TruTV: How to Watch Without Cable and Start Saving $$$ Today

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TruTV has changed a lot over the years, but it now stands as one of the best overall channels for entertainment with a focus on comedy with a healthy dose of sports. Although it is one of the base “cable channels,” it is not necessary to have cable to enjoy it. Read on to learn your options.

In a hurry? Any of the following services will provide you with access to TruTV and many other channels:

  • Sling TV: The Blue plan provides you with TruTV and 40+ other high-quality channels for just $35/mo. Get your first month for just $10!
  • Hulu + Live TV: Get 80+ channels including TruTV and all the network affiliates for $64.99/mo. Try it for 7 days free!
  • DirecTV Stream: Switch from cable to streaming easily with the Entertainment plan for $69.99/mo with a 14-day money-back guarantee.

TruTV was launched in 2008, rising phoenix-like from the ashes of CourtTV. At the time, it was still very much a drama- and action-based reality network — so “real” that the channel’s staff felt the need to coin a new word for it: “actuality.” Courtroom coverage was reduced to the “In Session” programming block from 9 am to 3 pm, then whittled away until it was removed altogether.

By 2014, the station’s content had completely shifted to comedic-themed reality shows, semi-scripted docuseries, sketch comedy, and reality competitions aimed at “funseekers.” Some syndicated series and films were also thrown into the mix.

The joke is on your cable company, though, if they think you need their expensive contracts to catch the latest Backyard Bar Wars. Just check out the streaming services discussed below, and you’ll be the last one laughing.

March Madness on TruTV

March Madness 2022 is a long way out so we don’t know what teams will be competing. But we know when it will be happening. TruTV will be showing First Four and first- and second-round coverage.

  • Selection Sunday: March 13
  • First Four: March 15, 16
  • First/Second Rounds: March 17, 18, 19, 20
  • Sweet 16/Elite 8: March 24, 25, 26, 27
  • Final Four: April 2, 4
  • NCAA Championship: 9 p.m. Monday, April 5 (ET)

Here’s the full schedule:

RoundDate City
Selection SundayMarch 13N/A
First FourMarch 15 and 16Dayton, Ohio
First/SecondMarch 17 and 19 Buffalo, New York
First/SecondMarch 17 and 19Cincinnati, Ohio
First/SecondMarch 17 and 19 Fort Worth, Texas
First/SecondMarch 17 and 19 Portland, Oregon
First/SecondMarch 18 and 20 Greenville, South Carolina
First/SecondMarch 18 and 20 Milwaukee, Wisconsin
First/SecondMarch 18 and 20 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
First/SecondMarch 18 and 20 San Diego, California
Sweet 16/Elite EightMarch 24 and 26 San Antonio, Texas
Sweet 16/Elite EightMarch 24 and 26 San Francisco, California
Sweet 16/Elite EightMarch 25 and 27Chicago, Illinois
Sweet 16/Elite EightMarch 25 and 27 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Final FourApril 2 and 4New Orleans

How to Watch TruTV Live Without Cable

TruTV is currently marketed together with its closest sibling stations, TBS (more standard scripted comedy) and TNT (scripted drama), which were in turn part of the Turner Broadcasting family, which also included CNN, HLN, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, Boomerang, and Turner Classic Movies. Turner Broadcasting is currently owned by WarnerMedia, making TruTV a step-sibling of HBO, Cinemax, and The CW.

You can’t, unfortunately, get TruTV with just an antenna, because it’s not an over-the-air network (think NBC, ABC, CBS). It’s considered a “pay” or “cable” channel because you can only watch it if your local cable or satellite provider makes it available.

At least, that’s how it used to work.

These days, more and more people are turning to OTT (over-the-top) services that find alternate methods to deliver the same channels. No year-long commitments, no hidden fees, no waiting around all day for the cable guy to come just to plug in a few cords.

You can get all your favorite shows, live, just like you watch them on cable, through a streaming service that provides all the TV you love over the internet.

Streaming Services With TruTV

Another great advantage to streaming services is that you have choices. Usually at least two or three (and sometimes up to six or more) give you access to the channels you want.

Each service has its own pros and cons. You can choose one that works best for you. TruTV is carried by several of the biggest services: Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, and DirecTV Stream (formerly AT&T TV).

Let’s talk details.

Hulu + Live TV

hulu logo

Good old reliable Hulu + Live TV has got your back when it comes to Turner-WarnerMedia channels: it’s got them all. You get TruTV plus over 85 other channels, 50 hours of Cloud DVR, and the ability to watch on up to 2 screens at a time, for $64.99/mo with a 7-day free trial.

