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Which TV Networks Can You Watch Online Without Cable? Here’s The Complete List

By Lyn Atwood / August 17, 2016 / Tags: , ,

Trying to figure out which channels or shows you can stream without a cable or satellite subscription? Here’s the full list — plus a roundup of other ways to watch your favorite TV and sports for free or cheap.

TV networks you can watch online without cable

Can you watch your favorite TV, sports, and movie channels online without cable? What if you want to watch a channel in a different country — is it possible? Answering these questions isn’t as easy as it should be.

⊕ SEE ALSO: Ultimate Guide To Stream Live Sports Without Cable

So we’ve made it easy. Here, we walk you through exactly how to find all the options available to watch your favorite networks, TV shows, and sports events without a cable or satellite subscription. We take you through the possibilities step-by-step, from the most obvious to the somewhat obscure.

Below, you’ll also find a complete list of all the TV and sports networks available via an internet TV subscription service. (Jump to the chart.)

⊕ SEE ALSO: Best Cable TV Alternatives — Stream Your Favorite Shows & Channels Without Cable (Including For Free!)

To clarify: What do we mean by ‘getting a channel without cable/satellite’? For the most part, we mean being able to watch all of the channel’s programming live as it airs, just like you can do with traditional TV. Some channels make certain shows available on streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Crackle, Vudu, etc. — but that’s not what we mean. We mean getting access to everything the channel broadcasts. So there’s no difference from what you’d get with cable.

Lots of cable and satellite providers now give their customers access to stream channels online, on various devices. It should be obvious to you if your TV provider (if you have one) does this, so that’s not what we’re talking about here either. If you’re still in, read on.

How To Watch Your Favorite Channels & Shows Online — Step-By-Step Help

Follow these simple steps to see how to watch any TV channel online without cable.

Try The Channel’s Website

STEP 1) See if you can stream the channel on its official website. Lots of channels have live streaming and video-on-demand access on their sites nowadays. (Use the search box above to find channels and see their online streaming options.) However, the popular networks will require login with your TV provider. So if that’s the case, proceed to the next step. (If you’re a US citizen living abroad, check out Step 5.)

To stream content in a different country: If you want to watch a TV channel or sports stream from a different country, but can’t get access to its live or video streams because of geo-restrictions (as in the picture below), you can use a simple workaround. More on how to unblock any website or unblock any sports site or streaming service. Note that this also works to get access to subscription services in other countries.

Unblock TV networks like Eurosport

Many TV networks use geo-blockers to prevent people in other countries from streaming their content online. You’ll need to bypass the geo-blocks in order to get access.

 

Use A Streaming Service

STEP 2) Use the chart below to see if the channel is available via a cable TV alternative — also called a streaming service, or Internet TV. For the complete list, check out today’s best cable TV alternatives. The main options are:

+ Internet TV providers Sling TV from DISH, and Sony’s PlayStation Vue

+ Amazon Video, which streams a handful of popular channels.

+ Standalone streaming services (also called a-la-carte services) that give you access to a single channel (examples: HBO Now, Showtime Anytime, and CBS All Access)

+ Niche sports streaming services (examples: NBA League Pass, NFL Game Pass, fuboTV)

⊕ RELATED: Can You Still Unblock U.S. Netflix Abroad? We Tested The Claims — Here’s What We Found

If the channel you want isn’t in the chart below, or you’re looking for a cheaper option, proceed to Step 3.

Outside the U.S.? You can get Amazon Video, Sling TV, sports streaming services, and etc. even if you’re not in the U.S. Yes, these services are typically only available to U.S. residents — but there is a workaround. More on how to get popular streaming services from anywhere.

Use Kodi

STEP 3) If you still can’t get access to a channel, it’s time to venture outside the mainstream. [A cautionary note: If you get squeamish about stepping on the toes of copyright holders skip to Step 4. Unfortunately, you’ve exhausted your online options, so you’ll have to see if you can get it over-the-air while you wait for it to become available to stream.]

If you’re still reading this then you’re at least curious and perhaps more. So it’s time to explore Kodi.

⊕ SEE: How To Use Kodi: A Simple Quick-Start Guide

Kodi is a media player. You can use Kodi to stream TV shows, movies, live sports and live TV from the internet. (For a more detailed explanation, see ‘What Is Kodi?‘.)

Kodi is free to download and use, and works in any country on almost any device. It’s a very powerful, versatile, and slick platform and it is rapidly rising in popularity.

You can use Kodi to watch content you pay for. But Kodi is popular because you can also use it to watch tons of stuff without paying — from sources like HBO, Showtime, ESPN, and many more.

To see what Kodi can do and how to get started, check out our beginner’s guide on how to use Kodi. This will show you how to use Kodi to watch free TV, movies, and live sports from a vast library of popular channels. Also, see our list of the best Kodi TV add-ons you’ll want to install to get access to content. Or, learn more on the official Kodi website.

⊕ SEE: Why You Should Always Use A VPN With Kodi (Or You Could Regret It)

One major note: Using Kodi to stream free TV comes with some risk. First, Kodi’s security issues can be dangerous if not avoided. Plus, some channels/copyright holders/government agencies won’t be happy you’re watching paid content for free. Therefore, it is highly recommended you take steps to stay safe on Kodi. The best way to do this is by using a VPN with Kodi. A VPN will encrypt your connection, hide your identity, prevent tracking and monitoring, and keep you safe from spies and hackers. See the best VPNs for Kodi.

Get An Antenna

STEP 4) If you still can’t stream a channel online, you can try picking it up over-the-air. Especially if you live in an urban area, you have a good shot at getting all the major broadcast networks for free (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, PBS, My9, CW), plus a handful of others.

To do so, you’ll need a good antenna. Antennas have come a very long way in recent years. But it is still hard to choose one among all the options. Here is an indoor HDTV antenna ($50) that the majority of people will be very happy with. It has a 50-mile range, which should pick up about 20 channels, plus lots of other nice features you can read about here.

Watch On USTVNow

STEP 5 — ADDITIONAL OPTION FOR US CITIZENS ABROAD) Americans living or traveling overseas have another option available: USTVNow. You can watch U.S. TV for free with USTVNow on your desktop computer on the following channels: ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, PBS, My9, CW.

For $19/month you can get 28 channels, including some of the most popular networks: ESPN, AMC, A&E, Cartoon Network, Comedy Central, FX, USA Network, TBS, and more. You can also stream on any device. For $30/month you can get a DVR plan.

It’s an excellent service, with impressive streaming speeds and a nice interface. If you’re tempted to try to use USTVNow from inside the U.S., don’t bother. You’ll be blocked. Theoretically, I suppose, one could use a VPN to bypass the geo-blocks and use the service in the U.S…. If, that is, one was so inclined.

Complete List Of TV Networks You Can Stream With A Cable/Satellite Alternative

In alphabetical order by network

Note: Streaming services Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, Amazon Video, etc. are U.S. based. To see if a network is available on a streaming service in another country, use the search box to find the channel and visit its website to see its streaming/subscription options. If any service is blocked in your country (including Amazon Video & Sling TV), see how to get access.

Get a free trial of:

Amazon Video / HBO Now / Showtime Anytime

ExpressVPN (to unblock geo-restricted content)

CBS All Access

Fubo TV

PlayStation Vue

Sling TV

UFC Fight Pass

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