Intro: How to Watch Local News Without Cable
There’s no way around it. To stream local channels like NBC, ABC, CBS, or FOX you’ll need to pay for a live TV streaming service. Despite that, however, you can still watch local news without cable for free.
You’re able to watch the news from your local channels even if you don’t pay for access to the entire channel itself. This is because news stations have made their broadcasts available to watch online. No subscription needed!
This blog post will break down all the ways cord cutters can watch local news without cable.
Option 1: Apps From Local News Stations
Many local news stations have developed their own dedicated apps. These can allow you to watch the news both live and on-demand.
This will vary from news station to news station, and some apps will be better than others.
Take for example, New York City. All four of the major broadcasters (CBS 2, NBC 4, FOX 5, & ABC 7) offer mobile apps that stream their news broadcasts live. You don’t need to sign-in or confirm a cable provider to watch, everything is free.
To watch the news on your TV, you can cast from your phone using Apple Airplay or Google Chromecast. You can also download the TV apps. NBC 4 and ABC 7 in NYC both offer apps for devices such as Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Roku.
Most news stations stream their news programs on their websites, too. You won't need to download an app- just navigate to their site through a web browser on a computer or laptop.
Option 2: Other Free News Apps
There’s other places you can watch your local news, too. Some free apps offer news from a variety of sources and news stations, including local ones. These are great to check out if your local station lacks a dedicated app, or if you find their app buggy.
For example, you might not be able to watch NYC’s FOX 5 through its own TV app, but you can still watch it through Tubi.
Here’s a list of some free apps with local news to check out:
- localNOW: Here you’ll find a variety of live channels, similar to Pluto TV. Not only will you find TV shows and movies, but dozens of local news affiliates as well.
- NewsON: Provides both live and on-demand access to news stations from around the country. These include newscasts from over 275 TV stations in 165 markets.
- Haystack News: You'll find news from over 350 outlets, both live and on-demand. Features content from local, national, and international news organizations.
- Very Local: A total of 27 “very local” cities get their own version of this live channel. Features original shows, weather, and newscasts from local broadcasters. KMBC 9 News in Kansas City, for example, doesn’t offer its own TV app but is available to watch through “Very Kansas City.”
- CBS News: This app (formerly known as CBSN) has live channels devoted to national news as well as local affiliates, such as CBS 2 in NYC through its app.
- Pluto TV: The same CBS affiliates on the CBS News app are also on Pluto, along with various entertainment channels.
- Tubi: In addition to on-demand TV shows and movies, Tubi has been adding live local news affiliates.
- PBS: “Viewers like you” can stream local PBS stations for free through the PBS app, including local news programming.
- NPR One: Listen to the soothing voices of public radio anchors with your local NPR affiliate.
In addition, with an Amazon Fire TV device there is a dedicated “news” section that comes pre-installed. If you navigate to this section you can find live feeds from you local news stations.
With an Antenna
You'll have to pay money upfront for an antenna. Once you do, though, you’ll have continuous free access to local channels in your area.
With an over-the-air DVR, you can even record shows. With the same device you can also stream your channels over wifi to multiple TVs in your home.
For more on antennas, check out the blog post here.
With a Live TV Streaming Service
If you find that you don’t get a good signal from an antenna, or you’d like access to “cable” channels as well, you can subscribe to a live TV streaming service. These allow you to watch the same channels you’d find on broadcast or cable TV over the internet for a monthly subscription fee.
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Final Thoughts: How to Watch Local News Without Cable
So fellow cord cutters, how do you plan to watch you local news without cable? Any apps we missed? Let us know in the comment section below!