Yes! You can watch CNN live without having a satellite or cable TV subscription. All you need is a subscription to a TV streaming service that carries CNN. Currently, Sling TV, Hulu + Live TV, DIRECTV STREAM, YouTube TV, and now Max have CNN in their channel lineup. This article will explain which is the best option for you.
You can stream CNN live right now on the following services:
- Sling TV: Carries CNN and costs $40 per month, but provides 50% off your first month. You can sign up on Sling's website.
- Max: Max (formerly HBO Max) just added a live stream of CNN to their platform. The service starts at $15.99 per month
- DIRECTV STREAM – Carries CNN and offers a risk-free 5-Day Free Trial. costs $79.99 each month after. However, you can cancel at any time and cancel within the free trial and you will not be charged.
- Hulu Live TV: Carries CNN and includes Disney+ and ESPN+ with unlimited DVR storage for $76.99/month. (Sign up)
- YouTube TV – Carries CNN and costs $72.99 per month and offers a free trial. They are currently providing a special price of $52.99/mo for your first 3 months.
Streaming Services With CNN
The following streaming services will let you watch CNN live without cable.
Watch CNN on Sling TV
Sling TV is another affordable option for watching CNN. CNN is on Sling TV’s Blue channel package for $40/month. The Sling Blue plan allows you to watch on up to three devices at once. All Sling TV plans provide a cloud DVR to record CNN and more if you can’t watch when a show airs. Sling TV’s Cloud-based DVR is available on Amazon Fire, Roku, Android, and Apple TV devices. Each Sling TV package comes with 50 hours of cloud DVR storage, and you can keep recordings as long as you want with no expiration. For $5 more per month, you can increase the storage up to 200 hours. I go into more detail on devices and channels below. You can also check out my review of Sling TV for more details.
Sling Price: The service costs $40 per month, but provides 50% off your first month. You can sign up on Sling's website.
Sling Devices: Sling TV is available on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, and more, so it’s not a problem to watch Sling TV on a TV, tablet, computer, or other smart devices. Sling’s Blue Plan allows you to stream on up to 3 devices at once.
Channels: The channels on Sling TV’s Blue Plan include CNN, A&E, AMC, BBC America, Bravo, TLC, Comedy Central, Discovery, E!, Fox News, FS1, FX, HGTV, History, Lifetime, MSNBC, National Geographic, NBC, Paramount Network, SYFY, TBS, TNT, truTV, USA Network, and more.
Why Use Sling for CNN: Sling TV is a more affordable streaming service but lacks the features of a more complete streaming services like DIRECTV STREAM, Hulu Live TV, and YouTube TV. It’s not a great solution for local networks as they only provide Fox and ABC in the largest of TV markers, so you will need a TV antenna for your local channels.
A live stream of CNN has just been added to Max. So not only is it the most affordable way to watch HBO, but it also includes live cable news. Max starts at $15.99 per month. You can sign up here. Max is supported on Android, iOS, Apple TV, Chromecast, Playstation, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and more. You can check out my review of Max for more details on this streaming service.
Max doesn’t only air CNN and HBO but content from WarnerMedia and other sources. Content on Max includes:
- A selection of acquired series and movies
- All of HBO
- Live CNN
- An exclusive collection of new Max Originals
- Select favorites from the WarnerMedia brands Warner Bros., New Line Cinema, DC, CNN, the Turner library, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, Looney Tunes, and more
- A selection of acquired series and movies (South Park being a notable example)
Watch CNN on DIRECTV STREAM
DIRECTV STREAM is another way you can watch CNN. Channel packages with CNN start at $79.99 per month with their “Entertainment” channel plan after a 5-day free trial. When streaming CNN, you get the same CNN programming that you would see on cable or satellite tv. All DIRECTV STREAM plans come with unlimited DVR storage as long as the content is watched within 9 months. Recordings are automatically deleted after 9 months. You can also access on-demand through the CNN Go app and other channel apps using your DIRECTV STREAM credentials. I cover their “Entertainment” channel plan below since it’s the most affordable way to watch CNN on DIRECTV STREAM. You can learn about all the channel plans they offer in my full review of DIRECTV STREAM.
DIRECTV STREAM Entertainment Plan Price: The service offers a risk-free 5-Day Free Trial. costs $79.99 each month after. However, you can cancel at any time and cancel within the free trial and you will not be charged..
Device Support: DIRECTV STREAM is supported on iOS, Android TV, Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, and more. You can watch up 20 streams simultaneously per subscription with any DIRECTV STREAM plan. See our coverage of DIRECTV STREAM Device Support for more details.
Channels: There are over 75 channels in DIRECTV STREAM’s cheapest channel lineup, including CNN, A&E, AMC, Lifetime, TLC, Comedy Central, Discovery, Hallmark Channel, HGTV, MTV, Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, TBS, TNT, and USA Network. You also get local channels like ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox, sports channels like ESPN and FS1, and other cable news networks like Fox News, and MSNBC.
Why Choose DIRECTV STREAM for CNN: DIRECTV STREAM is a streaming service made to replace cable TV, providing you with a way to watch your big 4 local networks and most basic cable channels. The service also stands out in allowing you to stream on up to 20 devices at once. That could save you a ton of money in a multi-TV/mobile device house. There is no risk in signing up as you can cancel anytime. You can even try out the services with their 5-day free trial. If you cancel before the trial is over, you won’t be charged for the first month.
