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Android is one of the best mobile device operating systems in existence. And, as it it happens, it's one of the best streaming platforms, too. See, your Android tablet or phone is capable of streaming all kinds of amazing content, from on-demand shows and movies to live TV. Yes, you can watch live TV on Android – and you don't need cable to do it. Below, we'll lay out the different types of services that you can use to watch live TV on Android, and we'll run through the specific services that you may want to try out. Here's how to watch live TV on Android.

Here are a few of our favorite ways to stream live TV on Android:

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

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$6.99 – $13.99 N/A None

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$25 60+ 7 days

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$5.99 – $85.96 68 – 88 7 or 30 days

See Offer

$64.99 – $33.00 220+ 7 days

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$35 – $50 30+ – 130+ 3 days

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How to Watch Live TV on Android

You'll find a lot of great apps on the list below, but most of then can be slotted into a few basic categories. Rather than repeat ourselves a bunch of times, then, we'll start by explaining generally what these types of services are.

The first handful of apps you'll see below are called live TV streaming services, or “skinny bundles.” These are pay TV services that offer live network channels (the ones you already know from cable and satellite). So what's the difference between a live TV streaming service and cable? Well, live TV streaming services stream over the internet, of course. And – perhaps more importantly – they tend to be a whole lot cheaper than cable. That's in part because they trim the fat on cable's notoriously bulky bundles, which has earned this group of services that “skinny bundles” nickname.

We'll also cover a few standalone apps, including apps that offer live TV from single channels. After that, we'll tackle sports league streaming services, which also merit a quick explanation here.

League streaming services allow you to subscribe to a service that offers live games in your favorite sports league. The catch is that these services (usually) don't cover games that would normally air on TV in your area. That means no playoffs, no nationally broadcast games, and no local teams. For out-of-market fans, though, these services are wonderful.

That's enough of an introduction – let's learn how to watch live TV on Android!

Stream live TV on Android with DIRECTV Stream

See Offer

DIRECTV Stream is a live TV streaming service that's a cost-effective solution to watch live TV on Android.

Stream live TV on Android for free with Philo

Free Trial

Ultra-affordable live TV streaming service Philo offers a lot of great channels. Though it omits sports and local networks by design, it includes channels focused on everything from music to history. There's plenty to watch here, and you can watch it all on Android devices. You can even do so for free (for a little while, anyway) by using the link in this section to sign up for Philo's free trial offer.

Stream live TV on Android for free with Hulu

Free Trial

Hulu + Live TV is a skinny bundle from Hulu, a brand that is already well-known and well-respected for its streaming chops. Hulu's on-demand streaming service has long been a hit with cord cutters, and comparatively new live TV streaming service is doing quite well, too. You can read our review of Hulu + Live TV if you want to know more — or you can use the service's week-long free trial to check things out for yourself.

Stream live TV on Android for free with fuboTV

Free Trial

fuboTV is a live TV streaming service that was built with sports fans in mind. It has more than just sports, of course — fuboTV's channel selection covers everything from home improvement to horror — but there's definitely an additional appeal here for fans of sporting events, particularly European soccer. For more, read our fuboTV review or just start streaming live TV on Android by clicking the link in this section and signing up for fuboTV's free trial offer.

Stream live TV on Android with Sling TV

Try It

Sling TV is the most customizable of the skinny bundles. With this service, you build your own bundle: You start with one (or both) of Sling TV's base bundles and then add your choice of add-on bundles. Sling TV's add-on bundles offer a handful of similar channels each for a few more bucks each. Sling TV makes it easy to design a custom skinny bundle and create an extremely cost-efficient way to watch live TV on Android.

Stream live TV on Android with ESPN+

Try It

YouTube TV

YouTube TV is Google's take on the skinny bundle, so it only makes sense that it would play nice with Google's own Android mobile operating system. YouTube TV offers great content discovery features and smooth streaming of a solid selection of live television channels. It also offers a free trial.

CBS All Access

CBS All Access is CBS's standalone streaming service. It features a ton of on-demand content from CBS. More importantly, for our purposes, it offers a live stream of CBS — but only in select markets, unfortunately. If you are in one of the participating markets, though, CBS All Access makes a great way to watch live TV on Android.


MLB.TV is a league streaming service, which means you'll get live broadcasts of regular-season games that aren't airing on pay TV services in your region. MLB.TV is a fantastic service that offers all kinds of cool perks, including the ability to sync live game radio broadcasts to live game TV footage. It's a great solution for MLB fans who want their live TV on Android to come with a baseball focus.

NBA League Pass

NBA League Pass is the league streaming service that will appeal most to fans of pro basketball. This streaming service offers live regular-season NBA basketball games that are not airing on TV in your local market. The NBA has a pretty impressive set of deals with cable channels, so the blackout rule can be a bit rough with this one, but it's a solid service.


The NHL has a league streaming service, too. It's called NHL.TV, though we reviewed it back when it was called NHL GameCenter Live (why did they ever drop such a catchy name?). NHL.TV is pretty standard as league streaming services go: you'll get live regular-season NHL games, but games airing on TV in your region will be blacked out on the service.

2 thoughts on “How to Watch Live TV on Android

  1. Terry Peck says:

    I am going nuts without tv service in a rural area. My limited income makes it impossible to afford satillite or cable. Can’t wait to try. Thank you for the article.

  2. Louise says:

    I am still is confusedthere an Android tv orthe mi box. Do I need a smart tv for the mi Box. Will I be hooked up to any thing that I have to pay far.whats the difference in a fire stick and a mi box. On will I just need internet.

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