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If you're a political junkie, you can't just give up C-SPAN – not even if you really, really want to save money by cutting cable or satellite. But hey, here's the good news: you don't have to. Getting your hands on a C-SPAN live stream is easy to do. There are legal live TV streaming services that will let you watch familiar network TV channels on the streaming device of your choice, whether that means a Roku, laptop computer, iOS mobile device, or any other sort of streaming-capable tech. And among these services, you'll be able to choose an option that includes C-SPAN. Below, you'll find out how to take advantage of a skinny bundle service and put a legal C-SPAN live stream on your big or small screen. Here's how to watch C-SPAN without cable.

How to watch C-SPAN online

C-SPAN is a tough channel to track down! Since we first published this piece, the skinny bundle that once carried C-SPAN — DirecTV Now — has changed its branding and dropped C-SPAN from its offerings. That leaves us without skinny bundle options, but that's okay, because we still have one option for watching C-SPAN without cable.


While C-SPAN does not stream all of its content live on YouTube, it does stream enough live content there to merit a quick mention of YouTube in this article. If you're looking to watch a big debate or speech that will be simulcast on multiple networks, there's a good chance that C-SPAN is among the networks that will be live-streaming the event on YouTube.

Note that this is YouTube, not Google's YouTube TV skinny bundle service. This isn't a 24-hour live stream like you'd get from a skinny bundle. We don't usually include anything but full live TV services in these articles, but we're making an exception here because C-SPAN does offer more live broadcasts via YouTube than many other channels do, and because the skinny bundle options for watching C-SPAN without cable are a little bit limited as of this writing.

Check out YouTube

Can I Watch C-SPAN on Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, or Chromecast?

Here's a more straightforward answer than you're ever likely to hear one C-SPAN: Yes! Yes you can.

YouTube's platform support is superb: you can find YouTube's apps on all of the same platforms as the skinny bundles boast, including Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, desktops, laptops, iOS and Android mobile devices. YouTube also has apps on major gaming consoles (including the PS4 and Xbox One), Fire OS devices, Android TV devices, and many other platforms.

33 thoughts on “How to Watch C-SPAN Without Cable

  1. Avatar MARY says:

    I thought C-Span was the networks “pennance” for getting to monopolize the airwaves…how come they are not required to offer it in every bundle?

    1. Avatar William says:

      I don’t know if anyone’s required to carry it, but what they always say is “C-SPAN is a public service created by the American Cable Television Industry”. The streaming services aren’t “cable”, and they aren’t local monopolies — they operate in a competitive environment. That’s mostly a good thing, but it also means they’re not subject to the regulations that create public access channels, etc.

      1. Avatar Ray says:

        I believe Mary meant “how come [cable systems] are not required to offer it in every bundle?”, not streaming services.

  2. Avatar See-Saw Sam says:

    Minor correction, C-Span is NOT available on Amazon Fire TV or Roku. I have both and upon searching I could not find any apps for C-Span, I contacted Amazon and Roku and they both confirmed that there is currently no C-Span app for their service

    1. Avatar Craig says:

      Maybe the above article is not as clear as it could be, but it’s saying you can use the YouTube app on any platform, including Fire TV (I assume it’s available) and Roku (definitely), and then you can watch the events that C-Span live streams.

    2. Avatar FRANK WILSON says:

      Actuslly, if you already have the AT&T TV app on your Roku, it contunues to work fine. You just can’t install it since 1/1/20.

      Fram “Starting January 1, 2020, you won’t be able to add the AT&T TV channel to your Roku device. Already have AT&T TV on your Roku device? You can keep using it as long as you don’t delete the app. We’re actively working on a new agreement with Roku and hope to resolve this soon.”

      1. Avatar Jeanne says:

        Please hurry, too much going on to not be able to watch CSpan.

    3. Avatar Anonymous says:

      thank you!

    4. Avatar Susan P says:

      I also have Amazon Fire and wanted C-SPAN. The YouTube app is FREE to download on Amazon Fire. Then you can access C-SPAN through YouTube. I downloaded it today and it works beautifully.

    5. Avatar Susan P says:

      Download the free YouTube app on your Amazon Fire. You can then access C-SPAN through YouTube. I have Amazon Fire and downloaded it earlier today. It works beautifully.

