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Watching Cable News Online without Pay TV

CC: Daniel Lobo

Cable news networks are some of the most watched networks on cable TV. Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN consistently are in the top 10 weekly viewer ratings.  Next to sports, it’s the biggest reason people are still tied to the cable box.

However, just as there is many options for sports fans without cable, there are plenty of ways to watch these networks without having a traditional pay TV subscription and paying for cable or satellite TV. Today I’m going to break down your options for watching these networks online and provide a few other alternatives to getting your news without forking over thousands of dollars every year.  The table below provides an overview of the various streaming services and which “big three” cable news networks they carry

DIRECTV NOW fuboTV Hulu Philo PlayStation Vue Sling Orange Sling Blue YouTube
$35 – $70 $40 $40 $16 $40 – $75 $20 $25 $35
Fox News

Watch Fox News without Cable

The most robust option for watching Fox News without cable is Direct TV Now. This service provides most of the top Cable TV networks online for only $35 per month. It supports all of the major streaming devices on the market and is my top pick when it comes to channel availability on a streaming service. They also offer streaming of local broadcast networks in many markets. Therefore, it provides not only Fox News, but a way to watch your local news without using a TV antenna. You can check out their free trial to see if you like their service. Be sure to check out my review of DIRECTV NOW for more details.

DIRECTV NOW isn’t the only way to watch FOX News without cable. You can also find Fox News Network on the following streaming services.

FuboTV –  This service offers some top channels you typically find on Cable TV, but focuses on sports programming. It’s a favorite of sports loving cord-cutters. The service is $40 per month, but offers discounts for the first 2 months of your subscription. Check out their 1-week free trial to test out their service. You can also read my review of FuboTV for more details on what the service offers.

Hulu Live TV – Another streaming service that rivals DIRECTV NOW when it comes to streaming local channels. However, it doesn’t quite have the number of channels you can get on DIRECTV NOW.  They also offer a free trial and you can read my review of Hulu’s Live TV service for more information.

YouTube TV – This service costs $35 per month and excels at local channel streaming, but doesn’t quite stack up to DIRECTV NOW when comparing cable channel availability. It’s also not available in  all markets. See my review of YouTube TV to see they are available in your area.

PlayStation Vue – This service is a favorite among Cord Cutters for being a very well rounded streaming service. Pricing starts at $40 per month. They offer a free trial. As always, you can check out my review of PlayStation Vue for more details on the service.

Watch MSNBC Online without Cable

Sling TV is the most affordable way to watch MSNBC without cable. MSNBC is a part of their “Blue Package” and  costs $25 per month. Sling TV offers excellent channel availability and added feature options like a cloud DVR. You can test their service with their 1-week trial offer. Be sure to check out my review of Sling TV for more details on the service. While Sling TV is the most affordable option to watch MSNBC online, it’s also available on the following services:

Watch CNN without Cable

If you want to watch CNN online, the most affordable option is again Sling TV. However, live streaming of CNN is available through their cheaper “Orange Package” at only $25 per month. Alternatively, you can watch CNN online with the following options:

Local News without Cable

The best way to watch your local news is through your local over the broadcast. It’s free. All you need is a digital TV (TVs made after 2009 are) and a TV antenna. Check out our guide to choosing the best TV antenna to make sure you get one that meets your needs. If you don’t want the hassle of installing a TV antenna, many services stream local channels in many markets. Check out our guide to streaming local channels to see which service is right for you.

Other Streaming News Options

For those interested in around the clock coverage, there are plenty of options available online. This isn’t limited to watching on your smartphone or tablet.  You can just as easily enjoy the news on your living room TV using any of the following streaming services.

CBSNews: This free 24-hour streaming news service includes live, anchored coverage on weekdays. If you are more interested in actual news and reporting than commentary, then this is the channel for you. It’s my personal go to when I want national and world news coverage.

CBS news is available on  iPhone, iPad,  Android phones and tablets, Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, and Android TV.

HuffPost Live: If you are more a fan of cable news, give HuffPost Live a try. It’s more pundit oriented and less actual news reporting. It’s available in  iOS, Android, Roku, Android TV, and Amazon Fire TV.

Bloomberg TV: For cord cutters who want  live streaming news with a business based point of view, Bloomberg TV is the place to go. You can catch Bloomberg TV on  iOS devices , Android,  Roku, Apple TV,  Fire TV, and Android TV.

News From Abroad

Sky News: If you want news from sources outside the US, then Sky News is a great source. It’s based in the U.K., so it is occasionally heavy on things happening in and around the U.K, but overall it’s a great source for world news. It’s one of my favorites, and it’s free on iOS and  Android devices, Roku, Apple TV,  and Fire TV.


The desire to watch news shouldn’t hold you back from cutting the cord. I’ve only covered the major news outlets available to you without cable. There are a whole host of niche news options available online through the web. I used to be a cable news junky, now I don’t even miss it.

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