NBC is a very important network to have access to. From hit TV shows like This is Us to legendary classics like Saturday Night Live to live sports coverage like Sunday Night Football, NBC has a LOT to offer.
NBC is home to some of the most decorated shows in terms of Emmy nominations and wins. It also tends to cover the most important events of the year, from sports to politics to breaking news. In short, you definitely want to have access to this network. But what if you don’t have cable? Can you watch NBC without cable TV?
You sure can! If you want to learn how to stream NBC without a cable subscription, this article will show you how.
How to Watch NBC Without Cable: At a Glance
To watch NBC without cable or satellite, you basically have two options:
Streaming Services, like Hulu with Live TV, offer NBC streaming in many areas, and also come with TONS of other networks to enjoy. These typically cost around $40 a month, but they offer 50+ channels to watch live, instead of just NBC.
Digital Antennas, which offer the ability to watch NBC for free. These antennas are installed in or on top of your home, and pick up free over-the-air broadcasts from local NBC affiliates. However, these do have some limitations, and you’ll only get local channels (so no ESPN, AMC, TNT, etc.)
We’ll explain these options in more detail below – starting with using antennas to watch NBC free.
Using Antennas to Watch NBC for Free
If you buy a digital antenna, you will be able to pick up some stations that broadcast in your area. Depending on where you live, you could get 20+ channels, or you could get zero. You can use AntennaWeb or the FCC map to estimate what channels you will be able to pick up.
Essentially, when you install a good antenna, you will be able to pick up broadcast networks like NBC, FOX and CBS. You will NOT get cable networks like ESPN, TNT, AMC, etc. The channels you get are also highly dependent on where you live.
So, although antennas have limitations, they have one big perk: once you’ve purchased the antenna, you can watch live TV for free. There’s no subscription or hidden fees – just free TV!
See specific antennas we recommend in the section below.
Antenna Options to Watch NBC Over the Air
Looking for specific antennas to use to watch NBC without cable? Here are some top options:
For indoor use, we recommend the Mohu Leaf 30.
- Up to 40-mile range
- Very affordable
- Small and discrete
- Good reviews
For outdoor use, we recommend the Winegard Elite 7550.
- Up to 70-mile range
- Durable and well-built
- Includes digital amplifier to improve signal
- Small (for an outdoor antenna)
- Excellent reviews
There are certainly other options, but in our experience these two options provide the greatest value for your money, while offering great signal. Again, keep in mind that signal strength varies significantly depending on your location. There’s no way to guarantee you’ll get a specific channel, even if you spring for a nice antenna.
Using Streaming Services to Watch NBC Online Without Cable
The alternative to using an antenna is using a paid online streaming service. These services offer a similar experience to cable TV – without the high price tag.
For an average of around $40 a month, these services give you packages of channels to stream live. Usually, you’ll get 50+ channels, ranging from sports to news to entertainment. Considering cable now costs $100+ a month on average, these services are a great deal!
While these are paid services (compared to antennas, which provide free NBC access), they also offer many other channels. So, in this way they are a lot less limited than using an antenna. Plus, the services work over the internet, so there is no issue with signal strength, bad weather interference, etc.
With that said, streaming services don’t necessarily cover NBC in all areas. You’ll want to confirm that the channel is available in your area during the signup process.
In order to use a streaming service, you’ll need to have a compatible streaming device. You can use something like a Roku or Apple TV, which hooks up to your TV and lets you watch hundreds of different services. Or, you can use your smartphone or computer, or even your smart TV!
There are many different streaming services available, but Hulu with Live TV is one of the most popular. Find more info on it below – and find out how you can use it to watch NBC online without cable!
Watch NBC Without Cable via Hulu with Live TV
Hulu with Live TV is among the most popular live streaming services out there. It offers a good selection of channels for cord-cutters, and it’s affordable at $40/mo. There’s also no contract or commitment, so you are free to cancel any time.
- $40 per month (no contract)
- 50+ channels
- Enjoy live sports, TV shows, news and more
- Access a big on-demand library
- Works on most devices (streaming players, smartphones, computers and more)
When you subscribe to Hulu Live TV, you’ll get access to more than 50 cable channels. NBC, FOX, CBS and other locals are covered in most areas, so you can stream NBC without cable using this service. Beyond that, you’ll also get ESPN, FOX News, CNN, TBS, FS1, and many other valuable networks.
Beyond live streaming, Hulu also comes with a very large on-demand library. This lets you catch up on shows you may have missed, and even access award-winning shows like The Handmaid’s Tale that aren’t available anywhere else.
Other Ways to Watch NBC Online Without Cable TV
Beyond the options we’ve discussed, there are a few other ways to stream NBC without cable or satellite. Other options include:
YouTube TV – a new and rapidly growing streaming service with good coverage of NBC. Our YouTube TV review has for more info.
PlayStation Vue – a well-established streaming platform that’s popular among families.
NBC.com – you can watch a very small selection of episodes and clips on the network’s website.
These are the best ways to watch NBC without cable TV. As options change and evolve over time, we’ll keep this list updated.
Feel free to explore the rest of our site to find more ways to get rid of cable. And as always, feel free to ask if you have any questions about how to stream NBC without cable TV!