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CBS is a big TV network. In fact, it's a “major network” – one of just four channels that we consider to be the biggest and baddest of the channels. CBS is also one of our country's oldest television networks – in fact, it predates cable itself! So you might wonder: if CBS is so big, and is older than cable, then why do I need cable to watch it? The simple answer is that you don't. In this article, we'll show you how to watch CBS without cable. We'll cover a number of ways to get a (legal) CBS live stream, and we'll also remind you of the merits of broadcast television – that old-school over-the-air TV that predates cable, albeit with the many modern perks that you may not realize over-the-air TV now offers. It's all below in our guide to watching CBS without cable.

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

  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 CBS Online and Over the Air Without Cable

Below, you'll find the various services and methods that you can use to watch CBS without cable, listed one by one and with links to relevant free trial offers, websites, and explanatory articles. But before we go too much further, we should take a closer look at a type of service that not everyone may be familiar with.

It's the live TV streaming service, or “skinny bundle” service, and it's exactly what it sounds like: a way to watch live TV over the internet. These live TV streaming services are aiming to beat cable at its own game by offering live network television that feels like old-school cable but is delivered in a way more reminiscent of “cable-killers” like Netflix.

The “skinny bundle” nickname comes from the size of the channel packages: most live TV streaming services offer smaller bundles than cable does, though some offer add-ons and larger options for the super-fans among us. The slimmer bundles are, as you might expect, more affordable than their beefy cable counterparts.

On top of this, the live TV streaming services offer you the ability to watch CBS without cable on multiple devices, including mobile devices and streaming boxes. They won't demand long-term contracts, keep prices low, and almost always offer great free trials.

There's just one more thing to say about live TV streaming services, and it's our only bit of bad news: in the case of each of the live TV streaming services we list, CBS coverage will vary by region. Not every local CBS affiliate is on board with every streaming service, unfortunately.

There are multiple great live TV streaming services that you can use to watch CBS without cable, and we'll list them first. After that, we'll cover over-the-air TV and CBS's own app, CBS All Access.

Stream CBS for free with Hulu

Free Trial

Hulu has been in the streaming game for longer than skinny bundles have existed. Now the service offers a live TV streaming service of its very own, which it has chosen to dub “Hulu + Live TV.” That's pretty straightforward, and so are Hulu + Live TV's offerings, which include a CBS live stream. You can read our review of Hulu + Live TV here, or you can just check it out for yourself by taking advantage of the week-long free trial. You can sign up for that free trial with the link above.

Stream CBS for free with FuboTV

Free Trial

If you're interested in CBS because of its sports broadcasts, you may want to pay extra attention to fuboTV, which purports to be the best live TV streaming service for sports fans. Whether it lives up to that billing is a debate for a different piece, but there's no denying that fuboTV has plenty of sports channels, as well as plenty of networks that will appeal to the non-sports fans among us. One of them, of course, is CBS. You can test things out risk-free when you take advantage of fuboTV's free trial offer. To get your hands on that free trial offer, just click the link above.


The service formerly known as DirecTV Now may have once shared its name with a certain legacy pay TV provider, but this AT&T-owned service is plenty modern. It streams smoothly, offers subscribers a choice of bundles at different sizes and price points, and, of course, includes your CBS live stream. You can read our review of the service here or can check it out for yourself by signing up for the week-long free trial.

YouTube TV

YouTube TV is Google's skinny bundle service, and it's a great way to watch CBS online. YouTube TV offers live local streaming of CBS in select markets. You can test out YouTube TV risk-free by taking advantage of the service's free trial offer which lasts seven days.

Free Over-the-Air TV

Over-the-air TV is “broadcast television,” and it's the perfect way to watch CBS without cable for free. CBS, like the rest of the major networks, boasts a huge network of affiliates all across the country. These affiliates often have their own broadcast towers, which send a live feed of CBS all over your region. It's all around you, so grab an antenna and take advantage! You'll find your reception is in crisp HD: antennas have changed quite a bit since your grandpa's day.

Stream CBS for free with CBS All Access

Free Trial

CBS has a streaming service all its own. It's called CBS All Access, and it offers tons of CBS content on demand – as well as a live feed of your local CBS station, provided you're in one of the covered markets (yes, even CBS's own app deals with the “select markets” issue that also plagues the live TV streaming services). This is a single-channel solution, which makes it the most efficient and cost-effective way for CBS die-hards to watch CBS without cable.

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

You can indeed! Every single solution listed above can be used to watch CBS without cable on your big screen.

If you use Roku devices, you'll be pleased to learn that you can get great apps for any of the following services: Hulu + Live TV, fuboTV, AT&T TV Now, and YouTube TV.

Want to watch on a Fire TV device, instead? No problem: just grab an app for Hulu + Live TV, fuboTV, AT&T TV Now, and YouTube TV.

Hulu + Live TV, fuboTV, AT&T TV Now, and YouTube TV all work well on Apple TV devices.

You can use Chromecast to watch Hulu + Live TV, fuboTV, AT&T TV Now, and YouTube TV, thanks to their cooperative apps.

Android TV, Google's streaming platform, plays nice with Hulu + Live TV, fuboTV, and YouTube TV.

Going mobile is easy, thanks to mobile apps (including both Android and iOS apps) from each of Hulu + Live TV, fuboTV, AT&T TV Now, and YouTube TV.

Hulu + Live TV, fuboTV, AT&T TV Now, and YouTube TV each also offer in-browser apps that make it a breeze to watch CBS without cable on your desktop or laptop computer.

Even video game systems are in on the fun. Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV work on modern Xbox video game systems, while Hulu + Live TV also works on modern PlayStation consoles.

We didn't forget about our other solutions, either: let's talk about CBS All Access and free over-the-air TV.

CBS All Access works on Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, and Chromecast, as well as on iOS, Android, Windows, Xbox, and PlayStation.

Over-the-air antennas are able to plug directly into your TV, but you can also find ways to integrate them into other platforms if you wish. An OTA DVR and the relevant app – or a PC TV tuner and a Plex server – can help you turn OTA TV into streaming content you can view on your favorite device.

Got all of that? Suffice it to say that if you're wondering how to watch CBS without cable on your device, the answer is somewhere in this article! You should be able to watch CBS without cable no matter what device you use.

4 thoughts on “How to Watch CBS Without Cable

  1. Avatar john gadd says:

    Ok I am completely confused. I used to get CBS TV shows over the air. Recently, the local TV station did something and I was told to rescan. That did not work. I cannot change the direction of the antenna in the attic, I am too old to get back up there. I have internet and a decent monitor and a “smart tv” and I have subscribe to Netflix. I don’t think I can put an app on the TV. So I will watch my morning CBS news and Survivor on my computer. My question. What is the least costly way to do this. Please, please make it simple.

  2. Avatar RO says:

    Whew! Faint gray font on white background is just too hard to see! Moving on to other cord cutting info sites…

  3. Avatar Paul E Brecht says:

    CBS has disappeared from OTA channel in at least four different antenna setups I have, I rent mobile homes. It’s local channel 10 in the Tampa market. Can you get an explanation? Cannot find any information on the web about it.

  4. Avatar Alisa Hepler says:

    Ya’ll suck. I can download NBC and ABC apps and watch their shows for free a week after broad cast. I am disabled and can no longer afford paying to watch TV and I can’t get reception even with an antenna. I would never watch you again, even if I could afford it.

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