How to Watch Local Channels without Cable

If you want to cut the cord or stop paying for an expensive cable bill, we have five ways for you to continue watching your local channels

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Chantel Buchi
Nov 30, 2023
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Maybe you’re looking to save money for a new home or you don’t live in an area that offers decent cable company options.

Either way, you’d like to find a way to watch local channels without cable TV. How can you watch the news, a sports game, or Saturday morning cartoons on the cheap?

We have five ways for you to watch your favorite local channel without cable or satellite. We’ll go over each option and how to get them, and hope you’ll leave here with one or even a couple of options for you.


How to watch local TV channels over the internet


Five ways to watch local channels without cable

How can I watch local channels without cable or satellite?
Product or service
Price
Learn more
1byone antenna$17.99
Paramount+$5.99-$11.99
Sling$40-$55
Hulu$69.99-$89.99
YouTubeTV$72.99
Data as of 04/05/2023. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

1. HD antenna

We recommend this Amplified HD TV Antenna or the 1byone Amplified HDTV Antenna. An HD antenna is especially perfect for those who want a traditional TV experience. They are a one-time buy of about $18 to $65, they’re easy to set up, and you actually get more channels than you’d think.

The amplified HD antenna costs about $25 and gives you over 20–125 channels with great reception. It has a 300-mile range and takes no more than 10 minutes to install. It also delivers channels with crystal-clear HD picture quality.

The 1byone antenna is $7 cheaper, has a 200-mile radius, and gives you about 15–80 channels. Both are highly rated, and you can't go wrong with either.

2. Channel app

The second way to watch local channels without cable TV is by getting a subscription to a specific channel’s app. At most, these apps are $12 per month, and you’ll be able to find all of your favorite local channels in your smartphone's app store.

There’s Paramount+, which gives you access to live TV channels, on-demand TV shows and movies, and Original content. Not only can you watch Star Trek: Picard, Survivor, and The Brady Bunch whenever you’d like, but you’ll also be able to watch your local CBS station, CBSN (24/7 news), CBS Sports HQ, and ET Live.

NBCUniversal Peacock provides live news and sports coverage you'd find on your local NBC channel. This streaming service has 50+ custom channels and 80,000+ hours of on-demand content. 

Peacock's on-demand library includes TV shows and movies like The Office, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Battlestar Galactica, Saturday Night Live, Saved by the Bell, the Harry Potter series, and the Fast and Furious series.

In the Apple Store or Google Play, you’ll also find apps for Fox Now, The CW, ABC, and PBS. You can watch your local CW and PBS channel for free on those apps, but you will have to log in with a TV provider to watch the live stream of FOX and ABC.

Before we end this section, you should know that you’re going to need internet to stream. So, if you’re not happy with your current internet service, check out our list of the best internet providers.

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3. Live TV streaming service

Subscribing to a live TV streaming service is a popular solution to cutting the cord. 

YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV will be the "cheapest" options for streaming local channels. And with this live streaming option, you'll get a good amount of popular channels, like HGTV, ESPN, and History Channel.

Streaming services with local channels
ProviderYouTubeTVHuluFubo TV
Monthly price$72.99$69.99-$89.99$74.99–$94.99
Channels10085160–289
Learn more
Data as of 04/05/2023. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

YouTube TV will give you 100+ channels, including your local ABC, CBS, CW, FOX, NBC, and PBS channels. You and your family can also enjoy Disney Channel, Food Network, and NFL Network.

Hulu + Live TV has ABC, CBS, CW, FOX, and NBC channels among its 85+ channel lineup. This service also comes with Disney+ and ESPN+. Now is where you might be saying: "Say no more."

4. Live stream local news online

If local news is what you’re looking for, then the fourth way to watch local channels without cable is simply watching the live stream of your local news station’s newscast on their website.

Find the “Watch Live” option on their homepage, and there you go! Free news.

5. YouTube

And for the last and final way to watch local channels without cable: YouTube, the online video-sharing platform. Lots of major networks have their own YouTube channel where they upload clips of their news segments daily.

You can easily find the latest clips, search by keyword, and view their most popular uploaded videos by visiting their channel.

If you happen to choose to watch news on your station’s website or on YouTube, then let me suggest another free option for you for your entertainment channels: Pluto TV.

Pluto TV is a free live TV streaming service with more than 320 channels.You’ll find CBS News, 60 Minutes, JEOPARDY!, Dr. Phil, TV Land Sitcoms, CBS Sports HQ, and FOX Sports, just to name a few.

Pluto TV April 2022

Recap: How to stream local channels

So you don’t need a cable subscription to get your favorite local channels to watch the news, sports, cartoons, or some great TV shows.

Here are your options:

  • You can get an HD TV antenna
  • Subscribe to a specific channel’s app
  • Subscribe to a live TV streaming service
  • Watch the live stream of your local news station’s newscast on their website
  • Watch your local news channel on their YouTube page
  • Or watch on Pluto TV

You can stay away from paying over $100, including TV fees, and just spend $80 or less, or even for no money at all to get your local channels on your TV right at home.

Chantel Buchi
Written by
Chantel Buchi
Chantel is all about finding the best tv or streaming service to watch as many football games as possible to keep her Fantasy Football team in check. Prior to being a TV and Streaming Tech Reporter for Reviews.org, she worked for NFL Network and The Alliance of American Football. Before that, she received a B.A. of Communication at the University of Utah and an M.S. in Sports Journalism at USC. Go Utes and Fight On. Contact her at chantel@reviews.org

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