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You know how to use your Apple TV to watch movies and TV shows through on-demand services like Netflix. But do you know how to watch local channels on Apple TV? As it turns out, Apple's popular streaming box is just as good at showing you local news broadcast and regional sports networks (RSNs) as it is at streaming movies on demand. All you have to do is decide how you're going to get local channels on your Apple TV — and we're going to make that easy by showing you your options below.

Here are a few of our favorite ways to stream local channels on Apple TV:

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

See Offer

$54.99 – $86.96 100+ 7 days

See Offer

How to Watch Local Channels on Apple TV

One of the best ways to get local channels for free is to use an over-the-air antenna. But those plug right into your TV, right? So they're not for use with the Apple TV — are they?

Actually, you can use an antenna to get local channels on Apple TV, albeit with the help of some other devices. We'll show you how below. But there are also ways to stream local channels online with your Apple TV.

The streaming services that help you get local channels on Apple TV have a few things in common, so let's take a moment to talk about them all together before we list them out. The first few items on our list of ways to watch local channels on Apple TV are all what we call “live TV streaming services” or “skinny bundles.” They're pay TV services that work similarly to cable and satellite, except that they're more affordable and, in many cases, offer slimmed-down channel bundles. And they stream over the internet, which means you can watch them on your computer, your phone, or — yes — your Apple TV.

Most major skinny bundles offer live local feeds of some or all of the major networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC). Keep in mind, however, that such feeds are available in select markets only. You're likely to be covered, but double check or use a free trial to be sure that you're getting all of the channels that you think you are.

And there are still more ways besides these to get local channels on Apple TV, so read on!

Stream local channels on Apple TV for free with Hulu

Free Trial

Already well-known for its on-demand content, Hulu is also a great way to watch local channels on Apple TV, thanks to their Hulu + Live TV service. Hulu + Live TV has deals with local affiliates of major networks as well as with many regional sports networks (RSNs), so those in eligible markets will have plenty of live local and regional TV to watch on Apple TV. You can read our review of Hulu + Live TV to learn more.

Stream local channels on Apple TV for free with fuboTV

Fre Trial

fuboTV has a flair for sports, so expect solid coverage of regional sports networks here. It also offers some local affiliates of major networks in eligible markets, making it a great way to watch both regional and local channels on Apple TV. You can read our review of fuboTV to learn more, or you can test it out for yourself by clicking on the link below.

AT&T TV Now

AT&T TV Now is a live TV streaming service owned by AT&T, and it makes a great way to get local channels on Apple TV. Eligible markets will get live feeds of major networks. AT&T TV Now also has some RSNs. You can read more about AT&T TV Now in our review.

YouTube TV

Google's skinny bundle option is another great way to watch live TV on Apple TV, including local channels. Despite the sometimes tense relationship between Google and Apple, this app plays nice with Apple TV. You'll get live local feeds (in select markets) of the major networks, plus some regional sports networks. Check out our YouTube TV review to learn more or sign up for the service's free trial offer.

Free over-the-air TV (with additional hardware)

The antenna you'll need in order to watch free over-the-air TV will plug directly into your TV, no streaming box required. But what if you want to use antenna to watch live local channels on Apple TV? You don't need an Apple TV in this equation, but it's nice to have all of your content in one place (and on one input on your TV). Well, good news: you can watch local channels on Apple TV using an antenna, as long as you get a little creative with it.

You could choose to connect your antenna to a OTA DVR instead of directly to your TV, for instance. OTA DVRs allow you to record live TV from your OTA antenna. You can then stream that recorded OTA content — and, with most such devices, live OTA content — using your OTA DVR's app on a device like your Apple TV.

Another option is to use a computer or other device to set up a Plex media server. Plex's premium version allows you to DVR over-the-air content, which you can provide your server with by attaching an antenna (you'll need a TV tuner to do that, but there are plenty of affordable USB PC TV tuners out there). Plex's cloud DVR feature will then allow you to watch stream live and recorded OTA onto supported devices running the Plex app. Apple TV is, happily, among the supported devices.

Stream local channels for free with CBS All Access

Free Trial

CBS is one of the major broadcast networks that has local affiliates all over the country. The network also has its own streaming service, called CBS All Access. CBS All Access is chock full of on-demand content from CBS's many nationally broadcast shows, but it also offers live streaming of your local CBS station – provided you're in one of the eligible markets. CBS All Access costs $5.99 per month after the free trial is up (you can pay more to banish ads, but that only helps you with the ads that play during on-demand content, not live TV, of course). Read our CBS All Access review. You can sign up for CBS All Access' free trial above.

13 thoughts on “How to Watch Local Channels on Apple TV

  1. Avatar Nathan says:

    AirTV (black box 2018) allows you to mount an indoor antenna where it can receive best possible reception, then transmit the OTA broadcast over your home network. Their free app for Apple TV displays the OTA broadcasts at home, as well as an app for IOS that allows iPad or iPhone to receive on the go. An update to Sling TV is due soon that will integrate the OTA signals from AirTV into the EPG guide in the paid service.

  2. Avatar DAG says:

    Use the free Locast app and watch for free!

    1. Avatar Roll-Tide says:

      Dude thank you so much!!!

    2. Avatar pw says:

      Unfortunately, my home state of Mississippi, is tan option

    3. Avatar Betty says:

      The only issue with locast is the commercials and it has to be restarted (hit play again after a little while unless you donate $5/month.

    4. Avatar Anita Parker says:

      Thank you!! Live streaming free local channels. Happy camper

    5. Avatar Danny says:

      Keeps showing wrong location when I try to stream

    6. Avatar Anonymous says:

      How do you you create an account? Keep trying but can’t get it to work???

    7. Avatar Eric VanDerEyken says:

      Is there way to use Locast if its not available in my area?

  3. Avatar Paul says:

    I have a Vizio tv that has no way for a antenna hookup, so will I need to buy Hulu or will a Apple TV work?

  4. Avatar Anonymous says:

    Locast is the worst. It won’t let you watch anything unless you donate. Unbelievable! To tell you the truth I prefer to pay for comcast, at least they ask for your money and they don’t advertise free local channels only to find out that you can’t watch anything after like 3 or 4 days.

  5. Avatar Milo Stot says:

    Doesn’t a simple OTA indoor antenna plug in directly to an Apple TV?

    1. Avatar Stephen Lovely says:

      Unfortunately, no

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