How to Watch CNN Without Cable: 4 Best Options

CNN Live Stream

CNN is an abbreviation of “Cable News Network,” but there are multiple ways to watch CNN live online without cable. Some of the best options include streaming services Sling Blue, TVision Live, Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV.

However, not all services are cast from the same mold. Read this article to find out what features and channels you get from these services alongside CNN, to help you make an informed decision.

The popular TV news network, CNN, has been informing U.S. audiences for four decades. But times are tough, and the pandemic isn’t helping to lower monthly cable costs. The question is how do you continue watching CNN without cable?

Is CNN on Sling Blue?

  • $35 per month ($25 for your first month)
  • 45+ Channels
  • 3-Day Free Trial

If you’re on a tight budget, Sling TV’s Blue plan will probably be your first choice. Sling Blue costs $35 a month, and it comes with some of the most popular news and entertainment channels. Aside from CNN, you also get among others, Cheddar, BBC America, NFL Network, History Channel, TLC, A&E and some local TV networks.

Regarding local programming, Sling Blue offers NBC and Fox-affiliated networks. Sadly, if you’re looking for ABC, Telemundo and CBS, you won’t get them here. However, Sling Blue is inexpensive enough for some subscribers to couple them with a decent antenna. Check out our articles here to learn more about TV antennas.

Sling Blue’s channel offering isn’t as extensive as its competitors in this list, but bundling Sling Blue with the Orange plan provides you access to Disney-owned networks along with CNN for $50 a month, which is still cheaper than options like YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV.

Sling TV may be flexible with its add-ons, but its price increases as a result. Extras come in groups of channels, sorted based on their content. These are as follows:

Sling Blue ExtrasPriceChannels Offered
Sports Extra$11/MonthNFL Redzone, Big Ten Network, NBA TV, MLB Network, etc
Comedy Extra$6/MonthMTV, Paramount Network, FETV, MTV 2, etc
KIds Extra$6/MonthNickToons, TeenNick, Boomerang, Baby TV, etc
News Extra$6/MonthFox Business Network, CNBC, BBC World News, Law & Crime, etc
Lifestyle Extra$6/MonthVH1, Oxygen, Cooking Channel, DIY Network, etc
Hollywood Extra$6/MonthFXX, FX Movies, REELZ, Heroes & Icons, etc
Heartland Extra$6/MonthNat Geo Wild, World Fishing Network, Pursuit, Sportsman Channel, etc
Sling Blue Extra

You can also opt for the “4 Extras Deal” add-on, which combines Kids Extra, Comedy Extra, Lifestyle Extra and News Extra in a single bundle for $13 a month.

Alternatively, if you find all the add-ons appealing, the “Total TV Deal” offers them all and Cloud DVR Plus for $21 a month.

The Cloud DVR Plus add-on upgrades Sling Blue’s regular 50-hour storage to 200 hours. You can purchase the add-on on its own for $5 a month. It also protects your recordings from deletion once you reach your storage limit. Simply choose the “Protect” option when selecting a program to record.

It is worth noting that the DVR function isn’t available for some channels.

Sling Blue allows three simultaneous streams. You can watch it on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, mobile devices, Xbox One and more. The service offers a 3-day free trial and there are no hidden fees, so you can cancel any time.

If you’re still undecided, Sling TV’s free content might change your mind.

Through Sling Free, you can watch 5,000+ movies and TV shows without subscribing. You also have the option to rent movies or purchase Pay-Per-View events. However, Sling requires an account for you to do so, which means you have to enter your email address, password and billing information. Despite this, Sling will not bill you outside of these one-time purchases.

There’s free live news programming from Good Morning America to Anderson Cooper 360 and some standout shows like Hell’s Kitchen, Teen Titans Go, Forensic Files and Unsolved Mysteries. However, most of its shows and movies are obscure and dated.

Sling Free is ad-supported, so expect some commercials.

Regardless, the service is free and allows users to enjoy Sling content before committing to a plan.

Click “Watch Free Now” from the Sling website to try out the free library. If you’re using the Sling app, select “Explore Free Shows.”

Is CNN on TVision Live?

