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So you want to watch CNN without cable — the Cable News Network. How difficult will it be to access a channel that actually has the word “cable” in its name? As it turns out, it’s actually pretty simple! You can cut the cord worry-free knowing you can still in to this behemoth of a news channel renown for its live breaking news coverage, high-quality programming, and unconventional not so “newsy” shows.

Where can you watch CNN without cable? Luckily for you and your wallet, there are a few different ways. Which one you choose will come down to preference and price. So let’s get started and learn how to watch CNN without cable!

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

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

Watch Now

$54.99 – $134.99 140+ 5 days

Watch Now

$35 – $50 30+ – 130+ 3 days

Watch Now

How to Watch CNN Online Without Cable

Live TV streaming services are your best bet for watching CNN online cable-free. You have four options for streaming CNN online without cable, including DIRECTV STREAM, Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV.

Which one you choose for your cable-free viewing will depend on what other live and on-demand content each service provides and the price the demand for this content. Some of these services offer channel packages in tiered pricing, allowing you to zero in on the channels you want. Let’s take a closer look at the specific live streaming services that carry CNN:

Stream CNN with Hulu

Try It Today

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 hands-on review.

Stream CNN with DIRECTV STREAM

Watch Now

DIRECTV STREAM is strikingly similar to traditional DIRECTV satellite TV service, but differs in a couple of key ways. The first difference lies in the equipment involved. Unlike DIRECTV satellite, DIRECTV STREAM requires no equipment — all programming runs over the internet. The second difference is price. DIRECTV STREAM is more affordable on a whole than its more traditional counterpart. It also offers multiple tiers of programming packaging, which makes DIRECTV STREAM a flexible and affordable option for streaming CNN live.

Stream CNN with Sling TV

Start Slinging

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.

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 in-depth YouTube TV review. To test the service out for yourself, sign up for their weeklong 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 following chart 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

Most Popular Shows to Watch on CNN

CNN is arguably the founding leader of 24/7 news programming with several branch out channels forming since its initial launch in 1980. However, news isn’t the only programming CNN offers nowadays. Perhaps one of its most popular shows is Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown” which enjoyed 12 seasons of airing. Equally as popular is CNN’s decade focused documentary series surveying all the wonderful and not-so wonderful aspects of each decade in American history during the 20th century. Here’s some other must-see shows you can catch on CNN these days.

  • “This is Life With Lisa Ling”
  • Anderson Cooper 360
  • “Declassified”
  • “United Shades of America”
  • “Race for the White House”

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 the cable news kingdom! But there are some other quality news channel options available via streaming services worth checking out also.

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 page on how to watch MSNBC without cable.

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” guide.

22 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!

      2. Shadow11990 says:

        I’m getting really upset! I cut the cord was going to subscribe to cnn but nooooo. Ive got every stinking channel I want but can’t get cnn. I want to know what’s going on in the world and btw tubi and them type do not show don Lemmon, Anderson Cooper and all the ones your used to seeing. If you watch cnn for 45 min a day all it does is loop back around getting nothing new even if its breaking news. I want to keep up with the war in the Ukraine but im lucky to hear 5 min of it this sux if your not going to let us pay for it make the whole day free. Why should we have to not be able to see our channel because you couldn’t make it work?

  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

  10. Anonymous says:

    Cnn on pluto is not live TV. It’s a collection of clips

  11. Caroline says:

    The live TV streaming services are just as costly as cable if you add the extras like Starz hbo showtime etc. What’s the point. These services are taking advantage. I’m not poor and I’m not rich . I don’t watch tv all day so why pay $65+. CNN was one of my favorite channels and now I am watching clips on Pluto. Its not even close to the same thing. You watch clips over and over again and 1 might be Anderson Cooper and its not the entire coverage of the topic and the rest are usually from the morning show and not what I want to watch. I am watching for free so I guess it’s fine. Why can’t CNN have a paid service for 4.99 a month so people don’t need to pay for something they don’t use. Sling is a better option because you can get 1 or all of 3 packages for a cost of $35 to $50 and you can add the extras you want but not sure if you get CNN live. I Just want CNN live coverage without anything else because I already have movie streaming services for my kids. CNN listen to us. Or don’t you care about the regular people who don’t want any of the other stuff. Otherwise I will find another news station to watch. OMG what if I decided to watch FOX.
    BTW you can watch CBS news free on Pluto but not even close….
    CNN you are losing a bunch of viewers and won’t be able to pay your hosts the top dollar they are getting paid. You are like the rest of them only care about $$$$$ not your viewers.Well maybe the ones who have money to burn,which is why I say you are just like the rest of them!I know I am rambling but I am mad!

  12. Sunny Mitchell says:

    I just subscribed to Xfinity/Comcast for $30 a month for internet & bought my own modem. I am primarily interested in getting CNN & YOUTUBE & local news.
    I am an 86 yr old female with no one to help me wade through all the massive & confusing options for November 2022…..AARRGGHH!!
    I would be grateful for anyone’s help for the least expensive way to go! Thank you!

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