How to Watch ABC Without Cable TV

watch abc without cable

ABC is an over-the-air, or local, network. This means that while much of the primetime content is similar, things like the news are tailored to the local area. While the news and daytime content can sometimes vary, most affiliates air the same primetime schedule. In the case of ABC that means shows like The Conners, American Housewife, and Fresh Off the Boat. If you’re here looking for a way to watch these and other shows on ABC, you’ve come to the right place. There is more than one way to watch ABC online without cable, and we’ve got them all listed below.

This guide has all the details you need to stream ABC without cable. If you’re new to streaming, we recommend learning about your options and choosing some free trials so you can find the correct service for you!


How to Watch ABC Without Cable: At a Glance

ABC offers sports, news, comedies, dramas, and even shows for the kids. No matter why you’re trying to watch this network, you’ll find a variety of ways to watch ABC online without cable. ABC is considered a free OTA network. This means you can watch the network for free if you have a digital antenna. If you want to watch ABC online, you’ll need to use a paid service to do so. These services start with a free trial, so you can become acquainted with the network, but after that you’ll have to pay a monthly fee.

Here are a couple of recommended services that will allow you to stream ABC without cable. If you’d like to see the complete list of available services, that can be found towards the end of this guide.

Hulu with Live TV (free 7-day trial) offers 60+ channels and Hulu’s on-demand service in one package. ABC is available in most areas. If it is not available live in your area, you will have nationwide on-demand access. You can watch ABC online with Hulu Live on most devices. Chromecast, mobile devices, Roku, Apple TV, and many other devices will work. Hulu Live is available for $45 a month and there are no contracts included, so you’re free to cancel if you choose to.

PlayStation Vue (free 5-day trial) has plans starting at $45 per month. The ABC live stream will be available in many areas and there’s on-demand content across the nation. Dozens of other channels are included, as well. You can stream Vue on mobile devices, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Apple TV, and other devices.


Using Streaming Services to Watch ABC Without Cable

Are you on the fence about cutting the cord or did you recently make the jump to streaming? If so, you’re likely still trying to work things out. It can be exciting to find out the networks you want to watch are available online, but if multiple services have the channels you’re looking for, how do you choose the right service? If you need this kind of assistance, this section can clear up some details about how streaming services work.

Streaming services are similar to cable in plenty of small ways. They both offer a way for you to watch TV, for starters. Both of them offer packages with a set number of specific channels. You pick the package you want, often based on the available channels, and you pay a monthly fee. If you have a specific channel, like ABC, the content is the same whether you’re watching on cable or through a streaming service. This is about where the similarities end.

So, if streaming and cable are similar, how are they different?

Price – Cable bills might constantly rise, but currently streaming options are pretty cheap. On average, cable can cost around $100 per month while streaming services average out at around $40. Sure, there are cheaper cable bills, but they won’t beat the lowest streaming package options which can get as low as between $16 and $25 per month.

Freedom – With cable you’re often locked into a price contract. Even if there aren’t penalties for canceling (and there often are), when your “contract” runs out the price of your cable service will go up. Sometimes the price increase can be rather dramatic, too. With streaming none of this is a problem. Everyone that has a package pays the same thing for it whether they’ve been a subscriber for a day or two years. Also, no streaming service requires any sort of contract. It’s all paid by the month and you always have the freedom to go elsewhere should you choose to do so.

Piled on Fees – To get cable to work you need some equipment. In most cases that translates to a satellite dish or a cable box. These generally cost an added fee on your cable bill that is charged as equipment rental. Often, boxes are charged by the box, so if your home has 4 rooms with cable and you use four boxes, you’re paying for each one of them. The price can add up quickly. Streaming services don’t require any sort of special equipment beyond a streaming device. This includes computers, mobile devices, and devices like Apple TV. You buy them so there’s no added fee. Most services work with a variety of devices, too. This means that you’re not going to have to run out and make additional purchases just to watch a specific service.

Location, Location, Location – Cable transmits to your television and in most cases that’s the end of the story. If you want to watch something you need to be at home to do it. With streaming, all you need is a device and some good Wi-fi. You can watch at home, on-the-go, or you can take your device to a friend’s house and watch your favorites from there! You have a lot more options about how you watch things with streaming services.

You can check out our guide about streaming devices to see your best device options.


  • Many of your favorite channels are available including local channels (in many areas) and sports channels
  • Prices start at under $20 per month and can go as high as $80 with a $40 plan average
  • You’ll never be asked to sign a contract
  • Equipment rental isn’t necessary – you will be able to stream on low-cost devices like Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV, and other devices

Now it’s time to look at the services that will allow you to pick up the ABC live stream without cable!