  • $40 per month
  • 30+ Channels (+30 more for a limited time)
  • No Free Trial

You can watch CNN on TVision Live for $40 a month. However, to subscribe to TVision Live, you will need another subscription. At the time of writing, only T-Mobile and legacy Sprint postpaid customers can get the service. This might change as the demand for the service increases.

If you do subscribe to TVision Live, you’ll find some of the most popular networks available. Aside from CNN, you also get MSNBC, Disney Channel, ESPN and National Geographic.

In addition to the 30+ networks in its lineup, the service offers 30+ more for a limited time, including AMC, BBC America, HGTV, MTV and TLC. The service doesn’t specify when the offer expires. The only way to keep these channels when the promo ends is to also subscribe to TVision Vibe—an additional $10 a month.

You can watch ABC, NBC and Fox-affiliated networks through TVision Live. However, depending on your area, you might not receive ABC and NBC local broadcasts. You can remedy this by purchasing a decent antenna. This way, you can also watch other local stations unavailable on TVision Live.

Unlike Sling TV, TVision offers few customization options. Aside from EPIX ($5.99/mo), STARZ ($8.99/mo) and Showtime ($10.99/mo), you can’t add more channels through the service.

Thankfully, TVision Live makes up for this by providing subscribers with on-demand content and 100 hours of cloud DVR storage for free. You can extend recordings by 5, 10, 30 or 60 minutes to make sure you don’t miss anything.

If you’re outside your home base, you can watch TVision Live on a mobile device. However, the service only allows you to stream from one IP address at a time. If someone tries to use it from another location, they won’t be able to despite being allowed three concurrent streams.

Along with mobile devices, streaming devices like Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and Apple TV also support TVision Live. Currently, devices like Roku, Samsung TV and web browsers do not support TVision. The service is still relatively new—having launched in November of 2020—so the number of supported devices might increase as the service grows.

Unfortunately, TVision doesn’t offer a free trial. Even if you’re a T-Mobile or Sprint customer, you can’t test the service. If you do subscribe, you can cancel at any time since there are no additional fees or contracts.

Is CNN on Hulu + Live TV?

  • $64.99 per month ($70.99 for Hulu no Ads + Live TV)
  • 65+ Channels
  • 7- Day Free Trial

Hulu + Live TV is $64.99 a month, but if you don’t want ads to disrupt your streaming experience, you can pay $70.99 a month for the no-ads option.

Hulu + Live TV once cost $10 less but increased recently despite not having any new features or channels. Regardless, the service is worth the price, thanks in part to an excellent live TV offering and a robust on-demand library.

Once you sign up, you can watch some of the best news channels in the market like CNN, CNN International, CNBC, MSNBC, Fox News and ESPNEWS. What live TV channels you get depends on your area, especially when it comes to local networks, so we recommend submitting your ZIP code before subscribing to the service.

You can follow local news and sports events on ABC, CBS, CW, Fox, NBC and Telemundo, or watch original Hulu shows like Woke, Castle Rock and The Handmaid’s Tale.

Like Sling TV, Hulu + Live TV has premium and extra channels for you to add to your subscription. These are as follows:

  • Español Add-on – $4.99/mo (CNN en Español, Discovery en Español, NBC Universo, etc.)
  • Entertainment Add-on – $7.99/mo (CNBC World, Cooking Channel, Discovery Life, etc.)
  • STARZ – $8.99/mo
  • Cinemax – $9.99/mo
  • SHOWTIME – $10.99/mo
  • HBO Max – $14.99/mo

You can stream Hulu + Live TV on Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Nintendo Switch, Xbox 360/One, mobile devices, web browsers and more. Despite the long list of compatible devices, the service only allows two simultaneous streams. To watch simultaneously on any number of supported devices at home or up to three mobile devices, you must purchase the Unlimited Screens Add-on for an extra $9.99 a month.

Keep in mind the add-on only allows you to watch on five screens at once for premium networks. Once you exceed this amount, you’ll receive a “too many streams” error message. You can further upgrade the service’s 50-hour cloud DVR storage to 200 hours for $9.99 a month. If you decide on getting both add-ons, you’ll be delighted to know the two are bundled together for only $14.99 a month.

Like the other services in this list, there are no annual contracts nor hidden fees with Hulu + Live TV, so canceling the service after the 7-day free trial has no consequences.

