ABC is a local broadcast channel that is available on six live TV streaming services.
You can watch ABC without cable on:
There are five other ways to watch ABC shows or live sports. You can get a local ABC channel for free using a TV antenna. Some ABC sports can also be streamed live on the ESPN app through ESPN3.
Hulu on-demand is an affordable way to stream ABC shows. Select episodes are free to stream on the ABC app and website.
ABC (American Broadcasting Company) is a key network for watching live NBA basketball, The Oscars, college football, and network TV shows.
Thanks to a wave of cord cutting, and the ongoing revival of TV antennas, there are many ways to watch ABC live without a cable TV provider.
How to Watch ABC Live for free: TV Antenna
Let’s quickly cover how to watch ABC for free without any kind of streaming service.
Using a TV antenna is the least expensive way to watch ABC live in High Definition. Local channels such as NBC, CBS, FOX, PBS and Telemundo are free through a TV antenna.
People living within 30 to 40 miles of local broadcast towers have an excellent shot at getting local broadcast channels, including your local ABC affiliate, with a quality TV antenna.
You can use the free tool at AntennasDirect to see whether ABC is available in your area. Local channels broadcast digital signals in 1080i or 720p, which is High Definition.
If you are new to TV antennas, here is a list of resources that I have written to get you started.
- How to Choose the Best TV Antenna and OTA DVR
- How to Connect Multiple TVs to One Antenna
- Review: The Best Indoor TV Antennas
- Review: The Best Outdoor TV Antennas
How to Watch ABC Live on Roku, Fire TV or Smart TV Without Cable
There are a number of live TV streaming services that are similar to cable TV subscriptions.
These services are used by cord-cutters to watch local channels and popular cable channels, including AMC, A&E and ESPN.
To get started, you just need an Internet connection. Once you get a free trial of a live TV streaming service, download the app to your Smart TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast or Apple TV. Gamers can use live TV streaming services on Xbox and PlayStation consoles.
You can easily cancel a streaming service online, and jump to a competing service whenever you want. Some cord-cutters even jump from platform to platform throughout the year just to catch certain shows.
Here’s a quick look at each of these services.
Hulu Live TV
Hulu Live TV has more than 75 live TV channels, including ESPN, A&E, MSNBC, History, TBS, and TNT.
Bravo, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, SyFy, Telemundo and USA Network are among the entertainment channels on Hulu.
You can watch live TV on up to two screens at once. Subscribers get more than just live TV channels to watch. You’ll also have full access to ESPN+, Disney+ and Hulu’s on-demand library.
Hulu with Live TV comes with unlimited Cloud DVR storage so you can record sports, news, movies or whatever else you want.
A subscription costs $69.99 per month.
Hulu’s channel lineup also has local NBC, ABC and FOX stations across the U.S. You can look over the channel lineup of Hulu with Live TV to see if it’s a good fit.
fuboTV carries local ABC stations, ESPN, FX, CNBC and key sports networks as part of a Pro channel lineup. The Pro plan has 152 channels.
ACC Network, Big Ten Network, SEC Network, FS1, NBC Sports and Golf Channel are included in the standard channel package. AMC, HGTV, Food Network, Freeform, History and Investigation Discovery are some of the entertainment channels.
You can watch live TV on three screens at once.
Subscribers get 1,000 hours of Cloud DVR, and the ability to activate more than 40 apps for channels that are in your lineup. Fubo works on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, iOS and Android smartphones.
A subscription costs $74.99 per month. fuboTV has a library of on-demand movies, and TV shows.
fuboTV works on Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV and Android TV devices. There are mobile apps for iPhones, Android and you can watch on web browsers.
You can sign up for a free 7-day trial without obligation.
A DIRECTV STREAM subscription includes local ABC stations in its entry-level channel bundle.
The Entertainment plan has more than 75 channels for $74.99 per month. Subscribers can watch live TV on up to 20 screens at once.
ESPN, ESPN2 and FS1 are included in the channel lineup. Discovery, Lifetime, MSNBC and Paramount Network are among the entertainment channels. You get unlimited hours of Cloud DVR storage and 40,000 on-demand movies and shows.
Subscribers can get three months of Showtime, STARZ, Cinemax and EPIX for free before the monthly rates kick in.
You can sign up for a free 5-day trial without any obligations.
DIRECTV STREAM works on Roku, Android TV, Fire TV devices, Apple TV and smartphones and tablets. Subscriptions run month to month and so you can cancel whenever you want.
You can look over the different channel lineups before deciding whether to sign up.
Vidgo carries local ABC stations as part of its 110 channel live TV lineup. A&E, ESPN, History channel and Science Channel are part of the channel lineup.
Subscribers can stream on up to three devices at once. Vidgo has apps on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Android TV devices such as Google Chromecast. You can watch live TV on three screens at once.
A Vidgo subscription costs $64.95 per month. You can look over the channel lineup before deciding whether to sign up.
Sling TV added 8 local ABC stations as part of the Blue channel bundle on March 1.
The ABC stations are:
- WLS in Chicago
- KFSN in Fresno, Calif.
