How to Watch TCM Without Cable

How to Watch TCM Without Cable

Some things age well. That’s why Turner Classic Movies, or TCM, is such a great channel: it recognizes the timeless classics of Hollywood’s Golden Age. But, unfortunately, not everything ages well. Take your cable bill, for example. It made some sense back when cable was simply the only way to watch TCM, but that’s just not true anymore – so why are you still paying top dollar? Paying for cable when there are better alternatives would be like watching a channel full of only the bad movies from the old days. It just doesn’t make sense. You need to learn how to watch TCM without cable, so that you can ditch the outdated things while still holding onto the classics. Below, we’ll lay out how to get a legal TCM live stream, so that you can watch your classic movies in the most modern (and most cost-effective) possible way.

How to Watch TCM Online Without Cable

The key to getting a legal TCM live stream is to turn to a new type of pay TV service: the live TV streaming service.

Live TV streaming services are sometimes called “skinny bundles,” because they tend to pare down the bulky and overpriced bundles that cable and satellite push and create leaner bundles that save subscribers money while still delivering the best that network television has to offer. Fortunately, a few of the skinny bundles in the market have seen fit to keep TCM in their slimmer selection – which makes them the perfect way to watch TCM without cable.

It’s not just the slimmed-down bundles that make live TV streaming services cheaper than cable or satellite, though. There’s also the fact that these streaming services compete with each other – there are no infrastructure concerns, and therefore there are no big regional monopolies of the sort that cable is known for.

And that’s not the only benefit of using a streaming service to watch live TV. Since these services stream over the internet, you can watch them on just about any device you choose. Your phone, computer, and (of course) your big screen are all options when you use a live TV streaming service to watch TCM online without cable.

Let’s take a closer look at the live TV streaming services that include a TCM live stream in their bundles!

Hulu with Live TV

Watch TCM without cable: Hulu with Live TV

Hulu with Live TV is a live TV streaming service from Hulu, a streaming industry veteran that has already won a big fan base through its streaming video on demand (SVOD) service, which competes with Netflix and other on-demand giants. Hulu with Live TV has quickly made its mark on the skinny bundle scene, and its $39.99-per-month bundle includes the channel we care about in this post: TCM. Click here to read our review of Hulu with Live TV, or check out the service for yourself by clicking on the link below and signing up for a seven-day Hulu with Live TV free trial.

Try Hulu with Live TV for free

Sling TV

Watch TCM without cable: Sling TV

The tricky thing about crafting a skinny bundle is, of course, that it’s hard to get customers to agree which channels should be cut. Sling TV has figured out a great way to solve this problem: they simply have you design the skinny bundle for them.

You start with either Sling Orange ($25 per month), Sling Blue (also $25 per month), or both ($40 per month). Then you add in as many or as few “extras” as you’d like – the extras are little mini-bundles of channels grouped by type and priced attractively. TCM fans will want to sign up for the $5 per month “Hollywood Extra” bundle, which includes a TCM live stream. That makes the cheapest way to watch TCM without cable $25 per month (Sling Orange plus Hollywood Extra), though you are of course free to come up with a different combination – that’s the whole joy of Sling TV! You can try Sling TV for free for seven days by clicking the link below.

Try Sling TV for free


Watch TCM without cable - fuboTV

fuboTV is a skinny bundle service that offers TCM in both of its major bundle offerings. About those two offerings: there’s “fubo,” the entry-level package that costs $44.99 per month, and then there’s “fubo Extra,” the larger bundle that costs $49.99 per month. Either bundle can be further expanded with add-on bundles. You can sign up for a free trial of fuboTV via the link below. fuboTV also offers discounts on your first month of service.

Try fuboTV for free

PlayStation Vue

Watch TCM without cable: PlayStation Vue

PlayStation Vue shares a name with a modern video game console, so you might not assume that it would be a good way to watch TCM without cable. But you’d be wrong, because PlayStation Vue works on a wide variety of platforms, not just the PlayStation 4. PlayStation Vue offers a range of bundles at different sizes and price points. “Core,” which costs $49.99 per month, is the first to include a TCM live stream, and all of the bundles larger than Core also include it. You can try PlayStation Vue for free for five days by clicking the link below.

Try PlayStation Vue for free

YouTube TV

Watch TCM without cable: YouTube TV

YouTube TV is an option that TCM fans should definitely consider. Not to be confused with regular old YouTube, YouTube TV is a full-fledged skinny bundle service offered by Google. It costs $40 per month and offers live streams of lots of great network television channels — including, of course, TCM. You can test out YouTube TV for free by clicking on the link below and signing up for the service’s free trial offer. Just be aware that YouTube TV is available in most, but not all, U.S. markets at the time of this writing.

