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How to Watch Live TV News for Free in 2023: 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 watch live news free if you have a high-speed internet connection. All the Big Four networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC) currently offer 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.

Live TV news with an HD antenna

An HD antenna can help you get local information that national news networks ignore.

During the initial weeks of the new coronavirus outbreak, for example, I used my HD antenna to get local news about a 5.7 earthquake in Utah (where I live) that didn’t make it into the national news cycle.

An HD antenna is easy to install and usually costs less than $50. We recommend the Mohu Leaf 50 as a reliable and affordable option.

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.

ABC 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.

Al Jazeera

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.

Bloomberg

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.

CBS News

Yes, the house 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.”

Cheddar News

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.

CNN

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.

Court TV

For the crime junkies out there, Court TV streams live and free on many popular FAST platforms, including Tubi, Pluto TV, and The Roku Channel. Court TV is also available on paid live TV streaming services like YouTube TV and Fubo.

C-SPAN

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.

FOX News

Normally, FOX News requires a TV provider login to stream online. But FOX has stepped up 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.

Haystack News

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.

IPTV apps

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.

NBC News

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.

NewsON

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.

Newsy

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.

PBS NewsHour

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.

Pro tip: The only live TV streaming services that carry PBS are YouTube TV (100+ channels for $72.99/mo.) and DIRECTV STREAM (75–150+ channels for $64.99–$154.99/mo.). Check out our comprehensive YouTube TV and DIRECTV STREAM reviews for more details.

Roku Channel

Less a channel and more an app on your Roku device, Roku Channel features dozens of free news and weather apps, including NewsON and USA Today. You can’t get cable news for free on Roku Channel, but chances are, you can find a local news station in its offerings.

Sling Freestream

Live TV streaming service Sling TV offers a free version of its service, which is fittingly called Sling Freestream. Much like Roku Channel, Sling Freestream offers live streams of ABC News, CBS News, USA Today, Newsy, and more.

USA Today

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.

Pro tip: A quality streaming device can help you stream all the live news on your flat-screen TV. Check out our guide to the Best Streaming Devices to see which device is right for you.

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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.

CNBC

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.

CNN

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.

C-SPAN

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.

Since C-SPAN is funded by cable providers, it unfortunately is not currently available on live TV streaming services like YouTube TV or Hulu + Live TV.

Protip: Don’t have a cable or satellite subscription? You can still catch livestreams of federal government events (like the House speaker election) on C-SPAN’s website and C-SPAN’s YouTube channel. These streams are also available to watch on demand.

ESPNews

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.

MSNBC

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.

Pro tip: Instead of watching from a web browser, download your favorite livestreaming services’ apps for free on your devices. Apps are usually more convenient and user friendly.

Free live TV news FAQ

Can I watch CBS News: Live online?

Yes, you can watch CBS News live online by either streaming it on any internet browser, downloading the CBS News app on your favorite device, or signing up for Paramount+.

Can I watch FOX News live for free?

You can watch FOX News livestream for free by either downloading the FOX News app or watching the FOX News livestream 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 streamfree on your Roku device.

Does Roku get local news channels?

Roku devices don’t come with local news channels. You either need an over-the-air (OTA) HD antenna or a live TV streaming service for that.

What app has live TV for free?

Our favorite live TV apps are Pluto TV, Tubi, Sling Free, Roku Channel, and Crackle. For a more in-depth look at free TV apps and services, check out our Best Free Streaming Services guide.

Methodology

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.

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