How to Watch CNN Without Cable TV

CNN stands for Cable News Network. The network has been an option in cable news for almost 40 years. Formed in 1980, CNN is one of a few 24-hour news networks. The majority of broadcasts come from the New York City studio, but CNN has studios across the country. The daily news lineup varies slightly whether it’s the weekday or weekend but includes popular shows like The Lead with Jake Tapper, The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, and Anderson Cooper 360. Even though CNN is a cable news channel, there are ways to watch CNN online without cable!

The rest of this guide is dedicated to offering you all of the information you need to watch CNN without cable. As you’ll see in the sections below, there are plenty of ways to get the CNN live stream without a cable contract. By the end of this guide, you should know everything necessary to sign up and watch CNN online!


How to Watch CNN Without Cable: At a Glance

Whether you’re looking for a specific news program or you’re a fan of one of the analysts or reporters, there are plenty of reasons to watch CNN. You might have thought it was impossible without cable, but not anymore. In order to watch CNN online legally, you’ll need a streaming service. That’s what this guide offers. The following sections will tell you every service that you can use to watch CNN online without cable.

Hulu with Live TV (free trial) would make a good choice if you’re interested in live news options. More than 60 channels are included, and CNN is one of them. You’ll also have local channels in many areas, FOX News, MSNBC, and many other channels are also channel options. The Hulu on-demand service is also included at no added fee. This gives you a nearly endless amount of content on-demand plus tons of live content for just $45 per month. This is a contract-free service that comes with a weeklong trial. So, you have a no-risk way to check it out. Hulu Live will work on most devices including mobile devices, Chromecast, Apple TV, Fire TV, gaming consoles, and more.

Sling TV (free 7-day trial) has three package options and two of them start at $25 per month. Both of these lower-priced packages offer CNN in their lineup. You may also end up with A&E, IFC, Food Network, USA, TNT, ESPN, and many other channels depending on the package you choose. You can also add dozens of channels for a small fee. This gives you a chance to build your own package. A cloud-DVR is available for $5 per month. You’ll be able to catch the CNN live stream on AirTV, mobile devices, Roku, Fire TV devices, Apple TV, Chromecast, and more.


Using Streaming Services to Watch CNN Without Cable

You’re here because you want to watch CNN without cable, but you’ve got some questions. That makes a lot of sense, especially if you’re new to streaming. Luckily, we can help! In this section, you’ll find the basics about how to use streaming services to watch CNN and other networks without cable!

The first thing you need to know is that for every channel on cable, there’s a streaming alternative. Even local channels, which have been harder to get online, are becoming more and more common. As long as you know the channels you want, you should be all set. Many streaming services offer packages as robust as cable does. The difference is in the lineup. While a cable company might offer you over 100 channels, streaming might give you anywhere from 40 to 80 (or more). While that’s less channels overall, streaming services aren’t giving you an over-abundance of filler channels. You’re getting sports, local channels, and networks like AMC, USA, TNT, Food Network, Syfy, and other popular channels. Lineups will vary of course, but none of these channels are difficult to find. In fact, most popular networks are found throughout several of the streaming services that are available.

You don’t have to worry about picking the wrong service either. Most streaming services offer free trials. This gives you a no-risk period, usually between 5-days and a week (sometimes longer) to try the full range of features that a service has to offer. If you find out that you don’t like a service, whether you’ve gone over your free trial or not, you can cancel. Streaming services don’t make you sign any contracts. The minute you decide you’re unsatisfied, you’re free to cancel.

Better still, canceling is a hassle-free process. Remember having cable and having to cancel? You’d have to call and speak to someone and they usually try and talk you out of canceling. With streaming services, you can cancel from your online account. There’s no one to speak to. You click some buttons and you’re done. It couldn’t be easier!

You’ll notice that the prices are much cheaper, too. Cable companies charge all kinds of hidden fees, but streaming is pretty straight forward. You pay the price of the package and tax and that’s it. Most services charge around $45 per month, but there are some that are even cheaper and others that cost more. It ultimately will depend on how many channels you want and which service is offering them.

Perhaps the best thing about streaming is the special features. Many services offer a cloud-DVR with your package. If you don’t have enough space (most services offer 20 hours or more), many services also allow you to upgrade the amount of space you receive. For example, Hulu Live offers 50-hours of space or you can upgrade and get 200-hours. The same goes for simultaneous streaming. Many services allow for at least two simultaneous streams. This means if you share your account, you and someone else can watch different things at the same time. Often, if the number you’re offered isn’t enough, you can upgrade the number of streams you get, as well.