Try YouTube TV for free

DirecTV Now

Watch TCM without cable: DirecTV Now

The legacy pay TV services aren’t dumb – they can see the advantage of live TV streaming services. So it’s no surprise to find old-school telecoms players like AT&T backing some of the biggest and best services on the live TV streaming service market. DirecTV Now includes TCM in each of its bundles, which range from the $40-per-month “Live a Little” bundle on up to bundles that are significantly larger (and a little less cheap). You can check out our take on DirecTV Now here, or you can make up your own mind by signing up for the services risk-free free trial – it’s seven days long, and you can grab it by clicking the link below.

Try DirecTV Now for free

Can I Watch TCM on Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, or Chromecast?

Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV, fuboTV, PlayStation Vue, and DirecTV Now all offer great platform support, making it easy to watch TCM on Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, and Chromecast.

Roku devices have apps for Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV, fuboTV, PlayStation Vue, YouTube TV, and DirecTV Now.

Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV, fuboTV, PlayStation Vue, and DirecTV Now all have apps for Fire TV devices.

Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV, fuboTV, PlayStation Vue, YouTube TV, and DirecTV Now each have an app for Apple TV, too.

Through their in-browser and/or mobile apps, Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV, fuboTV, PlayStation Vue, YouTube TV, and DirecTV Now work great on Chromecast.

Android TV users can choose between Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV, fuboTV, PlayStation Vue, and YouTube TV.

You can watch on the go, too, of course: Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV, fuboTV, PlayStation Vue, YouTube TV, and DirecTV Now all work on Android and iOS mobile devices.

You can also use the desktop and/or in-browser apps available from Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV, fuboTV, PlayStation Vue, YouTube TV, and DirecTV Now to watch TCM without cable on your desktop or laptop computer.

Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV all work on Xbox One video game consoles, while PlayStation Vue works on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 video game consoles.

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About the Author

Stephen Lovely
Stephen Lovely
Stephen Lovely is a freelance writer and a longtime cord cutter with a passion for technology and entertainment. You can find his work on and his tweets at @stephenlovely.

15 Comments on "How to Watch TCM Without Cable"

  1. If I sign up for Roku, do I still need Sling?

  2. MassillonMovieBuff | April 1, 2018 at 12:14 pm | Reply

    I am new to cord cutting, but TCM is a favorite. Although TCM continues to be listed on this site and others as being available on Sling TV, it is not. When you look at Sling’s official site, the TCM logo is no longer there.

  3. @MasillonMovieBuff. TCM is available in the Hollywood Extra package for an additional $5.00/mo from Sling TV.

  4. If I switch to streaming TCM, will I receive the channel precisely as I received it on DirecTV, that is, with all the wonderful movie introductions and commentaries?

  5. Mary Larrimore | June 20, 2018 at 10:04 pm | Reply

    I am interested only in TCM. How can I purchase that channel alone without having cable TV? I don’t want 6 channels of sports to get TCM.

    • | July 3, 2018 at 12:47 pm | Reply

      Unfortunately, it’s not possible to purchase TCM alone currently. 🙁

      • Sharon Keeping | July 24, 2018 at 7:52 pm | Reply

        There is a channel, FilmStruck, that has a large selection of TCM movies from every decade, including 30s, 40s, 50s, etc., that costs $10 a month. I’m running a free trial right now. It’s great to see all the classics again.

  6. $39.99 a month for Hulu? $20-$40 a month for Sling TV? Seriously? TCM was practically the only reason I kept my cable subscription as long as I did. But as much as I love it, I’m not going to pay that kind of money for it. I’m already paying for Netflix and Amazon Prime. Another $20 or more would put me right back up there in the ballpark of what I was paying with cable TV.

  7. There is always FilmStruck, which is an on-demand service. You will see TCM promote it on air and their website. Call it part of the TCM family and the next best thing to not paying for TCM.

  8. Is the back catalog available?

  9. I really miss TCM, as a DAV living on a fixed income I could no longer afford DirecTV when my monthly bill jumped from $63.99 a month to $187.00 a month. The cheapest mid-level plan that offered TCM is $117.00 a month. I can’t afford that either. I haven’t been able to watch TCM for almost 2 years now and it’s the only channel I miss! It appears to me that the action’s of AT&T (and the other big cable companies) are to build a monopoly as they had in the day’s of Ma Bell. They appear to be approaching that objective, when they can prevent anyone other than themselves to subscribe to a service. Could we (the people) possibly file an anti-trust lawsuit against them and the producers of the product they are restricting access to?

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