of these apps are totally free and provide push notifications for updates on topics that you mark a priority.

ABC

With ABC’s app you get access to clips from various shows like Good Morning America, 20/20, Nightline, and This Week. There’s also the option of watching, reading, or listening to the news through ABC News Radio.

CBS

The CBS News App is another option for watching live news coverage, as well as full segments on demand from shows like CBS Evening News, CBS This Morning, Face the Nation, and 60 Minutes. You also get access to documentary series from CBSN Originals, as well as daily shows like Red and Blue.

NBC

Similar to the other network apps, the NBC app provides around-the-clock coverage and a way for you to catch up on news shows like Rachel Maddow, Nightly News, TODAY, and Meet the Press.

Sling TV

Sling TV is one of the services that feels most “cable-like” in terms of its interface. It’s a great option for someone who is looking for live TV and news or who simply enjoys keeping up with network cable shows.

YouTubeTV

YouTubeTV is great. It seems to be very stable, and the service offers a ton of content and channels. Because it’s at the higher end of the scale at around $65 per month, it’s not our first choice. But if the price is less of a factor for you, and especially if you’re looking for sports and other entertainment, this might be the right one for you.

Hulu + Live TV

Just like YouTubeTV, Hulu + Live TV is on the pricier end of the scale; however, Hulu also includes lots of major network stations like ABC, NBC, and CBS, allowing you to watch plenty of news and sports.

FuboTV

Fubo is the ideal streaming service for sports fans, especially soccer, because it has close to 20 channels dedicated to sports.

Philo

This service is a great option if you don’t watch sports or follow news often, or if you have other methods of watching those events. For their cheapest plan at $20 a month, Philo offers 60+ channels like Nickelodeon, Food Network, and TLC.

Peacock TV

We’re still evaluating Peacock TV, but it looks very promising. Even at the free level, we were able to find lots of content to stream, much of it great quality as well.

Wrap Up

Watching live news and TV shows without cable is easier than ever these days. No matter what your current hardware setup is, it’s fairly simple and affordable to get going with live TV. Many of the streaming services cater to specific interests too, and with add-on packages, you can tailor your account to best fit your needs.

While sports can be tricker, with services like YouTubeTV, FuboTV, and Sling, it’s most definitely not impossible. Just be prepared to pay more than a non-sports fan will have to.