Some services offer user profiles, so you can make everyone in the family their own account. This allows everyone to be on the same account, but to have their own DVR and save their own preferences. You can also add extra channels ranging from standard movie channels to sports and enjoy many other customization features.

Finally, you can stream when and where you want. If you miss something live, you can check the on-demand library for your service. Most services also allow you to use TV Everywhere apps, which may also be of help. As for streaming, you can use your TV, but you don’t have to. Depending on your service, you can use iOS and Android apps, computers, gaming consoles, Apple TV, Fire TV, Chromecast, Roku, and plenty of other devices. You have plenty of options whether you’re at home or on-the-go.


  • Lower prices – the average streaming package is $45 per month
  • Free trials and no contracts mean you can try out services risk-free
  • Plenty of options for upgrading and customization
  • Family features allow for streaming on multiple devices and the creation of individual user profiles
  • You can stream from most locations using a variety of devices

With all of that in mind, here are your specific streaming options if you want to watch CNN without cable.


Watch CNN without Cable using Hulu with Live TV

Hulu with Live TV is consistently one of the most popular cable alternatives that is available in the streaming world. One of the reasons for this is the huge amount of content that Hulu Live offers. Each package offers 60+ live channels, Hulu’s on-demand service, access to TV Everywhere apps, and a cloud-based DVR. With this many options, you shouldn’t have to worry about missing any of your favorite shows anymore! You will be able to watch CNN, TNT, Freeform, FX, USA, Syfy, ESPN, and many other networks. If you want to watch CNN online with Hulu Live you can use Apple TV, mobile devices, Chromecast, Roku, and many other devices. Here are the highlights:

  • Over 60 channels offering locals in some areas
  • Watch CNN, FX, ESPN, Cartoon Network, NBCSN, USA, and more
  • Hulu’s on-demand service is in this plan
  • Plans from $45
  • A cloud-DVR offers 50-hours of space with an upgrade available for more
  • Stream CNN on mobile devices, Xbox One, Chromecast, Roku, Fire TV, and more
  • Hulu Live starts you off with a free weeklong trial

If you’re already a subscriber to Hulu, making the jump to Hulu Live makes the most sense. Of course, even if you’re not, this works for most streamers thanks to the large amount of both live and on-demand TV. If you want movie channels, they are available to be added as one of the customization options that Hulu Live offers. You can stream on most devices and you’ll have a chance to experience the service on your own when you sign up for the Hulu Live trial. If you don’t like it, just cancel before it’s over and you won’t be charged a thing!

Our Hulu with Live TV review can tell you more.


Watch CNN without Cable on Sling TV

Sling TV is probably going to be your top pick if your budget is your primary concern. This is because plans start at $25 a month. There are two packages available at this price and both of them offer the CNN live stream. You’ll get between 30 and 40 channels depending on the package you choose. You can add other channels to create your own package for the lowest possible price. When it comes to sports and news channels, Sling TV is often the cheapest option! Here is more on Sling TV:

  • Sling Orange and Sling Blue offer the CNN live stream
  • Up to 40 channels in the main package plus the chance to add more
  • A DVR is available from $5
  • Plans from $25 per month without contracts
  • Sling TV’s free trial gets you a week free
  • Each package includes an on-demand library
  • Stream on Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku, mobile devices, and more

You’re not going to find a more affordable option on this list, so if you’re concerned about price, it may be worth it to sign up for the free trial to check it out. While Sling TV costs less, a lot of the features are similar to higher priced services. You have room for upgrades, you can stream on multiple devices, and you have access to both TV Everywhere apps and an on-demand library. With Sling TV, you’ll be able to stream CNN on Apple TV, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, mobile devices, computers, Roku, and many other devices.

You can learn more in our Sling TV review.


Watch CNN without Cable via fuboTV

fuboTV is going to be a great choice if you love sports. 80+ channels are included from CNN and MSNBC to FOX Sports regional channels, USA, NBCSN, and dozens of sports channels from around the world. There are many non-sports channels, too. You can enjoy AMC, Hallmark, Syfy, and many other channels. Streaming is possible on a variety of devices. Features include an on-demand library and a cloud-based DVR. You can even upgrade your cloud-storage to hold more shows if you need to! Here are some additional fuboTV details:

  • $55 a month
  • Introductory pricing gets you the first month for $45
  • Each subscription starts with a one-week free trial
  • Over 80 channels
  • Watch sports from around the world – from local games to international teams
  • Many areas will receive some local channels
  • Stream on Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, computers, and mobile devices
  • Upgrade your DVR for more space – go from 30 hours to 500!

fuboTV is always mentioned as a service for sports fans, but over 50 of the included channels are non-sports channels. So, there’s a good chance most people will find something to watch on fuboTV. There are local channels in some areas, news and nationwide channels all over, and even movie channels if you want to add them to your account. You can watch CNN streaming on Amazon Fire TV devices, Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV, mobile devices, and more! Don’t forget, you can test out the service with the fuboTV free 7-day trial.