Watch ABC without Cable using Hulu with Live TV

Hulu with Live TV is one of the top options if you’re searching for a cable replacement service. As many people have used Hulu’s on-demand service they will find it easy to use. Hulu Live works on most streaming devices, is fairly priced in comparison to other services, and it comes with Hulu’s on-demand service, making it a better deal as it comes with live and on-demand TV in abundance. Here are some of the highlights:

  • 60+ channels
  • Some channels include ESPN, CNN, TNT, FOX News, TBS, USA, and more
  • Local channels like ABC are available in most areas
  • A top choice if you want a variety of live and on-demand channels
  • $45 per month – no contracts
  • A free 7-day Hulu Live trial is included
  • Watch on Apple TV, Chromecast, computers, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, iOS and Android phones or tablets, and more
  • Hulu’s on-demand service is included

Hulu with Live TV is a good option because it’s going to offer more content for your money. You’ll be able to watch a variety of local and cable networks live, but you’ll also have a full on-demand library that includes Hulu original content like The Handmaid’s Tale. Most people won’t have trouble finding something to watch. Best of all, there’s a cloud-DVR so you can save the things you can’t watch live. There’s also plenty of room for upgrades!

Our Hulu with Live TV review is available with more details.


ABC without Cable is Available on PlayStation Vue

PlayStation Vue is another great option if you’re looking for a legal way to watch ABC online without cable. This is a great choice for families as there are plenty of features that make streaming easier for people that share their account. For example, you’ll be able to make separate user profiles and stream on up to five devices at the same time. They are also one of the few services offering multiple package options, which gives you a better shot at getting all the things you want. Details for PS Vue include:

  • Over 45 channels in the basic plan or choose any of the three larger plans
  • PS Vue doesn’t require any contracts
  • Packages start at $45 per month
  • Local channels are available in many areas live or on-demand nationwide
  • Watch AMC, TNT, ESPN, FX, Cartoon Network, USA, TLC, and other networks
  • Many shows are available after they air in the on-demand library
  • A cloud-DVR is included
  • Stream on five devices at once
  • Watch on PS3/PS4, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, iOS/Android, and more

PlayStation Vue is a great choice for families and people who share their account. You’ll have separate user profiles at your disposal and each profile will have the use of the account DVR. Not only that, but you’ll be able to stream on five devices at once for no additional charge. While the monthly price is a bit higher than average, if you want options PS Vue offers a good selection of standard features and plenty of room for upgrades.


Watch ABC Online without Cable via DIRECTV NOW

DIRECTV NOW has been through their share of changes, but they continue to remain one of the top options in streaming. You don’t need a satellite dish as DIRECTV NOW is available in a streaming format. It works on most streaming devices and the prices are cheaper than most cable options. Not only that, there’s no need for a contract. Here’s more on DIRECTV NOW:

  • DIRECTV NOW offers two packages with up to 50 channels
  • Plan options are between $50 and $70 per month
  • Both plans offer HBO as part of the package
  • ABC and other local channels are available in some areas
  • Watch channels like TNT, ESPN, TBS, CNN, USA, and others
  • The included cloud-DVR features limited space
  • Watch on Apple TV, computers, Fire TV, Roku, iOS, Android, and more

DIRECTV NOW is the only service that offers HBO in their basic package, but it comes at a cost. The starting package is $50 for 40+ channels, which is higher in cost than the average package for less channels. Standard features like an on-demand library and cloud-DVR are included, though DVR space is limited. Sure, HBO is included, but there are ways to get a larger package with HBO for less than DIRECTV NOW is offering.

You can find added details in our DIRECTV NOW review.


Watch the ABC Live Stream on YouTube TV

YouTube TV is one of the newer services on this list. Still, thanks to a popular mobile app and average pricing for over 50+ channels, it’s easy to see them becoming more popular in the future. YouTube TV also has an unlimited cloud-based DVR. While DVR’s are common amongst streaming services, YouTube TV is one of the few offering unlimited space. Here are some added details about YouTube TV:

  • Watch 50+ channels – TNT, ESPN, AMC, USA, and many others
  • Local coverage is available in most areas
  • $40 per month
  • You won’t be forced into a contract
  • Fire TV access is not available, but you can stream on mobile devices, Roku, Chromecast, and Apple TV
  • The cloud-DVR offers unlimited space

YouTube TV is dedicated to offering local channels to as many homes as possible. They come in second to only Hulu Live in that department. While you can’t stream on Amazon Fire TV devices, most other devices are available, and the mobile app is great. Sign up is easy, but you’ll need to make sure that YouTube TV is available in your area as it’s not available nationwide just yet!

Our YouTube TV review has more details.


Wrapping Up

If you’re looking for a way to watch ABC without cable, those are your best choices for online viewing. Remember, ABC is a local channel so you can watch ABC with a digital antenna. However, if you want online options, the only legal ways to watch ABC without cable are with a streaming service. You can find some shows and episodes on the ABC website for free, but most recent episodes often offer a cable login.

If you’re unsure of how to get started or have questions about how to stream ABC without cable, we’re here to help! We’ve also got a list of cable alternatives if you’re ready to cut the cord.