How to Watch Live TV News for Free in 2021: ABC, CBS, FOX News, NBC, and More
Our researchers compiled this handy guide to find out how you can stream live TV news for free.
The coronavirus pandemic, Black Lives Matter protests, election, and coming presidential inauguration have dramatically increased our need for free, reliable news. Luckily, in these uncertain times, there are a ton of live TV news channels available for you to watch and stream for free.
How can I watch live news for free?
You can watch live news free if you have a high-speed internet connection. All the Big Four networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC) are currently offering free 24-hour news streams.
You can also watch the latest news on your local affiliate networks (including PBS) for free if you have an over-the-air (OTA) HD antenna, which gives you access to daily and Sunday morning national news as well as daily local coverage.
Free streaming news channels
In addition to the Big Four networks, there are a ton of free streaming news channels (too many for one article, in fact). So we’ll just stick to a dozen or so popular and upstart news networks that folks typically turn to for national news.
Unlike your local ABC TV channel, the ABC News live feed gives you 24-hour news coverage. You can stream David Muir and company on any web browser or by downloading the ABC News app for free on your devices.
If you’re looking for international news coverage, Al Jazeera English is a solid option. Even though Al Jazeera US closed its doors last year, you can still livestream Al Jazeera in English using a web browser or a streaming device like Roku.
Curious how the stock market is (under)performing? Yeah, me neither. In all seriousness, though, Bloomberg delivers live financial news for free on any web browser and most streaming devices.
Yes, the house that Cronkite built is available to stream for free online. You can watch CBS News on any web browser and your favorite devices by downloading the CBS News app—“And that’s the way it is.”
Most folks will be unfamiliar with Cheddar News. That’s because Cheddar is a newcomer, billing itself as a leader in “post-cable” news. True to its brand, you can stream Cheddar from your web browser or a compatible device like Apple TV.
You can watch the CNN livestream free on Pluto TV (Dr. Sanjay Gupta fans, rejoice!)—just download the Pluto TV app or watch from your web browser. Heads up, though, you’ll notice a difference from regular CNN because the livestream is riddled with random, intrusive ads.
Normally, FOX News requires a TV provider login to stream online. But FOX has stepped up during the coronavirus crisis to offer the FOX News livestream free on Fox.com and the FOX News app, which you can download for free on your favorite device.
It’s not as flashy as MSNBC or CNBC, but NBC News streams 24/7 for free online. You can watch live NBC News coverage using an internet browser window or your favorite device, such as a tablet or smartphone.
Familiar with the phrase “Okay, boomer”? Then you may have heard of Newsy—the millennial and Gen X–focused news network. Generational divides aside, you can stream Newsy for free using the Roku Channel.
While you currently can’t livestream every PBS program for free using your internet browser or streaming device, you can stream PBS NewsHour live. So if you’re down with arts reporting (even in times of corona) from Jeffery Brown like we are, PBS NewsHour has got you—both live and on demand.
Yes, the print classic of middle America is now streaming live TV news. If you’re curious to see how the crossover is going, you can stream USA Today live on the Roku Channel.
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Live news networks that require a subscription
A lot of go-to cable news networks require a cable, satellite, or livestreaming TV subscription to stream programming on your TV or other devices. Here are a handful of popular news networks that require subscriptions.
NBCUniversal hasn’t made all of its news channels free to stream, and business-focused CNBC is one of those that you’ll have to pay for as a cable subscriber. If you’re super into the stock market, you might want to pony up some of those dividends for a TV provider login—just saying.
Some might say that ESPNews isn’t really a news network, but sports news is pretty much all sports fans have these days. Unfortunately, you’ll need a TV provider login to get all the deets on the delayed MLB season and the upcoming NFL season (spoiler alert: it looks like September 10 is still a go).
Like its cable-kissing cousin CNBC, MSNBC lives behind a pesky paywall. You’ll need a TV provider login to get all that sweet, sweet news analysis from the likes of Rachel Maddow and Chris Hayes.
If you don’t want to watch PBS using an affordable HD antenna (who are you people?), you’ll need a TV provider or PBS Passport subscription to catch most PBS programs live.
Want all the live TV news all the time?
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What are the best free live TV streaming sites?
Not all free live TV streaming sites and services feature live news.
For free news streams, we recommend Pluto TV, which lets you stream ABC News, Bloomberg, CBS News, CNN, Cheddar, NBC News, Newsy, RT America, and more all in one place.
That said, we’re pretty sure you’ll also need some free trash TV to take your mind off the 24-hour news cycle. Pluto TV definitely streams more than news, but here are some other great free livestreaming services to round out your options.
Best free livestreaming TV services
Free live TV news FAQ
Can I watch CBS News: Live online?
Yes, you can watch CBS News live online on any internet browser or by downloading the CBS News app on your favorite devices.
Can I watch FOX News live for free?
You can watch FOX News live stream for free by either downloading the FOX News app or watching the FOX News live stream free on your Roku device.
Is FOX News free on Roku?
If you download the FOX News app, you can watch the FOX News live stream free on your Roku device.