Cord Cutting Guides, News, and Reviews
The FBI is popular right now. I’m not talking about the real Federal Bureau of Investigation based in Washington, D.C. (though I’m sure they have their fans). Instead, I’m talking about FBI, a CBS drama that came on the air in 2017. That version of the FBI is about the New York office, and it's easily one of the biggest TV shows on Tuesday nights.
Crime procedurals are big, and understandably so. Unlike true crime cases, fictional TV dramas never go unsolved for years or decades at a time. At worst, you’ll have to wait until next season for a cliffhanger to get resolved. Speaking of mysteries, we’re here to solve another one: Can you watch FBI without cable? I’ve got good news for you: You definitely can. Stay tuned (and scroll down) and we’ll examine all the available evidence together.
Here are a few of our favorite ways to stream FBI:
FBI is available without cable. So is FBI: Most Wanted, the spin-off that debuted in 2020 (it’s not the actual list of the FBI’s most wanted people, but it is a show loosely based on that agency’s Fugitive Task Force). Like its older sibling, FBI: Most Wanted airs on CBS, which is a broadcast network. That’s different from pay cable, and this means that you can watch FBI for free — or free other than what you spend on your antenna, anyway.
We’ll discuss that option a little later because it’s a good one. But first, you need to know about a concept called skinny bundles. Skinny bundles give you the most options for watching FBI without paying for cable. Skinny bundles are TV you stream through your home Internet connection, which in turn allows you to stream FBI online.
Think of skinny bundles as a more chill relative of those weighed-down cable packages. Getting cable means getting stuck with channels you don’t want. Worse yet, you have to pay for those channels regardless of whether or not you use them. Even if 90 Day Fiance isn’t your thing, you’re still paying for TLC, to use a reality show example.
Skinny bundles give you some of that power back. You have a bigger say in what channels you do and don’t want to bundle together in your package. CBS is available on a lot of skinny bundles, but that availability is not universal, unfortunately. That’s because the companies behind these bundles have to make deals with each individual CBS network. It’s not as easy CC-ing every CBS affiliate in the country and saying, “Yes, we’d like to run your programming. Please sign on the dotted line.” So you’ll need to check to make sure the skinny bundle you like has CBS in your market. If it does, you’re well on your way to watching FBI without ever needing to mess with cable.
Stream FBI for free with Hulu
Hulu has been around as an on-demand content provider for more than a decade, but in 2016, it announced it was entering the world of skinny bundles as well. Hulu + Live TV launched in 2017, and it carries CBS in many markets. There’s a good chance it’s got CBS in your market as well. Once you’ve confirmed that it does, feel free to take advantage of the Hulu + Live TV free trial offer that's right here on this very page.
Stream FBI for free with fuboTV
fuboTV may not quite have the name recognition of some other services, but that’s OK. It’s still got a lot worth viewing. Many people can snag their local channels through fuboTV, including CBS. It’s often marketed to sports fans, but there are so many channels here that you don’t necessarily have to like sports to enjoy fuboTV. Check out our fuboTV review for more on why we’re fans of the service. You can also check out a free trial of fuboTV through our link.
It’s possible to get a skinny bundle through the same company that provides you service for that shiny new iPhone. AT&T TV Now was known as DirecTV Now until pretty recently, so don’t sweat it if you haven’t heard of it by its new name. All you really need to know is that you may be able to get CBS through it, which makes AT&T now yet another solid option for viewing episodes of FBI without cable.
What do you think of when you think of YouTube? Cat videos? Unboxing videos? A place to watch music videos now that MTV has given up? Those are all correct, but the YouTube brand is also more than just a website where people upload videos. There’s also a skinny bundle known as YouTubeTV. It’s got CBS in some markets, so take a look and decide if this is your preferred method of watching FBI without cable.
Stream FBI for free with CBS All Access
CBS All Access is ViacomCBS’ attempt to compete with on-demand streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. The service is all about CBS content, so you’ll definitely be able to watch episodes of FBI on CBS All Access. But wait, there’s more! In some markets, you can also watch live CBS programming through CBS All Access. That gives you even more options, as you can watch FBI when it airs at its regular time, or just wait until it’s convenient for you. It doesn’t matter if that’s the next day or a couple of weeks later. (You can still watch FBI on demand even if you’re not in one of the markets with access to live streaming part of CBS All Access.)
By the way: For some reason, CBS doesn’t like the name CBS All Access anymore. That’s why it’s changing to Paramount Plus in 2021. Don’t let that confuse you, though. Shows like FBI and FBI: Most Wanted won’t be leaving the service — it’s just the name on the app that’s changing.
When you think of watching a TV with an antenna, you may think of your poor dad climbing on the roof to adjust the antenna so he could watch Seinfeld after work, but living that antenna life is definitely simpler than it was 20 years ago. You have way more options, and the magic of the Internet makes it much easier to figure out just what kind of antenna you need.
Free TV is also a lot better in quality than it was back in the 80s or 90s. We mean the picture, not the shows: Nowadays, you’re getting your favorite TV shows in crisp high-definition. Yes, that includes FBI, as CBS is a broadcast network. Since it is, that means there’s likely a broadcast tower in your area that you can use to pick up CBS via antenna and beam it into your home. There’s zero need to sacrifice picture quality. You don’t need a special antenna to get the HD feed, though you will need an HD TV to get the full benefits.
Live TV services are good for watching on your TV, of course, but that’s not the only place you can watch them. You’ve got a wide range of devices to pick from. If you’re at home, maybe you’d rather stick with your Roku or Fire TV. But if you’re out and about doing something like sitting in a waiting room or commuting on a train, maybe you’d like to watch TV on your phone. See the below chart to find out about your options for some of the live TV services we’ve mentioned.
You don’t need a forensic investigator to know how to watch FBI without cable. But once you’ve caught up on the latest cases there, you may want to kick back with something a little lighter. Sports are a fun way to decompress, and if you like baseball, there are few things more fun than baseball in October. If that sounds interesting, take a look at our guide to watching the World Series without cable. If football is more your style, we’ve got a guide for watching the NFL playoffs without cable too.
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