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There's a reason so many people still pay for overpriced cable and satellite services, and it's not because they like getting steep bills. It's because many of us still don't know how to replace our favorite channels and watch them without cable. That's a shame, because the alternatives have been around for a long time. Major networks like ABC are easy to get without cable, because they're available for free over the air as well as through legal streaming services. If you're looking for an ABC live stream, you've come to the right place. Here's how to watch ABC without cable.

Here are a few of our favorite ways to stream ABC:

  Price Channels Free Trial  
$5.99 – $85.96 68 – 88 7 or 30 days

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$54.99 – $86.96 100+ 7 days

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How to Watch ABC Online and Over the Air Without Cable

Below, we'll show you all of the ways that you can watch ABC without cable. The options below include two ways to watch: through skinny bundles and free over-the-air broadcasts. We'll cover over-the-air broadcasts in a section below, but your skinny bundle options will span several sections, so let's take a moment here at the outset to clarify what a skinny bundle actually is.

Skinny bundles are streaming services that offer slimmed-down packages of live network TV channels. Since skinny bundles stream over the internet, there's no need for costly traditional cable infrastructure – or the regional monopolies that come with it. And, of course, you'll also save more because there aren't as many channels. All of that means that skinny bundles take pay TV costs down to far lower levels than you might be used to from cable.

And most major skinny bundles offer the major networks – including ABC – in their channel packages. There's only one catch: live streams of the major networks (including ABC live streams) are limited to select markets. The good news is that it's easy to find out if your market is among the many that can get an ABC live stream, because each of these services offer no-risk free trials. Just grab a trial and test things out!

Alright, let's move on and meet the candidates. You'll find all of the major skinny bundles that offer ABC below, as well as a section on free over-the-air TV.

Stream ABC for free with Hulu

Free Trial

Hulu had already made a name for itself as a major on-demand streaming service when it decided to wade into the skinny bundle market, too. Hulu + Live TV, as Hulu's skinny bundle is creatively called, offers a bundle of streaming channels that, happily, includes ABC. You can read our review of Hulu + live TV.

Stream ABC for free with FuboTV

Free Trial

FuboTV went a long time without Disney-owned channels like ABC, but no more: As of August 2020, FuboTV has a handful of popular Disney-owned channels, including ABC itself. You can get ABC and other Disney-backed networks in FuboTV's entry-level plan. For more information on FuboTV, check out our FuboTV review.


AT&T TV Now, formerly known as DirecTV Now, is AT&T's entry into the skinny bundle market. AT&T TV Now is very much a modern streaming skinny bundle. It offers a different channel bundles at different channel counts and price points. ABC is on board, making AT&T TV Now a great way to live-stream ABC. Here's our review of AT&T TV Now.

YouTube TV

YouTube TV is different from regular old YouTube. It's also different from YouTube Premium, which is, well, the premium YouTube subscription service that cuts ads from regular YouTube content and makes available some original series. Unlike these other forms of YouTube, YouTube TV offers a selection of true network channels, aired live (it does also include on-demand access to those original series that YouTube Premium has, but it does not remove ads from regular YouTube videos as YouTube Premium does). Google's answer to Sling TV and the rest of the skinny bundle gang is a really impressive offering. You can use YouTube TV to watch ABC without cable.

Free over-the-air TV

That's enough about skinny bundles! Let's talk about the single cheapest and easiest way to get ABC. Like all major networks, ABC has a network of affiliates spread across the country. And since their affiliates generally have transmitters of their own, ABC is being broadcast for free over the air in many parts of the U.S. Modern OTA features crisp HD picture, just like you'd get from cable or satellite. Ready to get started? Check out our guide to choosing an antenna and watching free HDTV over the air.

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

Yes, indeed! The major streaming services listed above know that their customers want to use major streaming devices to watch, so they've made sure to cultivate great and broad platform support.

Want to use Roku to watch ABC without cable? No problem: there are Roku apps for Hulu, fuboTV, AT&T TV Now, and YouTube TV.

