How to watch CNN without cable in 2023

Owned by: WarnerMedia
CNN+ option? Coming soon
Dedicated app/website? Yes

You can watch CNN without a cable or a satellite TV subscription on a handful of streaming services. Specifically, Hulu Live, DIRECTV Stream and Sling TV all carry it. Tubi is the only free way to stream CNN. Read on for all the details...

Note: For all sections below, a checkmark denotes our recommendation for that particular plan, feature or category.

Streaming services with CNN

3 different pay services and 1 free option

From Anderson Cooper 360° to the best election coverage on TV, CNN is a must-have for even the occassional news watcher. Since CNN is considered basic pay cable, it's nearly impossible to find for free (other than Tubi). They have a solid app and website and subscription to any of the services on this page give you access to all their features (simply find the provider during sign-up and enter your login). The big upside with the app/website is, in addition to the live feed, you can watch a ton of on-demand political clips or interviews whenever you want.

CNN on Hulu Live

Hulu Live with CNN

Hulu used to be just an on-demand service but now you can stream a bunch of live channels, including CNN. Hulu with live TV gives you a total of 75 channels for $69.99/mo, no contracts or extra fees involved. The rest of the channel lineup is pretty solid and, in our opinion, gives you the best value on this list. Sports-wise, in addition to regional sports networks, you also get ESPN, CBS Sports Network, FS1 and the NFL Network.

Price /mo
Hulu with Live TV
Free Disney+ & ESPN+


  • Solid mix of 75 high-demand channels
  • Simultaneous connections: 2
  • 50 hours of Hulu cloud DVR
  • Access to huge Hulu on-demand library
  • Disney+ and ESPN+ included free


  • More expensive than other options with CNN

Overall, Hulu live brings a ton to the table and with the recent addition of ESPN+ and Disney+ included for free, there's a lot to like for folks looking for a full replacement to cable. At $69.99/mo, it's not the cheapest way to watch CNN but if you want a bunch of live AND on-demand options, look no further.


DIRECTV Stream with CNN

The revamped version of AT&T TV, DIRECTV Stream is the lightweight alternative to the DIRECTV satellite TV service. CNN is part of the Entertainment package and above. With DIRECTV Stream, there are no equipment or installation issues, so setup is a breeze. And as with most of the providers on this page, you can watch via any streaming device you'd like (Fire TV, Roku, iPad/iPhone, Chromecast, etc). There are also no contracts so cancel anytime it's no longer a good fit.

Price /mo
HBO Max free for 3 mths


  • Full suite of local channels
  • Unlimited cloud DVR storage
  • Simultaneous connections: 3
  • Fast-forward through commercials
  • Multiple recordings at one time
  • Hey Google voice remote


  • Extra taxes on top of prices above

Overall, there's plenty to like about the relatively new DIRECTV Stream. Its DVR tech is cutting edge and the user experience is top notch. Not surprisingly, these plans are the closest to mainstream cable or satellite TV. The big difference here is the lack of a contract. You're able to cancel anytime, no fees or penalties apply. New customers can even cancel anytime within the first 14 days and receive a full refund, so plenty of time to give the service a whirl.

CNN on Sling TV

Sling TV with CNN

Owned by DISH satellite TV, Sling TV is a streamlined and inexpensive way to watch live TV. They conveniently break up their library into two different plans, Blue and Orange. They're each priced at $35/mo. Orange is the one with CNN, along with TNT, ESPN, etc (total of 32 channels). The Blue plan has 42 channels but not any Disney properties (ESPN, ESPN 2, Disney, etc). You can combine both plans (50 channels) for $50/mo, all fees included.

Price /mo
3-day free trial
3-day free trial


  • Cheapest pay service with CNN
  • 50 hours of DVR storage
  • Device streams: 1 (Orange); 3 (Blue)
  • No long-term contracts
  • Good set of add-on plans


  • The plan w/ CNN (Orange) only allows one device stream
  • Limited local channel coverage (only FOX and NBC)

Overall, Sling is the least expensive way to live stream CNN. There are trade-offs though. Local channels are restricted to FOX and NBC and only available to folks in major markets. Otherwise, you'll need to buy an HD antenna and integrate it with Sling. The other downside is the Orange plan (which includes CNN) only allows one simultaneous stream at a time. So, if multiple people will use the service, consider upgrading to the Sling + Orange combined plan ($50/mo).

How to watch CNN for free (Tubi)

As of this writing, the only place we've found that has a live stream of CNN for free is Tubi. Owned by FOX and like all the channels on the free platform, it's ad-supported. So, you'll need to sit through a fair share of commercials but, hey, can't beat free. The main downside here is there isn't a way to record via Tubi so if you're used to catching up on CNN on your time, this option may not work for you. Either way, Tubi is a great way to find niche or older content (popular shows are often setup as dedicated channels airing 24/7). 30+ million subscribers can't be wrong. Check out Tubi here.

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