How to Watch Live TV News for Free: ABC, CBS, FOX News, NBC, and More
Need news now? Our researchers have compiled this handy guide to find out how and where you can stream live TV news for free.
Life comes at you fast—news comes even faster. Everything Everywhere All at Once isn’t just a fantastic movie—it’s also a perfect description of the daily news cycle. Luckily, in these eventful times, there are a ton of live TV news channels available for you to watch and stream for free.
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How can I watch live news for free?
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.
If you’re looking for international news coverage, Al Jazeera English is a solid option. Even though Al Jazeera U.S. 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.
Most folks are 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 CNN for free on Pluto TV (Dr. Sanjay Gupta fans, rejoice!). Just download the Pluto TV app or watch from your web browser. Heads up, though, there’s a difference from regular CNN programming because the stream consists of curated content broken up with ad blocks.
The Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network (C-SPAN) is a great resource for keeping up with current events in the US government. While access to all three of its live channels requires a cable or satellite login, select livestreams are available for free on the C-SPAN website.
If you’d rather watch C-SPAN on your smart TV or streaming device, you can stream important federal events (like the January 6 hearings, House speaker vote, and White House Correspondents’ Dinner) on C-SPAN’s Youtube channel.
Haystack News provides you with local and global news from over 300+ channels. Haystack has been building out its live TV offerings in recent years, and its app is available for download across your favorite devices.
Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) is also a way lots of folks stream news for free. Free IPTV apps like 123TV are usually unverified (i.e. they probably don’t operate with the proper licensing) and often come and go. Just download a verified free app instead.
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.
Want to watch your local news without having to hook up an HD antenna? NewsON features 200+ local channels nationwide streaming over the internet for free. In Salt Lake City, for example, I can stream my local CBS station using NewsON.
If you’re 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 Sling Free and the Roku Channel.
Currently, you can stream every PBS program for free, including PBS NewsHour, using your internet browser or streaming device. So if you’re down with arts reporting (even in heavy news times) 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 live TV streaming subscription to watch programming on your TV or other devices. Here are a handful of popular news networks that require subscriptions.
NBCUniversal hasn’t made all its news channels free to stream, and business-focused CNBC is one you 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.
Sure, you can stream a lot of CNN content for free on Pluto TV, but you need a TV provider login to get the whole enchilada.
For online access to the live channels C-SPAN (covering the House of Representatives), C-SPAN2 (covering the Senate), and C-SPAN3 (covering other related programming), you must enter your cable or satellite TV credentials on the C-SPAN website.
Some might say ESPNews isn’t really a news network, but don’t say it to a sports fan. Unfortunately, you’ll need a TV provider login to get all the televised deets on upcoming MLB, NBA, NFL, and NHL seasons.
Like its cable-kissing cousin CNBC, MSNBC lives behind a pesky paywall. You need a TV provider login to get all that sweet, sweet news analysis from the likes of Rachel Maddow and Chris Hayes.
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What are the best free live TV streaming sites?
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.
FOX-owned Tubi also features some live TV news channels, like ABC News Live, NBC News Now, Fox LiveNow, Fox Weather, Cheddar News, Bloomberg, and more.
Best free live TV streaming services
- Pluto TV—Most free live news, hundreds of free content channels
- Tubi—50,000+ free shows and movies, free live news and sports channels
- Sling Free—ABC News, CBS News, and Newsy plus dozens of free content channels
- Roku Channel—Good variety of free content, free live news channels
- Crackle—Free classic shows and movies, no live news channels
You can’t lose with free, but you also might wanna consider some other cheap streaming options to get your news. (You can get decent live TV streaming for under $10 per month these days.)
We take a closer look at a ton of affordable streaming services in our in-depth guide to the Best Free and Cheap Streaming Services.
Free live TV news FAQ
Our TV-watching experts have made it their mission to track down all the best resources for live news so you can focus on the things that matter. At CableTV.com, we love making guides to help viewers like you get the most out of their TV experience. For more on our process, check out How We Rank.