But wait, there’s more! They’ll even throw in access to their huge on-demand library. Still not convinced? In most areas, your local network affiliates are included in the deal (including The CW). And, HBO and Cinemax are available as premium channels for a little extra.

If you’re still hunting up laughs, they also carry Comedy Central, FXX, and TV Land, plus TLC for more reality-based escapism. Read our Hulu + Live TV review for more information.

Sling TV - TruTV
TruTV on Sling TV.

Sling TV

Sling TV Logo (2021 100x50)

The great strength of Sling TV is its flexibility. You can get around 40 channels or over a hundred. It’s the most customizable service out there. It’s cheap too. Sling Blue gives you TruTV plus 40+ other channels for just $35/mo!

This plan also comes with Cartoon Network (Adult Swim), Comedy Central, FX, TBS, and TNT. You also get your local NBC and Fox affiliates in most areas. Plus, you can watch on up to three devices at the same time if your household doesn’t always agree on what to watch. And you get 50 hours of cloud DVR.

Sling TV doesn’t have a free trial, but the first month is just $10 for Sling Blue. Read our thorough review for more information.

DirecTV Stream

DirecTV Stream

DirecTV Stream (formerly AT&T TV) carries TruTV and all the Warner sister-stations (including TBS) in its base Entertainment package. You get Comedy Central, FXX, TV Land, and TLC.

DirecTV Stream offers four tiers of service. The lowest-level is the Entertainment Plan with 65+ channels for $69.99/mo. The top-level is the Premier with 140+ channels for $139.99/mo. That plan might sound expensive but it comes with a ton of premium channels from HBO, Showtime, Starz, and EPIX.

All packages come with an upgradable 20 hours of cloud DVR and the ability to watch on up to 20 different devices in the same home (and three remote). All packages also come with a full slate of local broadcast channels.

DirecTV Stream doesn’t provide a free trial but they do have a 14-day money-back guarantee. For details, see our DirecTV Stream review.

Other Ways to Stream TruTV

Searching for more ways to keep up with Fast Foodies? Here are more ways to stream TruTV:

  • YouTube TV: Similar to Hulu + Live TV, you can get TruTV, TBS, TNT, plus over 80 other channels, including local networks.
  • On-demand: TruTV’s shows are available to stream on several services. The most comprehensive collection is on HBO Max (since both HBO and truTV are part of WarnerMedia’s Entertainment division). You can also find some series on Amazon Prime Video and Vudu.
  • TruTV App: Offers a live-stream of the channel plus on-demand content of former and current original series. It requires you to sign in with your TV provider so if you don’t already have a cable subscription or compatible streaming service it won’t do you much good.

TVs and Other Devices for Watching TruTV

Most modern TVs and streaming devices will allow you to watch TruTV with the services we’ve discussed. In particular, all of the following are supported:

  • Smartphones/Tablets
    • Android
    • iOS
  • Casting
    • Chromecast devices
    • Chromecast-enabled TVs
  • TV Stick Devices
    • Amazon Fire TV
    • Apple TV
    • Roku
  • Samsung TVs
  • Web browsers
    • Chrome
    • Edge
    • Safari.

DirecTV Stream offers its own device (like a cable box), which is expensive ($120), but may make the transition from cable to streaming easier.

Hulu + Live TV and Sling TV support Android TV devices and smart TVs from LG and Vizio. They also both support the Xbox One. There are a number of less popular devices that are also supported; see our streaming reviews for more details.

Wrapping Up

So whether you love the hilarious firefighter hijinks of Tacoma FD or you go in more for the mind-bending street magic of Big Trick Energy, you don’t have to put up with your cable bill any longer.

Make the switch to one of these streaming services, and keep right on laughing with Impractical Jokers and all your other TruTV favorites.


What shows can I watch on TruTV?

TruTV stays pretty true to its current theme of taking a standard reality premise and giving it a comedic twist. The network’s two oldest original shows are still running and still popular: Impractical Jokers (four friends issue and complete outrageous public dares) and The Carbonaro Effect (a magician catches people’s reactions to spontaneous tricks on a hidden camera). Other current top original series include:

  • Backyard Bar Wars
  • Big Trick Energy
  • Double Cross with Blake Griffin
  • Fast Foodies
  • Hot Ones: the Game Show
  • It’s Personal with Amy Hoggart
  • Tacoma FD
  • Tirdy Works
  • Top Secret Videos.

TruTV, because of a deal between Turner Sports and CBS, also airs NCAA Division I Championship games (March Madness) “First Four” and parts of the first and second rounds. Or, as SBNation puts it, “You’re watching college hoops on a comedy channel that used to cover courtroom proceedings.”

How do I watch entertainment channels besides TruTV without cable?

If you are looking for info on how to watch another entertainment channel without cable, check out the chart below.

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