Where Can You Find Your Favorite TV Shows Without Cable?

Before you begin Cutting the Cable Cord, you need to figure out how you can still access the shows you want, whether live or on demand. Unfortunately, each network does things differently so it can be really difficult to do this. So I’m putting together this guide to provide information on where you can find some of the most popular TV programming if you cancel your cable or satellite subscription.

General Information

Before I list the individual networks, here are some global things to consider as you’re determining whether or not you can cut the cord and keep your shows.

Broadcast Networks

You may be able to watch shows from ABC, CBS, CW, Fox, NBC, Univision and other over-the-air broadcasters by using an internal or external antenna.

Third-Party Content Providers: Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and Hulu Plus

A lot of the most popular TV shows are available on demand through one or more of these popular providers of streaming content. If so, you can then watch your shows through a streaming media player that supports those providers.

Watching Shows from Websites on Your TV

If the above options don’t work, most networks have a good selection of episodes on their own websites. There are different ways to get these from your computer or mobile device to your TV, including using PlayOn software or by display mirroring.

Network Guide

This is a short list to start, with just the networks I’m most often asked about and links to find out more. I’ll continue to add on to the list over time. If a network you’re looking for is not on the list, add a comment and I’ll add it when I get a chance. If you have info you’d like to share with others, please add a comment about it as well and I’ll incorporate it into the post.

NOTES

Networks are listed in alphabetical order.

Live programming available via antenna only applies if you can access the signals where you are.

Available through PlayOn means you need to purchase PlayOn software and install it on your computer.

[network_info]

Elizabeth Kricfalusi

View Comments

    • Hi Cal.

      You can get HGTV and DIY Network apps for the Fire TV Stick here: http://amzn.to/2mHhReW.

      However, please note that doesn't mean you'll be able to watch all their content if you don't have cable. You'll need to install the apps (which are free to install) and see what they make available without logging into a cable subscriber.

      I hope that helps!

      - Elizabeth

    • Hi Colin.

      Yes, there aren't a lot of options for OWN that I can see since they require a cable subscription to watch full episodes of most of their shows online. PlayStation Vue is a service that provides bundles of live streaming networks and their lowest level package does include OWN. It costs $30/month, which may not be worth it unless there are other channels in the package you'd like to take advantage of. You can watch PlayStation Vue through the Amazon Fire TV, Roku, and Chromecast streaming devices in addition to PlayStation consoles. The service also provides the ability to record shows.

      https://www.playstation.com/en-us/network/vue/

      I hope that helps!

      - Elizabeth

  • My wife and I are also trying to cut costs. We watch a lot of French TV on TV5. Is there a service such as Hulu or Netflix that offers streaming TV5? We are looking at buying a Tivo system. Is there a comparative list of channels and suppliers that offer the channels so that we could search for other channels we might be interested in watching?

  • What about hallmark or insp any of the christian shows? I am still unclear. Do you need cable and is there associated costs? I am trying to cut costs.

  • I am having a hard time trying to convince my husband to get a fire stick, he pays over $120.00 a month for Charter and I am trying to show him how much we could save, he says with the fire stick we have to buy antennas for each tv we are senior citizen, but not to old, so I really like the information you have out

    • Hi Phyllis.

      Thanks for the nice compliment!

      As for your situation, it really depends what you and your husband like to watch on TV to know if canceling your Charter account will cause problems for you. You could add antennas to each TV, which are one-time costs and give you access to live programming from your local broadcast networks (NBC, ABC, PBS, etc.) You can find more info in this post:

      Watching Live Broadcast TV with an Antenna

      But again, without knowing what networks you generally watch, I can't say if the Fire TV Stick will help you or not.

      - Elizabeth

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