Watch CNN on Hulu Live TV
Hulu Live TV also carries CNN in their lineup. The service starts at $76.99 per month. Hulu Live TV includes the ad-supported version of the Hulu Streaming Library. You can upgrade to the ad-free version of Hulu’s streaming library for a cost of $89.99. Before signing up for Hulu Live TV, check out the important information below on Hulu Live TV features from our review of Hulu.
Not only does Hulu Live TV include the Hulu Streaming Library with Hulu Originals like The Patient and Only Murders In The Building, but it also includes a subscription to Disney+ and ESPN+ as well. Hulu Live TV is the only streaming service that includes these two excellent streaming services. Hulu Live TV includes Unlimited cloud DVR storage in both Live TV Plans. Episodes can be stored up to 9 months after recording them, and you can fast-forward through recorded commercials. Hulu’s credentials can also be used to link a valid TV provider to most 3rd party channel apps, including the CNN app. Read on for more details on Hulu.
Price: The service includes Disney+ and ESPN+ with unlimited DVR storage for $76.99/month. (Sign up).
Device Support: Hulu Live TV is supported on Apple iPhone and iPad, Android phones and tablets, Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, and more. You can watch on two devices at once. However, you can upgrade to unlimited devices for just $9.99 monthly.
Channels: Hulu Live TV provides over 75 channels in Hulu Live TV’s channel lineup, including CNN, A&E, Lifetime, Comedy Central, Discovery, HGTV, MTV, Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, TBS, TNT, TLC, and USA Network. Hulu Live TV provides local channels like ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox, sports channels like ESPN and FS1, and other cable news networks like Fox News, and MSNBC.
Why Choose Hulu Live TV for CNN: Hulu has most of the channels you get with a basic cable package, but Hulu Live TV also includes the Hulu Streaming Library, Disney+, and ESPN+ in its price. This makes Hulu Live TV the best option if you are looking for a cable TV alternative that packs a lot of on-demand choices. Not only are your bases covered on for live TV, but you can watch Hulu originals like Only Murders in the Building, The Handmaid’s Tale, and more. Furthermore, Disney+ provides access to hit shows like Andor, Loki, and a ton of other Star Wars, Marvel, and Disney content. There isn’t a long-term contract. You can pay monthly and cancel any time you like.
Watch CNN on YouTube TV
YouTube TV also offers CNN streaming and limitless storage space for recording your the included cloud DVR. Stream your library of recorded shows from anywhere. YouTube TV costs $72.99 after a free trial. YouTube TV includes a personal cloud-based DVR for each of the subscription’s six account profiles. In addition, the DVR provides unlimited storage and simultaneous recordings. Furthermore, your recordings are available for nine months. Check out my review of YouTube TV for all the details and channels available on the service.
YouTube TV Price: The service costs $72.99 per month and offers a free trial. They are currently providing a special price of $52.99/mo for your first 3 months.
YouTube TV Devices: YouTube TV supports Android, iOS, Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, and more. You can stream on up to three devices at the same time. See our coverage of YouTube TV device support for more details.
Channels: There are over 85 channels in YouTube TV’s Channel lineup, including CNN, AMC, Comedy Central, Discovery, Hallmark Channel, HGTV, MTV, Nickelodeon, TLC, Disney Channel, TBS, TNT, and USA Network. You also get local channels like ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox, sports channels like ESPN and FS1, and the cable news networks like Fox News and MSNBC.
Why Use YouTube TV to Watch CNN: If the channel lineup is your focus, then YouTube TV is likely the best choice. It arguably has a better channel lineup than DIRECTV STREAM and Hulu Live TV, and it is slightly more affordable than those services. It just lacks the on-demand features you get with Hulu Live TV and the simultaneous streams you get with DIRECTV STREAM.
How To Stream CNN on Your TV
Watch CNN for Free
Some of the streaming services that carry CNN offer a free trial. You can take advantage of those and watch free CNN for almost a month or longer if you use different email addresses. Let’s look at the free trials available.
As long as you cancel before the free trial expires, you won’t be charged. You can cycle the free trials to get nearly a month of CNN free. If you get creative with email addresses and payment methods, you could watch free CNN even longer. Doing this would also let you test out the various live TV streaming services to see which one you like the best.
Watch with the CNN App
In order to stream CNN live through the CNN app, you have to enter your TV provider credentials. Most think you need a cable provider login to utilize the CNN app, but that isn’t the case. Currently, Hulu Live TV and DIRECTV STREAM accounts will work to unlock the CNN app.
You can even download the CNN app on your Roku, Apple TV, or Amazon Fire TV and watch on your television using your Hulu Live TV or DIRECTV STREAM credentials. There are detailed instructions in the next section on installing and activating the CNN Go app on your streaming device.
How To Watch on Your Device
For our example, let’s assume we have a Hulu Live subscription and a Roku. We can follow the steps below to get the CNN app working on our device. While the steps below use Vidgo and Roku to watch CNN, most streaming services and devices will have the same process.
- Go to the channel store or app store on your device. On Roku, it’s called the “Channel Store.”
- Search for CNN Channel
- Add the CNN app to your device and then open it.
- Your Roku device will then show you an activation code and a URL.
- Using a computer or mobile web browser, you go to the URL.
- You will then be asked for a TV provider and a username/password. Enter the username and password you use for your Hulu Live TV account.
- Once you sign in on CNN’s website, your TV screen will refresh. You should now have access to all the video content the app provides.
Supported Streaming Devices
The CNN Go App is supported on all of the following streaming devices:
- Android Devices
- iOS Devices
- Apple TV
- Android TV
- Amazon Fire TV
- and more