Our fuboTV review has more details.


Check Out CNN without Cable on PlayStation Vue

PlayStation Vue has four packages to choose from. This gives you the chance to pick from 50+ channels in the main package to three additional packages that offer more to watch. All packages offer CNN. The main plan is available for $45 per month. Along with CNN, you’ll have a mix of local and nationwide networks, in most areas. Common channels include AMC, FX, ESPN, Syfy, USA, and TNT. You can add other channels to your package, as well. Along with live TV, you’ll have an on-demand library, the use of TV Everywhere apps, and a cloud-DVR offering 28-day storage.

Here’s more on PS Vue:

  • 50+ channels and 4 available package options
  • Packages start at $45
  • No contracts
  • Start your subscription with a 5-day trial!
  • Local channels are live in some areas and on-demand nationwide
  • You can use TV Everywhere apps for more live and on-demand TV
  • 28-day storage comes with the cloud-DVR
  • Stream on 5 devices simultaneously
  • Watch on PS3/PS4 consoles, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, mobile devices, and more

PS Vue has a lot to offer. They have been around a long time and they give their customers the choice between multiple packages. You’ll be able to make user profiles for the whole family. Speaking of the whole family, no one should get kicked out of their favorite show as you can stream on five devices at the same time. Make sure to check out the free 5-day PS Vue trial to make sure this is the service you want!


Watch CNN Online without Cable via DIRECTV NOW

DIRECTV NOW also offers multiple package options. Most of the plans offer the CNN live stream. The initial package offers around 40 channels for $50. One thing that sets this package apart is that it includes HBO at no additional charge. If you choose another plan and HBO is not included, you can add it and other movie channels for an additional fee. A limited cloud-DVR is included along with an on-demand library. CNN streaming will be possible on most devices from Apple TV to Roku.

Here’s more on DIRECTV NOW:

  • Multiple packages are available
  • 40+ channels to start for $50 per month
  • A one-week trial is included
  • Other, larger packages are available
  • HBO is included in some packages
  • Local access is limited to certain areas
  • The cloud-DVR offers limited space
  • Watch on computers, Apple TV, mobile devices, Chromecast, Roku, and more

DIRECTV NOW is going to be hit or miss for most people, because the prices are higher than the average streaming service. While some packages offer perks like HBO, most of the offerings are similar to services that cost less. On the plus side, you can choose the package that suits you most and you’ll have access to live and on-demand TV in a variety of different ways. The on-demand library is filled with previously aired content. You’ll have access to many TV Everywhere apps, too. If you’re not sure DIRECTV NOW is right for you, try the DIRECTV NOW weeklong trial and find out for yourself.

You can find added details in our DIRECTV NOW review.


Watch the CNN Live Stream on YouTube TV

YouTube TV is the final legal option you have to watch CNN online without cable. This package offers more than 70 channels in one package for $50 per month. Local channels are offered in most areas. You’ll also have an on-demand library, a cloud-DVR with unlimited space, and you’ll be free to use TV Everywhere apps for many of the channels in your plan. You can stream CNN and other channels on Apple TV, computers, Chromecast, Roku, mobile devices, and more. Here are some more details about YouTube TV:

  • Over 70 channels for $50/month
  • Most areas receive local and/or regional coverage
  • Cancel anytime – no contracts!
  • Stream on Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, computers, and mobile devices
  • Unlimited space is included in the cloud-based DVR

YouTube TV offers a lot of great features, from the ability to make user profiles to the chance to stream on multiple devices simultaneously. You can watch on most common streaming devices, so you have plenty of ways to watch CNN online. You’ll also be able to get content through the on-demand library or TV Everywhere apps. If you’re worried about missing something, the cloud-DVR is available to hold as many shows as you wish to save! If you’re still not sure about YouTube TV, there’s a one-week trial that might help you make a decision about this service!

Our YouTube TV review has even more info.


Wrapping Up

CNN is one of the top cable news channels and has been for years. Despite being a cable channel, there are plenty of ways to watch CNN online without cable. CNN will give you access to national and international news, human interest stories, and even events like CNN’s Heroes. They also offer a variety of informative documentary series on a wide range of topics.

We’ve gone over all of the ways you can watch CNN without cable. If you have any questions, feel free to let us know! And make sure you check out our full guide on how to cut the cord.