Live news is often the only thing keeping families from abandoning cable TV. But you don’t need to pay for live news. Most major news networks broadcast for free through streaming services, apps, and websites. And in some cases, you can even stream local news to your devices!
Free live TV channels give you the cable experience without any monthly fees or commitments. They stream cool movies, along with entertainment and kids channels, and of course, they offer some major news networks, including ABC, NBC, USA Today, CBS, and Bloomberg.
I suggest that you install these services on your smart TV or streaming stick. That way, you can enjoy live news (and other live content) for free on the big screen.
Here are the best live TV services for free news:
- NewsON (Web/iOS/Android)
- Pluto TV (Web/iOS/Android)
- Tubi (Web/iOS/Android)
- Peacock (Web/iOS/Android)
- Xumo (Web/iOS/Android)
- Fire TV App (Only on Fire TV devices)
- The Roku Channel (Only on Roku devices)
None of these services require an email address or login, save for Peacock. I should also note that Peacock’s news selection is a bit limited—it has NBC’s national channel, NBC local channels, and zero other news sources.
If you own an Amazon Fire TV or Roku device, give their respective live TV services a shot. The Fire TV App or Roku Channel will be installed on your device by default, and both services include a ton of non-news channels.
Of course, you also get a bunch of non-news channels with Pluto TV, Tubi, Peacock, and Xumo. Check out every service’s web player to get an idea of whether they’re worth using.
If you don’t feel like using a live TV service and only want to watch news from a single network, just download its app! Most major news networks stream for free on their app and website. You don’t even need a cable subscription.
Here are some news networks that stream for free:
- ABC News (Web/iOS/Android)
- Al Jazeera English (Web/iOS/Android)
- Bloomberg (Web/iOS/Android)
- CBS News (Web/iOS/Android)
- CNN (iOS/Android)
- FOX News (iOS/Android)
- NBC News (Web/iOS/Android)
- PBS NewsHour (Web/iOS/Android)
Bear in mind that some of these networks, specifically CNN and FOX News, really only stream breaking stories. Other content requires a cable subscription or a premium live TV membership.
Some news stations, most notably CNBC, aren’t available for free. They may have a free app, but you can only use this app with a cable subscription. Technically speaking, the cheapest way to stream channels like CNBC is to sign up for a paid live TV service, like Sling, YouTube TV, or Hulu with Live TV.
Not to mention, networks like CNN and Fox News only offer breaking news for free. If you’re trying to stream the whole gamut of their content, you need to sign up for a costly cable or live TV membership.
We really tend to overemphasize streaming services, but in all honesty, you may be better off watching the news on local OTA TV. The only thing you need to buy is an antenna—it takes two seconds to hook up and unlocks a ton of live channels, including local news and some national news stations.
If you want to see which channels are available in your area, try using the FCC reception map or the Channel Master live TV tool. These services also tell you which direction stations are broadcasting from, so they can come in handy if you’re getting bad reception on antenna TV.
I know what you’re thinking, “isn’t this kind of old-school?” It’s definitely old-school, but hey, so is cable. And funny enough, free OTA TV can actually reach a much higher image quality than cable. Broadcasters even plan to make OTA TV support 4K video with HDR and Dolby Atmos audio!
And if you’d like a nicer interface than traditional OTA TV provides, or the ability to record news and watch it later, you could also pair up your antennae with a Plex server.