The 6 Best Legal Streaming Services With Local Channels

You’re not alone if you don’t want to pay for cable. Even though cable used to be commonplace in homes worldwide, it has become less in-demand as streaming services have grown in popularity and started catering to people’s love for immediate gratification.

But what if you miss the local channels you used to get live through cable? Luckily, for those who still want to stay up to date with local news, weather updates, and sports, some streaming services let you easily access local channels.

Hulu + Live TV Logo
Image Credit: Hulu

Hulu + Live TV is an awesome option if you want a mixture of live content from local channels and on-demand content that’s ready to stream at any time. With this paid plan from Hulu, there are over 75 live national TV channels for you to browse as well as local and regional channels close to home.

In most cities across the United States, you can view your local news, weather forecasts, and sports games on ABC, CBS, CW, FOX, NBC, and Telemundo affiliates. If you’re curious about which channels you’d receive in your city, you can go to the Live TV page on Hulu’s website, click FAQ at the top of the window, and click the question, Can I watch local sports and news in my area.

After that, you just need to enter your zip code, and the site will tell you all the channels that’ll be available to you. A few popular national channels available include USA, Disney Channel, Lifetime, Discovery, National Geographic, and ESPN.

There are two Hulu + Live TV plans to choose from, but the only difference is whether you see ads on Hulu’s streamed content. For $69.99/month, you’ll get Hulu with limited ads + Live TV, Disney+, and ESPN+. Or, you could spend $75.99/month and get all the same stuff but see no ads on your Hulu on-demand content. There’s a 7-day free trial to test it out.


YouTube on two phones.

YouTube offers many subscription services on its platform, including YouTube Premium and YouTube TV. But if you’re looking to replace your cable bill with something slightly cheaper, YouTube TV is a great choice. You’ll get access to local affiliates for all major networks, like ABC, FOX, CBS, and NBC. Although coverage is limited when it comes to local affiliates for The CW and Telemundo, they are still available on the platform.

In addition to local channels, you’ll also have access to a wide variety of other major channels like HGTV, Food Network, CNN, Nickelodeon, and more. Plus, you can record your favorite shows with unlimited DVR space and view on-demand content.

You can test out YouTube TV for free for seven days to see if the local channels offered are what you’re looking for. After that free trial, YouTube TV costs $64.99/month.

Sling TV is good value for your money if you’re after local channels but are on a budget. With its Sling Blue plan for $35/month, Sling TV is the most affordable way to view your local news, the weather, and sports. However, you can only view local affiliates for FOX and NBC in select markets; The service doesn’t offer ABC, CBS, Telemundo, or The CW.

Additionally, you’ll also get quite a few other channels with the Sling Blue plan, like AMC, BBC America, Cartoon Network, TLC, Lifetime, and USA. Or, if you pay $50/month for the Sling Orange & Blue plan, you’ll also have access to Freeform, ESPN channels, and The Disney Channel.

screenshot of fubotv home page

With fuboTV, you can access local affiliates for major networks, like ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC, with its Pro plan at $69.99/month. You also get 115 channels with over 100 sporting events, 1000 hours of space on a cloud DVR, and up to 10 screens.

If you upgrade to the Elite plan, you’ll get a total of 171 channels with over 130 events in 4K. These extra 56 channels are made up of the fubo Extra and News Plus add-ons available to purchase separately. The Elite plan is $79.99/month, but you can just get the fubo Extra add-on for $7.99/month or the News Plus add-on for $2.99/month.

However, what everyone knows about fuboTV is that it focuses on sports. For an extra $10.99/month, you gain access to the Sports Plus add-on, with channels like NFL RedZone, NCAA TV, MLB, and ESPNews.

AT&T TV DIRECTV Stream home page

DirecTV Stream is a nice combination of local channels, national channels, and on-demand content.

To see which local channels are available in your specific area, DirecTV has a lookup tool on its channel lineup page. You can click regional sports & local and then type in your zip code and see a list of local channels and regional sports networks. In most urban areas, you’ll likely have access to local affiliates for NBC, PBS, ABC, FOX, Telemundo, and CBS.

After a 5-day free trial, DirecTV Stream’s basic Entertainment package costs $69.99/month. You’ll have access to over 65 channels in total and over 40,000 on-demand titles to stream at a moment’s notice. If you want access to regional sports channels, you’ll need to upgrade to the Choice plan, which costs $89.99/month.

paramount plus everything you need to know

One of the things you should know about Paramount+ is that you can only view your local CBS station live if you’re paying for the Premium plan. Because the company owns CBS, it makes sense that you can only view CBS affiliates live.

You can pay for the Premium plan in two different ways. You can pay $9.99/month or save some money and pay $99.99/year. And of course, in addition to your local CBS channels, you’ll also be able to view all the other amazing content Paramount+ offers, including shows and movies from Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, and more.

Other Ways to Stream Local Channels

If you already have one of these awesome streaming services in your monthly bill rotation, that’s a great way to access local news, the weather, and sports. But if you don’t pay for many subscriptions because you’re trying to keep costs down, free streaming services are still available.

And you can check out the websites of major networks like CBS, FOX, NBC, and ABC. Often, you can view a live feed from the websites of major networks and sometimes the corresponding mobile apps. If you’re after a real-time update on what’s going on in your area, this is another great way to do so.

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