- KTRK in Houston, Texas
- KABC in Los Angeles
- WABC in New York
- WPVI in Philadelphia
- WTVD in Raleigh-Durham
- KGO in the San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose
If you live in or around one of those cities, then you should be able to stream ABC through Sling Blue.
Sling Blue costs $40 per month. Customers in Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and San Francisco will pay $5 more per month. Those five markets also have local NBC and FOX stations.
You will get NFL Network, A&E, and MTV as part of the Sling Blue channel lineup.
Sling TV offers 50 hours of free Cloud DVR to all subscribers. All Sling Blue subscribers can watch live TV on three screens at once. Sling TV works on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and Apple TV (4th generation).
When you sign up for Sling TV, there are no contracts, or extra fees like cable TV. If you prepay for a brief subscription, you can get a free streaming device.
YouTube TV has 128 channels for $64.99 per month, and you’ll be able to watch ABC live.
Subscribers get local ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX stations. The channel lineup includes ESPN, Oxygen Network, USA Network, Comedy Central, FOX News, CNN, and Telemundo.
You can watch TV or on-demand content on up to three screens at once. You can add on premium channels such as HBO Max to the base plan. Customers get unlimited Cloud DVR and an on-demand library of ABC shows.
There are YouTube TV apps for Roku, Apple TV and a mobile app for Chromecast. You can stream on up to two devices at once.
YouTube TV also has channels like CNN, FS1, FS2, Sundance TV and TBS. You can try out YouTube TV with a free 7-day trial.
How to Stream ABC sports live on ESPN3/ESPN app
If you don’t have ABC in your channel lineup, you can still watch ABC sports live on ESPN3 or the ESPN app. ESPN and ABC are part of The Walt Disney Company.
Subscribers to Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV can activate the ESPN app and watch live sports airing on ABC.
If you don’t already have the ESPN app, you can download it from wherever you get apps for your device (e.g. The Roku Channel Store has the ESPN app for free for all Roku devices.)
Can I stream shows on the ABC app?
The ABC app and website has select episodes available to stream for free. But you need a participating TV provider or streaming service to watch a full season of an ABC show.
What ABC shows can I stream?
Hulu on-demand is an affordable way to stream full episodes of your favorite ABC shows without cable or satellite service.
The ad-supported plan costs $7.99 per month, and works on nearly every major streaming device including Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast. Hulu is supported on a number of Smart TVs as well.
Subscribers won’t be able to live stream ABC stations, but you can watch ABC News Live, and ABC World News Tonight.
Hulu has a 30-day free trial without any obligations.
You can get bundle Hulu with Disney+ (ad supported) for $9.99 per month. The Disney Trio bundle has Hulu, Disney+ and ESPN+ for $12.99 per month.
If you’re wondering what ABC shows you can watch, here’s a list of the most popular shows currently airing.
- Abbott Elementary
- Alaska Daily
- American Idol
- The Bachelorette
- The Chew
- Designated Survivor
- Fresh Off the Boat
- General Hospital
- The Good Doctor
- Grey’s Anatomy
- How to Get Away With Murder
- Jimmy Kimmel Live!
- Kevin (Probably) Saves the World
- Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
- The Middle
- Modern Family
- NBA Basketball
- NCAA College Basketball
- The Company You Keep
- The Oscars
- Shark Tank
What’s the best way to watch ABC without cable?
Hulu Live TV is currently the best deal for watching ABC live without a cable subscription. The live TV service has more than 75 live TV channels, and includes ad-supported subscriptions to Disney+ and ESPN+.
A subscription costs $69.99 per month. Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast with Google TV and select Samsung Smart TVs.
You can look over the channel lineup before deciding whether to sign up.
For more news on streaming, how-to guides and reviews, head over to the main page of The Cord Cutting Report or follow the CCR on Google News.
This article was published March 4, 2018, and has been updated to reflect new pricing.
Founder and Editor of The Cord Cutting Report. Before launching the site in 2016, he worked for more than two decades as a staff writer or correspondent for a number of daily newspapers, including The Boston Globe. His enthusiasm for tech began with the Atari 2600. Follow @james_kimble
Philip Parlante says
Time to drop You Tube streaming….
Susan Marie Ambrosino says
I am outside of Philadelphia and i have a digital antenna-but ABC just simply doesn’t come in at all! I can get CBS, NBC, PHL17,FOX,CW,ION&ION PLUS and so on…but ABC DOES NOT WORK ! It really stinks
Therese S. says
I don’t know why I would bother with Hulu Live TV, cable is cheaper. The whole point of cord cutting is to save money, not spend more!!!
Kathleen D Quigley says
First of all, you can only stream ABC online (or through Youtube TV, Hulu, Sling, etc.) if you are in one of a very small number of metropolitan areas. Last year, I knocked myself out on Oscars night trying to stream before figuring out that ABC had it locked down tight: you are not gonna live-stream if you’re outside Chicago, Fresno, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Raleigh-Durham or San Francisco.
I even tried changing my location, but YouTube TV is smart: you have to use your mobile device to show that you are where you say you are. The others use your internet connection and credit card zip code. I’m not saying it’s impossible to change those, but it is a lot harder than you imply here.
I think you mean to simply say that you can later watch TV shows online. That’s true. But watching live outside of the eight urban areas means paying for it or getting an antenna.