There’s currently an offer bundling Hulu + Live TV with ESPN+ and Disney+ for $71.99 per month. This is good news for those who want to couple CNN with hit on-demand shows and movies from Disney’s library and exclusive live sports from ESPN.

Is CNN on YouTube TV?

  • $64.99 per month
  • 85+ Channels
  • Regularly 7-Day Free Trial (Currently 14-Day Free Trial)

Like Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV offers some of the best live TV and on-demand content available in the market. With an assortment of networks like ESPN, Disney Channel, AMC and CNN, YouTube TV ensures everyone in the family has something to watch.

Regarding local channels, YouTube TV offers ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC-affiliated networks. However, we recommend getting a good quality antenna for your local TV viewing to receive a broader selection of free regional channels.

If 85+ channels aren’t enough for you, the service allows you to subscribe to numerous premium channels:

  • CuriosityStream – $3/mo
  • AMC Premiere – $5/mo
  • Urban Movie Channel – $5/mo
  • Acorn – $6/mo
  • EPIX – $6/mo
  • Hallmark Movies Now – $6/mo
  • Shudder – $6/mo
  • Sundance Now – $7/mo
  • STARZ – $9/mo
  • Cinemax – $10/mo
  • SHOWTIME – $11/mo
  • HBO – $15/mo
  • HBO Max – $15/mo

Are you looking for more sports action? For $10.99 a month, YouTube TV offers the Sports Plus premium add-on, which includes Fox College Sports, Fox Soccer Plus, GOLTV, MAVTV Motorsports Network, NFL RedZone, Stadium and TVG.

YouTube TV’s DVR is one of the best in the industry. Unlimited space comes for free with the service’s plan and you get to keep all your recordings for up to nine months. The only downside is, you need to connect to the internet to watch your recordings.

Like its competitors, plenty of devices support YouTube TV, including, but not limited to, Apple TV, Android TV, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV, mobile devices and web browsers. Unfortunately, compared to Hulu + Live TV, you can only watch up to three streams simultaneously with no way of upgrading to unlimited screens. 

At the time of writing, YouTube TV offers a 14-day free trial. The trial usually only lasts seven days. If you’re interested in the service, you can sign up and make the most out of the free two weeks of YouTube TV.

Can You Watch CNN On Roku TV?

If you want to watch the news from a CNN-dedicated app on Roku, you can do so with CNN Go. Just go to the channel store and add CNN Go to your Roku device.

The app itself is free, and so are select clips from news broadcasts. However, to unlock live TV and full episodes from CNN, CNN International and HLN, you need to verify your TV service provider.

The CNN Go app allows you to stay informed and watch CNN Original movies and series like Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. The app lets you watch 10-minute previews of live channels or on-demand shows for free. But for unlimited viewing, you need to log in with your satellite or cable provider.

Sling BlueTVision LiveHulu + Live TVYouTube TV
Live Channels45+30+ (30+more for limited time)65+85+
On-DemandYesYesYesYes
Streams332 (Unlimited for $9.99/mth)3
DVR50 Hours (200 hrs wth Cloud DVR+)100 Hours100 Hours ($5/mth)Unlimited
Trial Period 3 DaysNo7 DaysCurrently 14 Days (Reg 7 days)
Standard Price$35 ($25 for first mth)$40$64.99 ($70.99 without ads)$64.99
Comparison Table

Conclusion

Despite CNN’s highly regarded status as a news network, you don’t need to pay hundreds of dollars per month for cable TV. You can get CNN and so much more for much less with the streaming services we discussed above.

Sling Blue and Hulu + Live TV offer various customization options, in terms of price and content.

If you’re a T-Mobile or Sprint customer, TVision Live is a budget-friendly option. However, keep in mind, the 30+ channels from TVision Vibe are only available for a limited time.

Moreover, YouTube TV comes with some of the most popular networks available and unlimited DVR storage sure to keep you occupied for hours on end.

If you have a Roku device, you can watch CNN on CNN Go—after verifying your cable subscription.

After reviewing the pros and cons of each streaming service, we hope this article makes it easier for you to know which service best fits your household.

Lloyd Rano Opalec

How do you watch CNN? Have you tried streaming it on any of the services we mentioned? How was your experience? Let us know in the comments below.

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Additional Resources

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