We're glued to the news now more than ever, but our "free press" isn't necessarily free of charge. Cable news outlets like CNN and MSNBC are locked behind expensive cable TV packages and cord-cutting streaming subscriptions such as Sling TV and Hulu + Live TV. Luckily, there are plenty of alternatives to get your TV news fix, free of any payment, account, or commitment.
Check out our list below to see all of your options for totally free TV news networks, as well as limited-time offers for paid services and even a way to preview popular networks for a little bit each day. Once you've found your favorite news stations, know that it's even easier to find free news to read. Apps like Apple News, Google News, and Flipboard make staying informed simple. Of course, sometimes sitting back and watching the news is just the way to go.
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The following stations offer free news streams 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you're looking for a free CNN or MSNBC replacement, these are likely the outlets you want to check out.
ABC News is an original player in American news. As a part of ABC, free to anyone with a proper antenna, it only makes sense that ABC News would be available for free all day long as well. You can catch its live streams at any time, and you can check out famed programs like "Good Morning America" or "Nightline."
Al Jazeera is a Qatari-based news station, known for its coverage of the Middle East. That said, it covers issues from around the globe, including, of course, the United States. The station offers an uninterrupted 24/7 stream that you can tap into at any time. When it's not currently broadcasting live news, it broadcasts stories and documentaries instead, much like some American cable news outlets.
Like ABC News, CBS News is a long-standing American news outlet, available for free as a part of the CBS network. Aside from its free 24/7 digital news network, CBSN, CBS News is also the host of popular programs such as "CBS This Morning" and "60 Minutes."
Cheddar News describes itself as a "fast-paced, young, non-partisan general news and headline news network." It makes sense, then, that the service is available free of charge to anyone who wants to view it. It broadcasts from Los Angeles, The White House, and two locations in New York City. In tandem with its business news channel, Cheddar, Cheddar News is an excellent all-around resource for keeping up with the latest goings-on.
While Fox News is a premium cable news network, it does offer a free livestream of its 24/7 news programs. That might surprise you, considering the network even advertises that you need to have a TV provider of some sort to stream live, but it all depends on what's in the news. Fox News states on its website that "major breaking news events will always be streamed ... for free," so you can expect the majority of stories on the COVID-19 virus to be available at no cost.
While its affiliate platform MSNBC might require a cable subscription to access, NBC News is completely free of charge and available at any time. Like ABC and CBS, it's a staple of American news, with programs like the "Today Show" and "NBC Nightly News."
PBS NewsHour doesn't have a traditional, single news stream. Instead, it offers multiple live streams to choose from, depending on the news of the day, so you can focus on whatever interests you most. Also, you can stream its daily namesake, PBS NewsHour, live for free, and watch episodes at your leisure. PBS NewsHour only makes an app for iOS, but PBS Video is available on multiple platforms to catch up on the news.
You'll find that local news stations might offer free live streams of their content. We put together a few of the most well-known local news stations in the country, but check on your own local station to see if they offer the same.
If you want to get your cable news fix, you might want to check out these deals before they're over. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, some TV services are offering extended free trials, meaning you can temporarily snag premium cable news channels for free. You will need to make accounts for some of these apps, though.
If you pay for either Hulu or Hulu (No Ads), which includes the Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN+ bundle, the company has made the ABC News Live channel free to livestream. So it's not free per se unless you're already a subscriber.
You can get "Stay in and Sling," Sling TV's latest promotion, for free for a limited time. You'll get ABC News Live as well as Fox News (and some Fox affiliates), not to mention "thousands" of shows and movies to boot — all without signing up for an account. If you currently subscribe to Sling TV, you can also access its free content.
You can get YouTube TV for free for two weeks when you sign up before April 14. That's 70+ channels, including CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News, for free. You will need to connect your Google account to gain access to the trial.
Both CNN and MSNBC offer a daily 10-minute preview of their livestreams, before asking for cable credentials to proceed. Ten random minutes a day might not get you caught up on the news, but it's good to know about in case you want to tune in.
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