The 6 Best Legal Streaming Services With Local Channels
You’re not alone if you don’t want to pay for cable. Even though cable used to be commonplace in homes worldwide, it has become less in demand as streaming services have grown in popularity and started catering to people’s love for immediate gratification.
But what if you miss the local channels you used to get live through cable? Luckily, some streaming services let you easily access local channels for those who still want to stay up to date with local news, weather updates, and sports.
Hulu + Live TV is an awesome option if you want a mixture of live content from local channels and on-demand content that’s ready to stream anytime. With this paid plan from Hulu, there are over 85 live national TV channels for you to browse and local and regional channels close to home.
In most cities across the United States, you can view your local news, weather forecasts, and sports games on ABC, CBS, CW, FOX, NBC, and Telemundo affiliates. If you’re curious about which channels you’d receive in your city, you can go to the Live TV page on Hulu’s website, click FAQ at the top of the window, and click the question, Can I watch local sports and news in my area?
After that, you just need to select Click here and enter your zip code, and the site will tell you all the channels that’ll be available to you. Popular national channels include USA, Disney Channel, Lifetime, Discovery, National Geographic, and ESPN.
There are two Hulu + Live TV plans to choose from, but the only difference is whether you see ads on Hulu’s streamed content. For $69.99/month, you’ll see limited ads with Hulu + Live TV, Disney+, and ESPN+.
Or, you could spend $82.99/month and get all the same stuff but see no ads on your Hulu and Disney+ on-demand content, but there are still ads with ESPN content. Unfortunately, there’s no longer a 7-day free trial to test any of these plans.
YouTube offers many subscription services on its platform, including YouTube Premium and YouTube TV. But YouTube TV is a great choice if you’re looking to replace your cable bill with something slightly cheaper. You’ll get access to local affiliates for all major networks, like ABC, FOX, CBS, and NBC. Although coverage is limited when it comes to local affiliates for The CW and Telemundo, they are still available on the platform.
In addition to local channels, you’ll also have access to a wide variety of other major channels like HGTV, Food Network, CNN, Nickelodeon, and more. Plus, you can record your favorite shows with unlimited DVR space and view on-demand content.
You can always test out YouTube TV for free for seven days to see if the local channels offered are what you’re looking for. Often, you’ll find a special promotion that offers a 14-day or even 30-day free trial.
After your free trial period, the Base Plan for YouTube TV costs $64.99/month without any add-ons. The Base plan includes a mix of channels in English and Spanish, but there’s a separate Spanish plan for $28.99/month that includes a wider variety of Spanish content and channels specific to this plan. In our YouTube TV channel list and pricing guide, you can see a full overview of which channels are available in specific plans or add-ons.
Sling TV is good value for your money if you’re after local channels but are on a budget. With its Sling Blue plan for $40/month, Sling TV is the most affordable way to view your local news, the weather, and pro football via the NFL Network. However, you can only view local affiliates for FOX and NBC in select markets; the service doesn’t offer ABC, CBS, Telemundo, or The CW.
Additionally, you’ll also get quite a few other channels with the Sling Blue plan, like AMC, BBC America, Cartoon Network, TLC, Lifetime, and USA. If you’re after more sports than just pro football and family channels, the Sling Orange plan might be more up your alley.
A few channels on the Orange plan—but not the Blue plan—include Disney Channel, ESPN (ESPN2, ESPN3), Freeform, and MotorTrend. Or, if you pay $55/month for the Sling Orange & Blue plan, you’ll have access to everything Sling TV offers.
You can access local affiliates for major networks, like ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC, with fuboTV’s Pro plan at $74.99/month. You also get 147 channels with over 100 sporting events, 1000 hours of space on a cloud DVR, and up to 10 screens at home.
If you upgrade to the Elite plan, you’ll get a total of 207 channels with over 130 events in 4K. These extra 60 channels are made up of the fubo Extra and News Plus add-ons, available to purchase separately if you only want to pair one with your Pro plan. The Elite plan is $84.99/month, or you can get the fubo Extra add-on for $7.99/month or the News Plus add-on for $2.99/month.
There’s also fuboTV’s Premier plan for $94.99/month, which is essentially just the Elite plan with the SHOWTIME add-on already paired. Another offered plan is the Latino plan for $32.99/month, which offers 47 Spanish language channels, over 100 sporting events, 250 hours of Cloud DVR space, and viewing on two screens simultaneously.
However, what everyone knows about fuboTV is that it focuses on sports. For an extra $10.99/month, you gain access to the Sports Plus add-on, with channels like NFL RedZone, NCAA TV, MLB, and ESPNews. Add the NBA League Pass for $14.99/month to watch up to 40 out-of-market games a week and follow your favorite teams, or add Sports Lite to your plan for $10.99/month for channels like NBA TV, NHL Network, and LMB Network.
You can also upgrade your fuboTV plan features to increase your Cloud DVR space, share your account with family members, or watch on up to 10 screens at home and two outside your home. fuboTV also offers premium add-ons like STARZ, SHOWTIME, MGM+, and Pantaya, ranging in price from $5.99/month to $10.99/month.
DirecTV Stream is a nice combination of local channels, national channels, and on-demand content.
To see which local channels are available in your specific area, DirecTV has a lookup tool on its channel lineup page. You can click the regional sports & local tab and then type in your zip code to see a list of local channels and regional sports networks. In most urban areas, you’ll likely have access to local affiliates for NBC, PBS, ABC, FOX, Telemundo, and CBS.
After a five-day free trial, DirecTV Stream’s basic Entertainment package costs $69.99/month. You’ll have access to over 75 channels, including Disney Channel, ESPN, Food Network, and USA, and over 40,000 on-demand titles to stream. If you want access to regional sports networks, 30 more channels, and 5,000 more on-demand titles, you’ll need to upgrade to the Choice plan, which costs $89.99/month.
While most people will probably be happy with the Entertainment or the Choice plans, DirecTV Stream offers two more pricey plans. The Ultimate plan costs $104.99/month and has 35 extra channels and 10,000 extra on-demand titles compared to the Choice plan and access to every STARZ Encore channel.
The Premier plan costs $149.99/month and, compared to the Ultimate plan, comes with 10 extra channels, 10,000 more on-demand titles, and access to HBO Max, SHOWTIME, and Cinemax.
What you should know about Paramount+ is that you can only view your local CBS station live if you’re paying for the Premium plan. Because the company owns CBS, it makes sense that you can only view CBS affiliates live.
You can pay for the Premium plan in two different ways. You can pay $9.99/month or save some money and pay $99.99/year. And of course, in addition to your local CBS station, 24/7 live news with CBS News, and NFL on CBS Live, you’ll also be able to view all the other amazing content Paramount+ offers, including shows and movies from Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, and more.
Other Ways to Stream Local Channels
If you already have one of these awesome streaming services in your monthly bill rotation, that’s a great way to access local news, the weather, and sports. But if you don’t pay for many subscriptions because you’re trying to keep costs down, free streaming services are still available, even for local channels.
You can also check out the websites of major networks like CBS, FOX, NBC, and ABC. Often, you can view a live feed from the websites of major networks and sometimes the corresponding mobile apps. This is another great way to do so if you’re after a real-time update on what’s going on in your area.