How to get local channels without cable

 

Ditch the myth that you need cable to watch your local channels! Keep reading to learn how to stream local TV online.

 

Cable companies love to perpetuate the myth that without your cable subscription, you won’t be able to get your local channels. But you can get your local news, live sports and favorite network shows without the high cable bill. Local channels vary based on your location.

Top local channels:

  •     CBS
  •     ABC
  •     NBC
  •     PBS
  •     FOX
  •     CW
     

These networks offer a lot of primetime programming in addition to local news broadcasts and select sports coverage. Some streaming services offer local channels in their lineups, but you'll still pay for them. Here are a few ways you can access your local channels for free. 

Use an antenna
 

An HD antenna is the most surefire way to get access to the local channels in your area without paying a dime. Availability and number of local channels you receive through an antenna varies, so it’s a good idea to use SLING's local channel finder to see what’s available for you.

 

Indoor antennas

  • HD antennas range in price from $10 to $90, depending on the quality and signal range
  • One-time purchase that allows to you to watch available local channels for free

 

Outdoor antennas

  • Great for addresses that require more range
  • Slightly more expensive in upfront costs and setup labor
  • Will likely receive better signals to view your channels

 

Keep in mind things like interference, placement and positioning are important for antennas - unlike cable or internet streaming. Make sure your antenna is facing the nearest broadcast towers and away from obstructions like walls, furniture or electronics.

Bonus Locals Bundle Offer airtv2antenna

Streaming Bundle

with Indoor Antenna

Just $99 when you prepay for 3 months of Sling

Stream your favorite content and apps with an AirTV Mini, and access FREE local channels alongside the live TV you love in your Sling guide with an HD antenna and an AirTV 2.

Learn more about AirTV 2 and local channels →

GET THIS OFFER
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Device Offer Details

Updated April 1, 2020

Device Offer

One per customer and cannot be combined. Must provide email address and credit card. Must pre-pay for three month(s) of service. New customers only. Limit one device per Sling TV account. Not available with free trial. Not available in Puerto Rico.

Billing

 

After three month(s), your credit card will be charged monthly for applicable subscription until you cancel your service.

Cancellation

Cancel on Sling.com or visit help.sling.com to contact us. Programming fees are charged monthly in advance and no credits or refunds will be issued for partial or prepaid months after cancellation.

Streaming limitations

The number of devices on which Sling content can be watched at the same time varies based on the Sling service. If you subscribe to our Sling Latino core services, you can enjoy three streams at a time.  If you subscribe to our Sling International core services, you can enjoy three streams at a time. If you subscribe to our Sling Orange service, you can enjoy one stream at a time. Any extras you add to your Sling Orange service will be included in your single stream. If you subscribe to our Sling Blue service, you can enjoy up to three streams of these channels at the same time. Any extras you add to your Sling Blue service will be included in your three streams. If you subscribe to both services in Sling Orange + Sling Blue, you can enjoy up to four streams at the same time. Because you are purchasing two separate services in Sling Orange + Sling Blue, you can get the total number of streams included on each separate service—one stream for any channel on the single-stream Sling Orange service and three streams for channels on the multi-stream Sling Blue service. To get up to four streams, go to the My Account page and make sure that the “show me only Sling Blue versions of channels in both services” box is not checked. 

Miscellaneous

Certain programs may be unavailable due to programmer restrictions or blackouts. Only available within the United States. State and local taxes apply. All prices, fees, charges, services, programming, features, functionality and offers subject to change without notice.

Channels Offered in Select Markets

Some local channels including FOX and NBC are only available in select markets. See which local channels are available in your area here.

Outdoor OTA offer outdooroffer

Streaming Bundle

with Outdoor Antenna

Just $199 when you prepay for 3 months of Sling

Stream your favorite content and apps with an AirTV Mini, and access FREE local channels alongside the live TV you love in your Sling guide with an HD antenna and an AirTV 2.

 

Call today to order and schedule your antenna installation!

1-888-291-0438

Sling Intro Offer slingintro

Streaming Bundle

FREE streaming device when you prepay for 2 months of Sling

Oh no! We don't recommend one of our locals bundles, but we still have a great offer for you!

Stream your favorite content and apps with an AirTV Mini and access the live TV you love for less with Sling.

GET THIS OFFER
caret
Device Offer Details

Updated April 1, 2020

Device Offer

One per customer and cannot be combined. Must provide email address and credit card. Must pre-pay for two month(s) of service. New customers only. Limit one device per Sling TV account. Not available with free trial. Not available in Puerto Rico.

Billing

After two month(s), your credit card will be charged monthly for applicable subscription until you cancel your service.

Cancellation

Cancel on Sling.com or visit help.sling.com to contact us. Programming fees are charged monthly in advance and no credits or refunds will be issued for partial or prepaid months after cancellation.

Streaming limitations

The number of devices on which Sling content can be watched at the same time varies based on the Sling service. If you subscribe to our Sling Latino core services, you can enjoy three streams at a time.  If you subscribe to our Sling International core services, you can enjoy three streams at a time. If you subscribe to our Sling Orange service, you can enjoy one stream at a time. Any extras you add to your Sling Orange service will be included in your single stream. If you subscribe to our Sling Blue service, you can enjoy up to three streams of these channels at the same time. Any extras you add to your Sling Blue service will be included in your three streams. If you subscribe to both services in Sling Orange + Sling Blue, you can enjoy up to four streams at the same time. Because you are purchasing two separate services in Sling Orange + Sling Blue, you can get the total number of streams included on each separate service—one stream for any channel on the single-stream Sling Orange service and three streams for channels on the multi-stream Sling Blue service. To get up to four streams, go to the My Account page and make sure that the “show me only Sling Blue versions of channels in both services” box is not checked. 

Miscellaneous

Certain programs may be unavailable due to programmer restrictions or blackouts. Only available within the United States. State and local taxes apply. All prices, fees, charges, services, programming, features, functionality and offers subject to change without notice.

Channels Offered in Select Markets

Some local channels including FOX and NBC are only available in select markets. See which local channels are available in your area here.

Access networks online

Each network has different restrictions for online access and streaming. While some networks may still require a TV provider login to access their content, many networks offer free content as well. If your shows require a login, you may still be able to watch your favorite shows for free if you don’t mind waiting through a delay after an episode airs.

For full access to the network’s content or the guaranteed ability to live stream without a TV provider, you'll need a separate subscription for most local channels. A CBS All Access subscription, for example, gets you live streaming and immediate access to full episodes of all CBS shows as well as NFL games, and paying for FOX’s app means that you can watch content beyond a one-hour free preview.

Between HD antennas and network apps, getting local channels without cable is no longer the hurdle it used to be. Cut the cord without losing the channels that mean the most to you by combining free locals with a streaming service (hint: like SLING) and save money without sacrificing entertainment.

Want to learn more about watching local TV for free?

Do you have more questions about how SLING can help you stream local channels? Slingucation wants to answer them all! Here are some more topics to check out: