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Replacing cable shows and movies with on-demand services like Netflix is usually a no-brainer. But what about live programming, like cable news? CNN always has the latest of the biggest breaking stories, and if you're relying on on-demand streaming alone, you might be left out of the loop. That's why we're here with some next-level cord-cutting tips so that you can learn how to watch CNN without cable. In this article, we'll lay out your legal options for grabbing a CNN livestream, and we'll explain what the latest and greatest live TV streaming services are and how they work. Read on to learn how to watch CNN without cable!

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

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

See Offer

$5.99 – $85.96 68 – 88 7 or 30 days

See Offer

$35 – $50 30+ – 130+ 3 days

See Offer

How to Watch CNN Online Without Cable

You may already know that some channels, including major networks, are available over the air. But CNN is not one of these “broadcast channels” – which, until a few years ago, meant that news junkies were out of luck if they wanted to watch CNN without cable. But times change, and broadcast TV is no longer your only live TV option as a cord cutter: there are ways to get network TV channels, too.

The ways we're referring to comprise a group of services called “skinny bundles,” or a live TV streaming service. These services are different because of how they’re delivered, which is online. That means no regional monopolies, lower prices, and device support that allows you to stream on the go as well as at home. You should also know that there are no long-term contracts to sign when you grab one of these. Sounds a lot better than cable, right?

Not every skinny bundle service offers a CNN livestream, but several do, and that makes them the perfect solution to the dilemma of how to watch CNN without cable. Let's check out the reputable services that offer CNN below.

Stream CNN with DIRECTV Stream

Try DIRECTV Stream

DIRECTV Stream offers multiple tiers of skinny-bundle goodness that include a CNN livestream. With a DIRECTV Stream subscription, you'll be able to find CNN no matter which bundle you choose.

Stream CNN for free with Hulu

Free Trial

Hulu + Live TV's channel selection includes a whole bunch of great channels, including CNN. Hulu is a great option for folks who want a mix of live TV and on-demand content, and it works well as a way to watch CNN without cable. You can give Hulu + Live TV a spin by checking out its free trial offer, which you can sign up for using the link just above this paragraph. For our opinion of the service, look no further than our Hulu + Live TV review.

Stream CNN with Sling TV

Try It

Sling TV is designed to be flexible. Instead of choosing from bundles of various sizes and prices, Sling TV invites you to grab one (or both) of its two base packages and then build out a custom skinny bundle using add-on bundles called “Extras.” The result is a skinny bundle service that minimizes the number of channels you pay for but don't watch.

Sling TV bundles include lots of easy ways to get your hands on a CNN livestream. For more on Sling TV, read our review.

YouTube TV

Google's take on the skinny bundle service is YouTube TV, which boasts a robust selection of top channels — including, happily for us, CNN. For more on how YouTube TV measures up to the competition, check out our YouTube TV review. To test the service out for yourself, sign up for their week-long free trial.

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

You can watch CNN on all of those and more! News breaks all the time, so why would you only want to watch it when you’re at home? Watching a 24-hour news network around-the-clock is a bit much, but you can watch it when you want with great platform support like this. The chart below will give you the lowdown on exactly which devices you can use to watch CNN without cable.

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

More to Watch for Fans of CNN

So now you know how to watch CNN without cable, which means you’ve got the keys to checking out great CNN hosts like Anderson Cooper. But there are lots of news channel hosts out there, and if you like CNN, it’s worth checking out a few other options as well. Read on for some suggestions!

CNN watchers may also want to check on MSNBC occasionally. MSNBC is known for on-air personalities like Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes, and Steve Kornacki. If you recognize Kornacki, it’s probably because of the serious online following he developed while the votes were still being counted in the 2020 election. MSNBC is still a good place to go for everything from live coverage of congressional hearings to in-depth reporting on the big issues of the day. If you like that sort of thing, take a look at our How to Watch MSNBC Without Cable page.

But people who like news can get burned out on it too. It’s mportant to stay informed, but sometimes that means watching a little news and then moving on to something else, like “The Mandalorian.” For a quick look at the day’s headlines, it’s worth turning to one of the evening network news broadcasts, such as NBC and CBS, which air 30-minute news programs on weekdays. If you’re a fan of Lester Holt’s gravitas, you’ll want to read our guide to watching “NBC Nightly News” without cable. David Muir on ABC is also a well-regarded journalist, and you can find out more about catching his nightly broadcasts on our How to Watch “ABC World News Tonight” Without Cable page.

18 thoughts on “How to Watch CNN Without Cable

  1. Richard Jenkins says:

    Did “How to Watch TV without Cable” miss a major category? IPTV, such as SET TV and Gears TV. The beauty of these is they provide 1080p (not HDTV) using less than one GB per hour of data download (versus much more for streaming TV services), so I can see all the live TV I want within the 250 GB/month cap provided by my ISP.

    1. Carson says:

      Just as an FYI, 1080i/p (1920×1080 pixels) is “HDTV,” definitionally, and “HDTV” goes as low as 720p. “HDTV” is a standard negotiated by the “(New) Grand Alliance” and recorded/maintained by the IEEE, the official world standards organization. “New,” when it is used with the newer “Grand Alliance” that included many more players, refers to the original “Grand Alliance” of U.S. TV makers and broadcasters such as RCA/NBC, Zenith, etc., which negotiated the “NTSC” standard for color TV, keeping the 640×480, 29.97fps format from B&W TV in the U.S., so that those who “only” had B&W sets could still watch all content, just not in color. Similarly, converter boxes, including those free boxes sent out to by the federal gov’t, back in abt 2006-2009 (although the first HDTV broadcasts signals were sent along with NTSC signals, in some test markets, as early as the mid-1990s) so that (especially older) citizens who did not have HDTV-capable TVs could watch HDTV content in their NTSC TVs (especially for news and so they could get emergency broadcast warnings, etc.), by allowing 640×480 NTSC TVs to receive and display HDTV standards–generally CRT TVs, although some flat screens were made, for a few years, still using the NTSC standard—and then there’s “EDTV,” which didn’t go over very well, for obvious and other reasons, but no need to confuse things…

      “HDTV,” with a 16:9 ratio and (changed from NTSC’s 4:3) officially replaced NTSC, completely, in early 2009, after 70+ years of 640×480 B&W TV and 55+ years of the color “NTSC” standard, and it’s currently the standard for broadcast channels (over air), to maintain that same news/emergency signal reception. For reference, Europe (PAL) had modified their definition/ratio thrice, over those several decades, much in the same way that 720p-1080i/p are included in the HDTV standard.

      Although 4K and 8K TVs obviously exist, they aren’t officially included in the HDTV standard. They are generally referred to as “UHD” (Ultra-High Definition), with a minimum resolution of 3840×2160 (“4K” now coming from the first number, as opposed to the latter), but the standards, officially, are “4K UHD” and “8K UHD,” and continue in the 16:9 tradition — despite that both 4K and 8K TVs are considered “UHD,” as approved by the “UHD Alliance”—a similarly-named consortium of hardware and content creators—in 2016. Along with an HDR minimum, a TV must meet those standards, in order to use the official seal of the UHD alliance. To comply with official U.S. standards, all UHD TVs must be able to interpret HDTV broadcast signals, again for emergency communication purposes.

      Of course, with the latest diffusions of innovation (4K and 8K) occurring quickly within a decade—after 1/2 to 3/4 of a century of 640×480, in the U.S.—it can be easy to confuse “what counts” as HDTV, but it doesn’t mean the latest widely-available technological standard, but instead refers to 720p-1080i/p only…

      Hope this helps!

      (Any corrections are appreciated. That was off the top of my head, and although I know the specific details about the HDTV standard, itself, are correct, dates may be slightly off, and “UHD” standards may have changed to include 16K and 32K, by the time someone in the late ‘20s and on might read this. Cheers!)

  2. Happy says:

    All the “not cable TVs” are creeping up to “cable TV” slowly but surely. I don’t understand why CNN and the like do not offer direct streaming for a smaller fee. I subscribe to Sling but tend to only watch CNN, and Sling is creeping also and I’m probably going to cancel and suffer CNN withdrawal until I find something less expensive to satisfy my news junkie habit.

    1. Anonymous says:

      I agree totally I have been complaining about this forever. Why must I pay for fox Or any other networks I don’t want

      1. Jim Gentry says:

        CNN needs to follow CBS and ABC and offer their services for $3.99 to $5.99 for a month and everyone on the blue side are independent would buy it. Even the cheap streaming services aren’t that cheap anymore $65 a month for sling which I’m dropping like a hot potato. Hulu live TV is out priced also whoa. DIRECTV enough said dish is broken. Too damn high. I’m

  3. Tim Jenkott says:

    You said nothing of streaming CNN on Apple TV. Can it be done?

    1. Cordcutting.com says:

      Actually, we did!

      “Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV, fuboTV, PlayStation Vue, DirecTV Now, and YouTube TV all work on Apple TV.”

  4. Chika Barnhizer says:

    I have Hulu Live for live stream. But is there any way to watch CNN Films, Special Reports, series that previously aired? CnnGo has all but without a cable, I cannot access to.

    1. Richard Bloomfield says:

      You can try Pluto TV and see if that will work for what you are looking for.

      1. Anonymous says:

        Yes. Free!

  5. Anon says:

    Just a heads up, CNN has been removed from FuboTV packages.

    1. J1 says:

      That sucks. As I figured out after subscribing.

      1. Anonymous says:

        Yes. Free!

  6. Mary B, NC says:

    Not sure where you are getting your info, but Fubo is not carrying CNN with either package (Family or Ultra).

  7. SN says:

    So in effect, cut cable ($70/month) and subscribe to online package ($40-64/month) and burn my own internet bandwidth (10-15/month minimum) – so where is the saving?

    1. SI says:

      In the Bay area, my choices are Xfinity bundle – $99/month for tv/internet + $10/month for HD + 14 in taxes – totaling approx $124/month for 100Mbps internet + 140+ channels.

      If I take Xfinity performance Internet – its $45/month +$30 for sling blue = $75/month – savings of $50/month. (I have roof antenna+airtv with disk for DVR for recording live tv shows) .

  8. Mav says:

    Another option for CNN is Pluto TV.

  9. Frank OBrien says:

    I suggest you report total cost of each option you recommend as “cable cutting” to get CNN. This will give a true picture of cost benefit

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