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CBS is a big TV network. In fact, it's one of just four channels that we consider to be the biggest and baddest of the channels. It’s also one of our country's oldest television networks and actually 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 livestream, while reminding you of the merits of broadcast television. You may not realize that this old-school, over-the-air TV network now offers many modern perks. Read below to see our guide to watching CBS without cable.

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

  Price Channels Free Trial  
$69.99 – $139.99 65+ None

See Offer

$5.99 – $85.96 68 – 88 7 or 30 days

See Offer

$64.99 – $33.00 220+ 7 days

See Offer

$35 – $50 30+ – 130+ 3 days

See Offer

$4.99 – $99.99 N/A 7 days

See Offer

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. But first, a brief primer on one type of service you’ll use to do that.

It's called a 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. The “skinny bundle” nickname comes from the size of the channel package. The slimmer bundles are, as you might expect, more affordable.

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. Unfortunately, not every local CBS affiliate is on board with every streaming service.

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, Paramount Plus.

Stream CBS with DIRECTV Stream

Try DIRECTV Stream

What is DIRECTV Stream? It's the service formerly known as, well, lots of things, and it once shared its name with a certain legacy pay TV provider. The DIRECTV-owned service is plenty modern, though, and includes a CBS livestream in most markets. For more, check out our DIRECTV Stream review.

Stream CBS for free with Hulu

Free Trial

The name “Hulu + Live TV” is pretty straightforward, and so are Hulu + Live TV's offerings, which include a CBS livestream. You can read our review of Hulu + Live TV here, or you can just check it out for yourself by taking advantage of the weeklong free trial. You can sign up for the 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.

Stream CBS for free with Paramount Plus

Free Trial

Paramount Plus used to be known as CBS All Access, but now it’s rebranded as Paramount Plus. Why Paramount Plus? Maybe the people in charge liked both mountain peaks and math. We’re not sure, but the rationale behind the name change isn’t as important as the fact that you can get CBS this way. You can also get a free trial of Paramount Plus via the link above.

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 seven-day free trial offer.

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.

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

CBS is a major broadcast network, so it makes sense that it would also have major platform support. You can watch it on Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, and more! There’s no need to limit yourself to watching CBS on one device when you can watch it on, well, pretty much all of the devices. Check out the chart below to find out more.

Roku Fire TV Apple TV Android TV Chromecast iOS Android Web browser
DIRECTV Stream Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Philo Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Hulu + Live TV Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
fuboTV Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Sling TV Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
YouTube TV Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Paramount Plus is too new to make the chart, but you’ve got plenty of ways to watch that streaming service as well. Namely, via Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, Chromecast, Android mobile devices, and web browsers. Yup, it looks like Paramount Plus works with every device on the chart!

More to Watch for Fans of CBS

What should CBS fans watch when they’re not watching CBS? Well, we mentioned four major networks in the intro to this piece. Those other networks are ABC, FOX, and NBC. We’ve got guides for watching them all without cable, but we suggest starting with ABC, mostly because it’s first if you order things alphabetically. Turn to our guide to watching ABC without cable to find out how, and happy streaming!

12 thoughts on “How to Watch CBS Without Cable

  1. 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.

    1. David A Brown says:

      CBS is free however is the hardest free channel to get. I get most clear but also if you have tree’s and know that there can be several antenna’s in different directions even Omi will not get them for they lie there not true 360 and when you buy another and another you could of get a year cable. HULU is live at 60+ for local free not worth paying for it, you might need to move the antenna like me 3 times and am tired of trying another one at a cost.

  2. RO says:

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

  3. 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. 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.

  5. Michelle Calhoun says:

    I’m not paying for free TV and if CBS took their stuff off free antenna TV then they don’t deserve for anybody to watch them

  6. Anonymous says:

    This sucks, because I used to get Paramount TV Free. Now I can’t get CBS sports unless I pay another charge. Direct TV always wants to try and charge me for every channel that I would like to watch. What a freaking drag.

  7. Norman says:

    This sucks, because I used to get Paramount TV Free. Now I can’t get CBS sports unless I pay another charge. Direct TV always wants to try and charge me for every channel that I would like to watch. What a freaking drag.

  8. Ron T says:

    I long for the days of getting free TV on my 13” B+W. We had a hanger for an antenna, and a pliers to change the channel, but I didn’t have to pay, or remember a password, or be on hold for an hour with a cable company to figure out how an app works. I like the new show The Unicorn, I watched Season 1 on Netflix. Now I won’t be able to see season 2. Annoying.

  9. Rob says:

    We haven’t had CBS in Boston over the air in a couple of years. They claim it’s channel 10, which doesn’t exist. Too bad. I’d like to watch the Olympics, but they’re on CBS.

  10. Anonymous says:

    woops. I should never write while I’m still asleep.
    I wrote about CBS when I meant NBC, which we haven’t had in Boston in a couple of years.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Sling is garbage, you do not get access to local channels, which they advertise that you do.

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