Fire TV? No big deal: you can watch Hulu, fuboTV, AT&T TV Now, and YouTube TV.

Apple TV users have their choice of Hulu, fuboTV, AT&T TV Now, and YouTube TV.

Chromecast users have lots of options, too. They can use supported apps for Hulu, fuboTV, AT&T TV Now, and YouTube TV.

Android TV users can enjoy streaming Hulu , fuboTV, and YouTube TV.

Each of Hulu, fuboTV, AT&T TV Now, and YouTube TV offers apps for mobile devices running iOS or Android.

Hulu, fuboTV, AT&T TV Now, and YouTube TV all also offer apps for desktop and laptop computers (either in the form of in-browser apps or desktop apps for major operating systems).

Over-the-air broadcasts, of course, can be displayed on your TV by plugging an antenna in directly. But these, too, can actually be viewed via a streaming device. A PC TV tuner and a computer running Plex can give you the power to stream OTA TV to devices running the Plex app, and Tablo is among the OTA DVRs that can perform a similar function with its device and client apps on the major streaming platforms.

23 thoughts on “How to Watch ABC Without Cable

  1. Avatar Fran says:

    Thanks, Stephen. Do you happen to know how I can get Cozi TV? I have OTA but Cozi TV doesn’t come in anymore. I live just southwest of Baltimore.

  2. Avatar Mary says:

    So disgusted with DirecTV Now. One of the few shows I enjoy, Bachelorette, for the third time this season I can’t watch ABC. It says, “Sorry, select something else to watch, we’re having problems.” This is a disgrace. Don’t buy DirecTV Now. You can never count on it. It went out during the Superbowl!

  3. Avatar Doug says:

    So you can watch ABC without cable, but it still costs you. And depending on what you want to watch, it could be as much as cable TV. I have a Roku device, but it’s basically worthless unless you have a TV provider. Each of the major networks require you to have a TV provider in order to use their app. No you don’t you say? Well OK, if you want to pay Hulu, DirecTV Now, Sling TV, etc., then what’s the difference? To watch live TV (eg., NFL), then you have to pay for the NFL package or pay for 2 or 3 other services to get everything that free to air provides (ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox). By the time you pay for internet services plus one or even 2 of the other “TV” services, you might as well get cable TV with a decent schedule and a clear picture (and all sports and many movies… all in HD, too). I purchased a digital antenna and I get a few HD channels, but nothing like when I had cable and it’s difficult to tell what’s coming on and when. So I’m not buying this cut the cord or watch ABC without cable “stuff”… and I mean that literally. I’m not paying. I’m certainly not paying the astronomical prices for cable TV or for any of these other “cut the cord” services. So don’t be fooled by these “without cable” stories like it’s some great deal. Free to air is the ONLY way to truly “cut the cord,” but it will never be like cable TV.

    1. Avatar Ken says:

      I completely agree with you. We tried to cut the cord with our ROKU but you have to have a service provider to use the major network apps to watch local news. I don’t have a computer set up to the TV. So either I pay Direct TV, and get all I want plus a DVR or I pay for streaming services. There is no such thing as cutting the cord anymore. You are going to pay one way or another.

    2. Avatar Jeff says:

      I agree with you and Ken. The only thing I can think of is the the major networks go thru the air on affiliate stations who operate under revenue from local ads-so free. Some of which are national ads. So why cannot we watch for free with all national ads via our tablet or computer? I have had cable and satellite TV which both politely suck-and the major networks have Ads on those providers. So we boycott all those pay services-use over the air and watch a lot of FREE movies.

    3. Avatar Susan daugherty says:

      I get ABC free in HD with a small antenna. Great quality.

      1. Avatar sonya says:

        how does it work?
        I don’t have cable and bought a smart tv and hd antenna. I also have a converter box from old analog tv

    4. Avatar Prplhrdmj says:

      I have an HD antenna and a Roku. I pay $12.99 total a month for a package of Netflix, Hulu, ESPN. I can watch ABC, NBC, CBS, all my local channels and pretty much everything I want. A lot cheaper than any cable service. The have no problems and feel I got a good thing going!

