How to Watch TV Online

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Learning how to watch TV online can take away the pain of missing a show and even save you money on bills by allowing you to get rid of cable TV. If you do miss a show, rest easy knowing you can watch TV shows online for free when you have the time.

This article will show you exactly how and where to watch online TV shows, movies, news, sports, and live TV online.

I will go through how to watch TV online so you can stop worrying about missing shows and stop wondering where to find them when you do.

You may also be able to learn how to cut your cable bill and save money.

How To Watch TV Shows Online for Free

There are a ton of websites out there that let you watch TV shows online free. Keep in mind that some websites require you to be paying for their service via subscription or your TV provider for TV streaming of their shows online. For example, if you have a Verizon Fios or DIRECTV cable TV service, you can log into your account to watch On Demand cable TV online anytime.

If you have Xfinity Comcast cable TV, you can watch On Demand movies and TV online from whenever you want.

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Some others, like Fox and the CW, either don't require you to sign in or only require it for certain free online TV shows. Also, check out websites for channels like TBS (for American Dad episodes) and Comedy Central (for SouthPark) for free cable TV online. Some of the best free online TV channels even have apps.

This way, you can stream via your streaming stick, set-top box, high definition Internet TV, or smart device.

Watch TV Shows and Movies For Free on Crackle

Crackle is another place to watch free TV shows online and free movies online. They have new and old shows and movies for you to watch whenever you want. Watch movies and shows like Crash, Drive, Big Fish, Seinfeld, and so much more. Just register for free to make an account and enjoy all of your favorite timeless flicks and shows.

watch crackle online

Free TV Shows on is operated by CBS Interactive and usually lets you watch at least the first five episodes of anything they have on the site. For example, they offer Game of Thrones, The Blacklist, Scandal, This Is Us, and a ton more. They have a collective group of shows from ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, and the CW.

Free Videos on

If all else fails, you can always find clips and parts of your favorite shows that you've missed on Youtube. Although they do their best to take down full episodes of shows for copyright reasons, they do allow certain clips. For example, you can always watch SNL clips from Saturday night on Youtube.

Related: The Guide to Cutting the Cord

How to Watch News Online

You can also watch news online from numerous channels if you don't want to miss your favorite news hour while you're at work. Unlike TV shows and movies, TV channels tend to be more lenient when it comes to streaming free news online. After all, they want you to hear what they have to say one way or another.

ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX News

You can watch ABC online news, watch CBS online news, watch NBC online free, and watch FOX News online as long as you have a solid Internet connection from one of the best Internet providers. These websites will allow you to watch news clips from the day and catch up on the most pressing issues from each channel's perspective.

You can even watch ABC live online for free news streaming. Each of these channels also allows their viewers to watch shows from their computers, laptops, best streaming device after the episode airs. For example, NBC puts their shows on their site the day after they air on TV.

watch nbc online free

In comparison, you'll have to wait a whole week to watch FOX and ABC shows online while CBS posts them right after they air (on the east coast). If you want to watch FOX News online free or CBS News online free, you can stream on Fox News Go and CBS Live News Stream.

BBC & Al Jazeera News

BBC News and Al Jazeera News are both international news networks that give credible, unbiased information on world happenings. You can even watch live news online on Al Jazeera if you'd like. You can also binge on full episodes of TV shows and movies from certain series like Doctor Who on BBC America.

You can only watch BBC live using the BBC iPlayer if you live in the U.K., however. This service is not yet offered in the United States.

PBS News

Watch PBS online news, shows and videos online free at You will also find shows, documentaries, and the PBS show schedule on their site. For example, watch Antiques Roadshow, PBS News Hour, American Masters, Nature and more.

Just pick your local station and create an account to remember you.


You can also watch MSNBC online news. Find news shows like The Rachael Maddow Show, Morning Joe, and Hardball on their website. MSNBC also offers a live news stream.

CNN News

If you want to watch CNN online news, you'll need to have a cheap cable TV provider or satellite TV provider. CNN requires you to sign in with your provider account login to watch live TV. You can find free clips from their news shows on their general website for free if you're not interested in paying.

LinkTV offers no commercials and is known for their liberal/progressive world and national news that is unique from regular news networks. They provide various shows with diverse outlooks on the environment, culture, society, and the arts in an attempt to inspire action from citizens.

If you're tired of the regular news or just want an additional perspective, you should definitely take a look at

Related: How to Get Paid to Watch TV

How to Watch Sports Online

Streaming sports live is possible via numerous websites across the Internet. Most of the local channels offer online streaming, as long as you are already paying for some sort of sports package. Keep in mind, most sport streaming channels require you to sign into your TV provider account to access their content. Specific websites include:

  • CBS Sports
  • FOX Sports 1
  • WatchESPN
  • Livestream
  • NHL.TV
  • MLB.TV

CBS Sports

If you want to watch CBS sports online, you need one of the best cable TV providers or best satellite TV providers. If you have one, click on your provider and log in to your account to watch any CBS sports you'd like. You can even watch live sports online.

You can also create a CBS Sports ID for a custom account where you can play fantasy games and interact with the community. Watch NFL, NBA, NCAA Basketball and Football, MLB, Golf, NHL and more.

FOX Sports 1

Watch FOX Sports 1 online for NFL games, MLS games, MLB games, NCAA Basketball, and anything else that is playing on the FOX 1 Sports network. You'll have to log into your high-speed Internet and TV service provider account to gain access.


watch espn online

You can live stream U.S. sports on WatchESPN at any time by logging into your account. It doesn't have many pop up ads, making it a quality streaming site for your favorite live sports games and stats.


