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iOS is everywhere. It's the operating system that powers your iPhone or iPad, and it makes a fantastic streaming platform, too – which is what we're here to discuss today. iOS devices are just as great for streaming local content as they are for streaming Netflix. But how can you get local channels on an iPhone or iPad? That's what we're here to explain. Below, we'll lay out how to watch local channels on iOS, including online streaming options and even some creative solutions involving free over-the-air TV.

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

  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 iOS

There are a lot of great ways to watch local channels on iOS devices like iPhones and iPads. A good number of them, though, fall under the same category: that of the live TV streaming service, or “skinny bundle.” So let's talk about that that means.

Live TV streaming services are exactly what they sound like: pay TV services that offer bundles of live network television channels online. These bundles are often less bulky and inefficient than cable's offerings (hence “skinny bundles”), though, and the online delivery means you can watch live network television – and local channels – on iPhones and iPods, among many other devices.

The local and regional channels offered by these services include local feeds of the major networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC) and regional sports networks. The catch is that coverage will vary by region, so you'll need to take a look at the fine print – or just sign up for a free trial – to see if you can really use a given live TV streaming service to watch local channels on iOS devices.

Stream local channels for free with Hulu

Free Trial

Hulu + Live TV is a great way to get local channels on iPhones and iPads. This live TV offering from on-demand giant Hulu is one of the best live TV streaming services on the market, and it includes access to local major network affiliates and regional sports networks in select markets. Read our Hulu + Live TV review to learn more, or just sign up for the service's free trial and investigate it on your own.

Stream local channels on iOS for free with fuboTV

Free Trial

fuboTV was built with sports fans in mind, so its regional sports network coverage is pretty solid. fuboTV also has local major network coverage in many markets. To learn more about fuboTV, read our fuboTV review or just sign up for the free trial via the link below.


AT&T TV Now offers major networks in many markets, making it a great way to watch local channels on iOS. To learn more about this strong skinny bundle option, check out our AT&T TV Now review — or just sign up for the service's free trial and figure things out yourself!

YouTube TV

YouTube TV is Google's skinny bundle service, but never fear: it plays nice with Apple's hardware and mobile operating system. YouTube TV is a great way to watch live TV, including local channels, on iOS and other devices. YouTube TV offers a free trial to new customers.

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

Okay, so you're not about to plug an antenna into your iPad or iPhone. But that doesn't mean that you can't use an antenna to watch local channels on iPads and iPhones. There are a few different ways to convert over-the-air broadcasts into streaming content you watch watch on your mobile devices. Let's go over a couple.

First, there are OTA DVRs, which work similarly to cable DVRs but are designed to work with antennas. These devices will allow you to record live TV and then play your recordings – or live TV – through an app on your streaming device. That means you can just get an OTA DVR (and antenna), set things up and download the right app, and proceed to watch local channels on iOS (among other platforms). Easy!

You can also use Plex, the media server app that offers live TV and DVR features. Connect an antenna to the device you're running Plex on (for instance, you could use a computer and a PC TV tuner), fire up the Plex app, and enjoy local channels on iOS. You'll need Plex's premium subscription plan, Plex Pass, to do this.

CBS All Access

CBS has a streaming service all its own: CBS All Access. In addition to on-demand content, CBS All Access offers live CBS broadcasts in select markets. And since it has an app for iOS, this makes CBS All Access a great way to get local channels on iPhones and iPads (or, at least, it's a great way to get one local channel!). To see if you can watch local TV on iOS with CBS All Access, check the service's website or simple click the link below to sign up for a free trial.


NewsON is a streaming service that specializes in local broadcasts – in particular, local news. Download the app on your iPad or iPhone and you'll soon be watching news on local channels on iOS. You can choose from a bunch of participating local stations, so it's worth checking to see if your region has any good options on the app.

One thought on “How to Watch Local Channels on iOS

  1. L. Jeffers says:

    I plan to enter the world of cord cutting in July (2-year subscription ends). I have a lot of trees around my house and the city dump runs behind my house. When I had DirecTV, the antenna was on my roof. I’m assuming that I will need a multi-directional outdoor antenna. Could you please share info on the best ones for my situation? I’m also considering the Roku for streaming. I have been told that each TV in my house (total of 3) will need a device. Is this true? Which Roku is best? #1 (family room) is 7 yr old Samsung 1080ptv, #2 (bedroom) is a smart TV and #3 will be a brand new Vizio, Samsung or best picture/deal. Is it possible to run the antenna to all rooms using the coax cable already setup from precious DirecTV, Fios and Cox cable? As far as internet, which works better for cord cutting: Fios or cable? I’m in the VA. Lastly, I am asking for guidance on purchasing my own router/modem. I currently rent from Cox and my landline comes through their digital modem. Thank you in advance for all your assistance!

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