  4. Avatar Buffy says:

    If you enjoy watching a variety of good shows as well as you are a foe hard sports fan, cutting the cord will not be and option for you unless your willing to pay just as much as you do for cable. Plus just trying to get what you can is the most ridiculous task you will encounter. Internet Bill 50.00. Subscription to direct tv now, 45.00. And still can’t watch abc, or some sports. I’ve been with every cable company there is. Things are awesome until your promotion is up and then your bill more than doubled. And don’t let them say oh no just get another promotion, nope ?? that doesn’t work either , they say that’s for new customers or your just plain out not eligible. The cable world is like doctors. If you gotta have them then your gonna pay out the *** for it. ??‍♀️

  5. Avatar Denise Lafferty says:

    I do not have cable I do have Hulu live but ABC at least in my area is not associated with Hulu. Have the firestick but to get ABC the once my cable provider. I don’t know any other way to get a ABC. HELP

  6. Avatar Janel Anderson says:

    I have firestick. I pay to get ABC on Hulu.All of a sudden while watching ABC live for just a couple minutes it cuts out. What can I do?

  7. Avatar S A Packard says:

    Like many others, I cannot get ABC with my Roku unless I have a cable TV provider in my area. I also cannot pick them up on my antenna though I get CBS, NBC and PBS perfectly well that way.

    Don’t ABC advertisers realize that their ads on ABC do not reach the full potential audience? What does ABC have to gain from this?

    1. Avatar Joanne says:

      We subscribe to DISH satellite service. Right now they are in “negotiations” with our ABC provider, so we are not getting ABC. The last time this happened with another network, they sent us an antenna, but by the time we got it that channel was back. We tried it this time and the ONLY local channel the antenna doesn’t pick up is, of course, ABC! We got a trial subscription to HULU and have watched the ABC shows we like, but our free subscription is almost up. As others have said above, in order to watch using the apps, you need to be paying for a provider and right now, our DISH isn’t providing access to the ABC app. My opinion is they’ve got you no matter what, you pay one way or another and it is only going to get worse as the big networks are now charging monthly for “all access.”

  8. Avatar Linda Pino says:

    We’re struggling to get ABC live. It’s the only local channel we can’t get. WTH! Why are the others ok to let us stream them. ABC is shooting themselves in the foot because soon the only people watching ABC are those with cable. And now people don’t want to pay the ridiculous cable prices!

  9. Avatar Jennie Helmick says:

    I have Dish cable service and inquired if the local channel package could be purchased without cable and the answer is no. I only watch programs on ABC and feel that it is an injustice to all on limited incomes to be forced to pay for channels never watched. I have Amazon Prime only cause I utilize all services included. I also have Disney+ and Netflix for movies and for my grandsons to watch. The Flex package with 60 channels is still over $ 50.00 a month with an additional local channel package. I’m at the point that I no longer care if I have cable or not. Maybe if everyone boycotts ABC, CBS, NBC, etc. and doesn’t subscribe to their services, they will reconsider their available options. I would gladly pay for just their service at a reasonable cost.

  10. Avatar Chris says:

    My local ABC affiliate uses a VHF signal. Many digital antennae only pick up UHF. That’s problem number one. Personally, I have an antenna that picks up both VHF and UHF. Unfortunately, due to geography, the VHF signal cannot reach my city, whereas a UHF signal might. Thus I cannot get any ABC live broadcasts for free. Why? Because the gov’t mandated the switch from analog to digital. Analog signals carry further because like AM radio, the signal bends with the curvature of the Earth, whereas digital is a straight line of sight. My State only has 1 ABC affiliate. And yet, because of the combination of VHF and digital (both of which greatly reduce signal range), 3/4 of this State cannot receive an ABC station via OTA. That means millions of people who have no option but to pay for cable, satellite, or streaming service just to be able to watch a major national network that always used to be free. No service is going to offer these local channels for free because all of those services themselves have to pay the local channels for the “right” to rebroadcast their signal (check your bill, and that’s what the Broadcast Fee is). It’s sad because I can get all local newscasts free by streaming online, but that is ALL they will allow. No movies. No TV shows. Only the news and weather.