  3. Avatar Shama Carolyn says:

    I have C-SPAN saved on my laptop and stream all3 C-SPAN channels to my tvvia an hdmi conbection

    1. Avatar John Gonzales says:

      That’s great info. Could you please explain how to do that. I have a MacBook, an hdmi cable and a smart tv. Now….how do I get to streaming C-Span? Thanks!

      1. Avatar Glen Gilbert says:

        Ditto! How? Please share. Thank you.

    2. Avatar Phyllis says:

      What browser do you use?

    3. Avatar Jessica Haines says:

      when I go to C-SPAN. Org on my smartphone it says I need to enter my television provider information in order to stream. I don’t have a television provider LOL.

      right now I use DirecTV but their prices have been going up steadily over the past two years. I have the basic patch package and HBO and it’s 60 bucks a month. Omph.

      1. Avatar RRiggs says:

        There’s no LOL – if people don’t pay for cable, then C-SPAN will eventually disappear – no revenue, no C-SPAN

    4. Avatar CINDY MONTGOMERY says:

      That is the only way I have found to get it as well. I just need to buy the hdmi cable so I can link the laptop to my TV.

  4. Avatar Art says:

    Thanks for wasting my time with this disingenuine article

    1. Avatar Pair says:


  5. Avatar Judy says:

    I use my internet connection on my smart TV. Go to and you can click on schedule to see what is going on. You can watch live streams from there.

  6. Avatar Kram says:

    Its been on the internet @ for years now

    or just Google it. How you get it from your computer to your TV screen is up to you…

    1. Avatar ktwelch says:

      Thanks for the info. works

  7. Avatar John Mader says:

    I can cast from my pc to Roku Streaming Stick+. I haven’t tried CSPAN specifically but it is available and I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Of course, it’s an extra step and truly an annoyance to go through. But it’s the only way I can watch our State’s legislative action live.

  8. Avatar John says:

    I can cast from my pc to Roku Streaming Stick+. I haven’t tried CSPAN specifically but it is available and I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Of course, it’s an extra step and truly an annoyance to go through. But it’s the only way I can watch our State’s legislative action live.

  9. Avatar Lorenzo says:

    C-SPAN radio app can be obtained on Google app store.

  10. Avatar Cheryl says:

    OK. Here is what I just did. I have a Macbook and tried to get C-Span without a service. When I tried to livestream, I was told I could not but that I could get an app on my phone (android or iphone) or ipad. I have an ipad and went to the app store and downloaded “C-Span radio.” I can listen to (but not watch) C-SPAN radio and C-SPAN 1, 2, and 3.

  11. Avatar FrostyWinnipeg says:

    I can cast CSPAN from Google Chrome to my Xiaomi Mibox which runs Android TV. Should be same for Chromecast.

  12. Avatar c laughton says:

    I remember when, back in the “olden days” of internet, on a much older computer, of being able to just go to the site and tune in.

    Now it seems like a big pain-in-the-butt scam to lessen the number of viewers for whom our government’s activities are available.

  13. Avatar Anonymous says:

    I cancelled YouTubeTV and re-subscribed to DishNetwork which carries C-Span. We are quickly approaching a lack of free-speech and information in the USA. Sad.

    1. Avatar JJJ jr says:

      That’s because we do not have elected public servants interested in truly serving the people. What they are interested in is using censorship and the media as a means to power. The new Democrats have become obsessed with grabbing power instead of freedom and serving constituents.

  14. Avatar James L Jones says:

    Try using a VPN with overseas connections. This has worked for me after trying several countries. Whether it is worth it is a different matter. If a neighbor has just painted his house you might enjoy using binoculars to watch it dry.

  15. Avatar clmcd says:

    We are impressed now with the importance of improving civics education. How about if we write to every streaming service and television provider and elected official to lobby for wide availability of cspan so government is transparent? I cannot believe it is so hard to watch cspan in this age!

  16. Avatar Linda Jones says:

    I am also worried that C-Span is going away. I think Congress needs to legislate alternate funding. Viewers should be able to subscribe directly to C-Span and large media conglomerates like the Sinclair Group should be taxed to supplement subscriber funds to keep C-Span going. Does anyone know about a group working on this issue??? Democracy needs information such as C-Span provides. It’s crucial !

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