You can watch NBA TV online on the NBA live stream website. They show the latest games; just go to the site, click on the game you want to watch, and enlarge your screen. You can also watch NBA games from other live streaming services and online TV channels with your cable or satellite TV login.

NCAA Basketball

If you're interested in watching NCAA Basketball online, you can download the March Madness app for your mobile device. You can also download the March Madness app on your streaming device or high definition Internet TV. Otherwise, simply visit the NCAA Basketball website or the channel it's playing on to see if you can type in your TV provider login for free live streaming.


You can watch NFL online, but you're going to need to sign into your cable or satellite TV account first. Your TV service usually offers an NFL package of some sort; you can also buy a subscription to the NFL Pass for streaming. Unfortunately, the NFL does not offer free viewing. You can also watch NFL games on Fox 1 sports, CBS Sports, and WatchESPN.


You can watch NHL Online at NHL TV. They offer a paid subscription for you to stream regular season NHL games at 60 frames per second from certain devices. If you purchase the subscription with NHL TV, you can watch, pause, and rewind up to four games at once and jump to daily highlights.


Similar to NHL, you can watch MLB online by purchasing a package on MLB TV. You may also be able to create an account with FuboTV and SlingTV for cheaper than offered on MLB TV. If you already have a cable or satellite TV provider, you can watch MLB on the sites previously mentioned including Fox Sports 1, CBS Sports, and WatchESPN.

How to Watch TV Shows Online

There are numerous other outlets for you to watch cable or satellite TV online as well. For example, you can watch HBO and Showtime shows by logging into you provider account. If you don't have a provider, you can either look into "cable providers in my area" and the best satellite TV or subscribe to some streaming channels and websites. Here are some of the best places to watch TV shows online.

HBO Now, Showtime, and Starz

HBO Now, Showtime, and Starz can be watched online via their websites or via other streaming accounts like Amazon Prime. The only catch is that you must already pay for their service either from your TV provider or through a subscription to their direct TV and Movie streaming services.

Netflix or Amazon Prime

Netflix is one of the ultimate streamings sites with countless TV series. If you have a Netflix account, you can watch classic shows from various TV channels online as well as original Netflix series, movies, documentaries, comedy shows, and more.

Stream Netflix from any tablet, smartphone, computer, laptop, set-top box, Internet TV, or streaming device. You can also use their month-long free trial before you buy.

Additionally, Amazon Prime accounts provide some of the best TV series, movies, and access to other subscriptions (like HBO and Showtime) along with a free trial. If you are looking to replace cable or satellite TV, Netflix and Amazon Prime are legitimate options you can stream from any mobile device, streaming device, or Internet TV.


You can create an account with Hulu streaming site to watch shows from various TV channels including Comedy Central, ABC, NBC, Adult Swim, AMC, and so much more. Hulu is affordable and could be a great way to get rid of your cable TV or satellite, similar to Netflix.

This way, you'll only have to pay for high-speed Internet and your streaming subscription. You can access Hulu on most smart and streaming devices.

Playstation Vue

watch playstation vue

Playstation Vue is a TV service you can use with various streaming devices for live TV streaming, movie streaming, sports streaming and more. You can also watch On-Demand movies and shows with Playstation view. The monthly subscription is affordable; it's a little more expensive than Sling TV but less expensive than a traditional cable TV subscription.

Sling TV

Sling TV is another streaming TV service for streaming TV. With the simple Sling app, you can be streaming tv and movies from any smart device in no time. Sling offers shows like The Voice, The Walking Dead, Empire and more. They also provide sports and news streaming. If you're looking for a good substitute for cable, this option is more affordable than Playstation Vue.

It is also really easy to navigate on other devices with the Sling app. Check out the tv channels they offer on their site.

Youtube TV

Youtube TV will soon provide streaming accounts that stream ABC, CBS, FOX NBC and more. A subscription will cost around the same price as Sling TV. Check out the Youtube TV site to get on the list for a subscription when it comes out.

Watch Live TV Online

If you have a solid Internet connection, you can watch live TV online right from your smart device or streaming device. Use Xfinity Stream, Dish Anywhere, or Direct TV online with your cable or satellite TV provider to watch live TV online if you have those services. If not, you'll need another option. Here's how to watch TV online for free if you don't have a cable service.

CBS All Access, MSNBC, Al Jazeera, HBO, Showtime, and Starz

CBS All Access is one of the only large TV and news networks that allows live streaming film and TV shows via their website. If you want to stream news for free, many news sites like MSNBC, ABC, FOX and Al Jazeera offer live news feeds on their websites for free. Always check their websites to make sure before you buy anything unnecessary.

Additionally, you can stream HBO, Showtime, and Starz shows and movies live if you have their monthly subscriptions. Channel subscriptions are a new and easy way to make sure you have access to all of the shows you want. You may be able to combine subscriptions and still save money compared to your cable bill.


The ITV Hub, formerly know as the ITV Player, is an online video on demand service that allows you to watch shows like American Dad and Ax Men as well as live TV, news and some sports. The ITV player service is like a TV service that is not based on your home TV and Internet connection.

Instead, it has its own channels that can be accessed from anywhere via your smartphone, tablet Internet TV, or other streaming devices. It is an excellent substitute for cable if that's something you're looking for. Keep in mind, however, that they are still building; so you won't have access to every channel quite yet.


Now that you know every avenue to watch free TV online, get out there and start watching. Stream your favorite shows, news hours, movies, sports games, and whatever else your heart desires from the networks you love.

For more information on TV and home services, check out our TV Provider Guides for helpful tips and tutorials.

If this article has truly helped you figure out how to watch TV shows, movies, sports, and news online for free, please share it with your friends and family. You can also follow us on Facebook and Pinterest for more helpful how-to articles.

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