    I got rid of cable because I had the most basic cable package (local stations ONLY) plus internet. My bill began at $45 per month. Then it went to $75, followed by $85, and eventually to $110 — for just local stations and internet!!! It’s a racket. So I got rid of cable. Now because of COVID, I find myself qualifying for a low-income internet program. So I switched from buying monthly WiFi passes (for half the cost of my previous bill) to paying just $10 per month for internet service. I pay for a few low cost streaming services (a total of about $25), but I still cannot get access to ABC unless I pay at least $50 (actually about $40 – $45 because I have basic Hulu).

    Long story cut short, I cannot get ABC unless I pay a minimum of $60 per month, but as soon as I no longer qualify for low-income internet, I’ll be right back up to $100 per month. Ridiculous.

  11. Avatar WhyAbc says:

    ABC is owned by Disney so they must likely were trying to get everybody to switch to Disney+ when they rolled it out.

  12. Avatar Lynne Hoyt says:

    Reading all these comments ….I feel your pain. My favorite shows are on ABC, (some on hiatus due to pandemic), but still early evening shows like World News Tonight w/ David Muir, Jeopardy (<3 to Alex) are a must for me. I also qualify for Internet Essentials thru Xfinity/Comcast @ $9.95/mo. beyond that I use a MOHU Leaf OTA antenna that picks up all network stations & OPB (Portland, Oregon's PBS Affiliate), which also has great shows. I did have to try out different spots to hang my leaf on the wall (using easily removable 3M packaging tape), a bit too far from window, but it works. I also got a better cord for the Leaf (Monster RC6U) that helped a lot, plus every six months or so, I have to rescan my Smart TV to find the OTA stations again and I have to deal with some occasional interference if a helicopter or plane flies close overhead.

    I will soon be getting Disney+ I wish they would offer ABC, (which they own), as part of a pkg deal, maybe someday they will, once all the recent subscribers that ordered the service to see Hamilton slows down, they can offer that along with their wonderful selection of programming. I'm also looking forward to watching Mandalorian and many other great movies etc. Please Disney … add your ABC channel to the mix.

  13. Avatar Lin says:

    Having limited access to ALL live abc programming is frustrating ! Roku Ultra2019+basic Hulu $5.99/mo provide Some,NOT ALL abc programs.Doesn’t abc have it’s OWN stand-alone subscription for ALL abc programming? Also,WHERE can a reliable,inexpensive DVR(name brand,website) be found,without having to have cable or a premium version of a streaming service???Pls lmk.Thnx. Lin(Chicago suburbs)

    1. Avatar Stephen Lovely says:

      Unfortunately, there’s no ABC-only streaming service. You could try an antenna, though — that might let you pick up your local ABC station for free and watch it live.

  14. Avatar Modelo Jones says:

    Locast, if available in your area, is free and carries all your local channels.

    1. Avatar Froide says:

      Locast is technically free, but their frequent service interruptions to request contributions make it virtually unwatchable unless one donates $5/month, $30/6 months, or $60/12 months. It’s a worthwhile investment for those who cannot receive local channels of interest via OTA antenna or who don’t want to pay the monthly subscription fees charged by livestream providers that offer local channels.

  15. Avatar Robert Drumm says:

    The real problem here is the business model the government allowed the networks and local affiliates to push through decades ago. To my way of thinking, cable and satellite providers deliver MORE viewers to the networks and locals; that’s more people to view their commercials and drive up their ad rates. So why do they get to CHARGE cable and satellite providers for delivering their programming to viewers? I could see charging being justified if the content were commercial-free for cable and satellite customers, but it’s not. In fact, you’d think it would be more the opposite: locals paying satellite and cable to distribute their programming (just like food suppliers pay supermarkets for shelf space.

    I think this whole concept of having to show an active subscription from cable or satellite is just a method of trying to hold together that business model mentioned. above

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