How to stream TBS without cable in 2022

KEY FACTS
Owned by: Warner Bros Discovery
TBS+ option? No
Dedicated app/website? Yes

You can stream TBS (aka Turner Broadcasting System) without a cable or a satellite subscription on a few different recommended streaming services. Specifically, Hulu Live, DIRECTV Stream and Sling TV all include TBS. You'll get different upside and plan options with each provider -- read on for all the details to figure out which may be a good fit for you...

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

Streaming services with TBS

3 different recommended services

The first true basic cable channel, TBS launched in the late 1970s and revolutionized the industry. It was originally known for its nationwide coverage of the Atlanta Braves and Atlanta Hawks (the first time sports fans were given TV access to teams outside their area). In the 2000s, it shifted focus to comedy, both scripted and reality-based. Available on all cable plans and a much smaller percentage on streamiing, TBS is the godfather to TNT and a set of other Turner properties.

With respect to streaming TV, it's generally less available because TBS usually comes as a package deal with all Turner channels. So, it might be outside the spending budget for smaller providers or their lower-tier packages. For the ones that do include it, we typically recommend the short list below.

TBS on Hulu Live

Hulu Live with TBS

TBS is a part of the Hulu + Live TV plan. For $69.99/mo, you get regular Hulu plus access to over 75 live channels (no cable needed). You also get access to the live channel guide and can record an unlimited amount of live TV via their cloud DVR. All Hulu Live TV plans also include Disney+ and ESPN+ for free (well, their cost is baked into the package price but you will save about $8/mo versus paying for them separately)..

With regard to ads, for an extra $6/mo, you can upgrade to the ad-free version which removes all commercials from the Hulu streaming library (which is different than live TV, where TBS is). The ads there aren't excessive but if you get easily annoyed by forced ads, it's probably worth it. Other Turner family channels found in Hulu are: TNT, CNN, Animal Planet, Food Network, TruTV, TCM and more.

Plan
Channels
Price
Bonus
Hulu + Live TV
75
$69.99/mo
Free Disney+ & ESPN+
Hulu + Live TV (no ads)
75
$75.99/mo
Free Disney+ & ESPN+ and no streaming library ads

Features

  • 75 live channels rival cable
  • 2 simultaneous connections
  • Unlimited Hulu cloud DVR
  • Massive Hulu on-demand library
  • Disney+ and ESPN+ included free

Cons

  • More expensive than other options with TBS

Overall, Hulu is a leading streaming provider for good reason. It combines the original, extensive Hulu library (thousands of titles) with a smart and value-rich live TV upgrade. TBS is only available on live TV so you'll need to pay at least $69.99/mo for the privilege. Considering it also includes most of the other Turner channels and matches traditional cable/satellite lineups, it sure is tempting to give it a try.

TBS on DIRECTV Stream

DIRECTV Stream with TBS

TBS is available on all four DIRECTV Stream plans. Their lowest-priced package is Entertainment. It includes over 65 channels for $54.99/mo. It gives you all the basics with no frills or big extras. DIRECTV Stream's primary advantage over Hulu and most other streaming services is access to regional sports networks. Their second plan, Choice (90 channels, $74.99/mo), is the first that gives you access to all that local sports. Depending on your zip code, regional sports can include: Bally Sports, AT&T SportsNet and ROOT Sports (East-coasters may also get YES, MSG, NESN and MASN).

With respect to other channels in the Turner family, there are plenty. The Entertainment plan gets you TNT, CNN, CNNi, Animal Planet, Food Network, TruTV, TCM and more. A solid set of family and news options. As far as overall price goes, for a limited time, DIRECTV Stream has a promo active that saves you $30 over your first two months. Thereafter, regular prices kick in. There's no contract involved with the service so you're free to cancel anytime. A 5-day, unrestricted free trial lets you kick the tires before getting charged.

Plan
Channels
Price
Bonus
Entertainment
65
$54.99 $69.99 /mo
Save $30 first 2 months
Choice
90
$74.99 $84.99 /mo
Save $30 first 2 months
HBO Max free for 3 mths

Features

  • Full suite of local channels (varies by zip)
  • Most regional sports of any streaming provider
  • Unlimited cloud DVR storage
  • Simultaneous connections: 3
  • Fast-forward through commercials
  • Multiple recordings at one time

Cons

  • Extra taxes on top of prices above

If you follow any local sports team on Bally Sports, AT&T SportsNet or ROOT, DIRECTV Stream is your best bet. Since it piggybacks off of DIRECTV satellite's line-up, Stream gives subscribers heavy access to the relationships DIRECTV has cultivated with regional broadcasters. Other than sports, it has very comprehensive channel optons, even in its basic plan (Entertainment). So, if you're looking for a full channel lineup and/or watch a fair amount of sports, give DIRECTV Stream a serious look.

TBS on Sling TV

Sling TV with TBS

Sling TV is the leanest provider on this list -- that is, their smallest plan (Orange) only gets you 31 channels, but you also pay just $35/mo. The Orange package is good for NBA (TNT, ESPN) and other family programing. Their second package, Blue, has 41 channels also for $35/mo. It's missing the entire ESPN family but includes other entertainment/news channels not found in Orange: TLC, USA, MSNBC, NFL Network and more. TBS is found in both plans. Finally, you also have the option of combining Blue and Orange for $50/mo. Whichever you choose, Sling offers a 3-day trial to test the waters before you commit.

With regard to the other Turner channels, you'll get TNT, CNN, Food Network and TruTV (the latter just in Blue). Notably absent from all plans are Animal Planet and TCM (Turner Classic Movies).

Plan
Channels
Price
Bonus
Orange
31
$35/mo
3-day free trial
Blue
41
$35/mo
3-day free trial
Orange + Blue
50
$50/mo
3-day free trial

Features

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

Cons

  • Limited local channel coverage (only FOX and NBC)

Overall, Sling is simple and straight-forward. It doesn't have the traditionally large channel lineups and its lower costs reflect that. However, the smaller plans also sacrifice plenty of the regional and movie coverage found in Hulu Live and DIRECTV Stream. So, aside from cost, it really comes down to which channels are your must-haves. All the Sling plans carry TBS -- check. If most or all of your rest are in Sling (or you can supplement them elsewhere), it's definitely a cost-effective solution. However, if you tend to channel surf a lot or just need more options, consider Hulu or DTV Stream.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I generally pay more to stream TBS?

Not really. Nearly every streaming plan that carries TBS also includes at least a few of its sister channels. Turner Inc. tends to offer licensing discounts to providers for each additional channel ordered. So, the cost for just TBS is fairly negligible.

Why aren't more providers listed here?

A few other reputable streaming providers also include TBS but our recommendations are based on the average household. So, super small plans won't work and incredibly expensive ones are out too. Finally, we constantly monitor the cost-to-channel value proposition mixed with current deals. As of our latest update, these providers made the cut.

Why can't I just get TBS by itself?

There's no current TBS+ plan or app... or any plans for one. Most likely, just isn't deemed profitable enough. CNN+ recently launched and was shut down weeks later so don't expect a TBS+ option to get greenlit anytime soon.

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