How to Watch Live TV and Local Channels on Fire TV Stick

Best Fire Stick apps for live TV Watching live TV on an Amazon Fire TV Stick …

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Best Fire Stick apps for live TV

Watching live TV on an Amazon Fire TV Stick or Fire TV Cube is getting a lot easier these days, even if you’re looking for local channels that you used to watch on cable. 

But the competition among streaming services is getting fierce. So how do you find the free, good stuff that you hoped for when you bought an Amazon Fire Stick or Fire TV Cube?

If you’re cutting the cord from cable TV, here are some of the best options that I used for watching live TV and local channels on a Fire Stick or Fire TV Cube.

All of these tips are completely legal. There’s no complicated downloading, jailbreaking or rooting process. You can start using most of them right away on your Fire Stick or Fire TV Cube. I’m sticking to free or lower-cost options for free live TV in this guide.

I have always advocated for sticking with legal ways to stream movies, TV shows and news. For anyone who claims that “nothing can happen to me” if I stream or download copyrighted materials, I say good luck with that. 

The truth is your Internet service provider can easily detect when you’re using a site to illegally download or watch material.

Just as I was getting ready to publish, four people were arrested in connection with selling so-called “jailbroken fire sticks“, a term sometimes associated with tapping into illegal streaming. You don’t need to do jailbreak anything to get the most out of your Fire TV Stick.

There’s actually plenty to watch on free apps, over-the-air TV and inexpensive streaming options. You just need to assess your needs and keep your budget in check.


One of the best apps to watch a local newscast is the NEWSON app. 

NewsON has access to 275 local TV stations in more than 165 markets. It formed in 2015 and it’s made up of all the companies that own the actual TV stations. 

NewsOn is a great resource, and you’re not restricted to just watching local newscasts; so for example, I can check out my local TV stations in Boston, but if I was curious about what was happening in upstate New York or Maine, I could switch over to those local nightly newscasts as well. That’s something you definitely can’t do with cable TV. 

Tubi: movies and live news

tubi is a free app known for its library of ad-supported movies and TV shows. 

But now it’s expanding into offering live and local news. Tubi is owned by FOX Corporation, so it’s using its news stations to cover 24 of the top 25 markets. You’re getting both live and pre-recorded shows. There’s NBC News Now, CBC for breaking news out of Canada and Euronews World. 

  • New York (WNYW-TV) 
  • Los Angeles (KTTV-TV) 
  • Chicago (WFLD-TV) 
  • Philadelphia (WTXF-TV)
  • Dallas (KDFW-TV)
  • San Francisco (KTVU-TV) 
  • Washington DC (WTTG-TV)
  • Houston (KRIV-TV)
  • Atlanta (WAGA-TV)
  • Phoenix (KSAZ-TV) 
  • Tampa (WTVT-TV)
  • Seattle (KCPQ-TV)
  • Detroit (WJBK-TV)
  • Minneapolis (KMSP-TV)
  • Orlando (WOFL-TV)
  • Milwaukee (WITI-TV)
  • Austin (KTBC-TV) 

There are more than just Fox-owned channels. NBC News NOW, the 24/7 streaming service from NBCNews is included in tubi’s roster of news channels. And WeatherNation, which to me, has a very similar vibe to the Weather Channel back in its early days. 

Haystack News

With Haystack News, you customize what you want in your newsfeed with your zip code and what kind of sources you want to draw from. 

Haystack has more than 300 local, national and international news streams, and it’s all free.  

To get the most out of Haystack, you should sign-in either with a Facebook or Google profile. Make sure you pick your local town or city you live in, and what local stations you want to see in your live stream. 


XUMO has a couple of killer music channels. I love the Stingray Quello channel because it has a lot of great concerts from acts that you’ve actually heard of. These are musicians you would gladly pay to go see in person.

Austin Music Live is like stepping into a small club.

So you’re going to see new, smaller acts that are trying to blow up. XUMO has lots of other live TV channels and on-demand movies. But just these two music channels alone make XUMO an app that you definitely want to add to your Fire Stick or Fire TV Cube. 

Sling TV and Philo are cheap cable replacements

There are about a half dozen live TV streaming services that offer huge channel lineups to replace your cable TV subscription.

Sling TV is one of the cheapest options around for live streaming television channels at $40 per month.

There are two core bundles you can choose from. Sling Orange has a little over 41 channels such as ESPN, AMC and A&E.

The other core bundle is Sling Blue, which has about 42 channels and costs $40 per month. 

Sling Blue has FX, FS1, FS2, both National Geographic channels and regional NBC Sports networks. The Blue bundle also offers local NBC and FOX in some markets.  

Sling TV recommends using their service in addition to a TV antenna.

One thing to be aware of is that ESPN is only on Sling Orange. Sling TV now gives you 50 hours of Cloud DVR on the house. That can get you by for a few TV shows.

Sling TV is built on the premise of offering smaller bundles, so budget-minded people have more control over cost and what channels are added to their subscription. 

Philo: Live TV, sans sports

If you don’t care about live sports, but need channels such as Hallmark or HGTV, Philo has 60 channels live TV — and it’s $25 per month. 

There is unlimited Cloud DVR and a huge-on demand library of movies and shows.

It’s the cheapest way to watch The Curse of Oak Island on the History Channel or Live Rescue on A&E. 

Activating TV apps on Fire Stick

Here’s a neat hack for activating TV apps on a Fire Stick.

If you’re paying for a live TV streaming service such as Philo or Sling TV, you can use your subscription to sign in to a lot of apps that you see on your streaming device. 

Each streaming service has a help page listing the TV Everywhere apps that it supports. 

So if you want to sign in to A&E, and you are subscribed to Philo, just choose Philo as your TV provider instead of Comcast, DIRECTV or whatever. 

Sometimes these apps are worth signing in to — not so much for on-demand content — but because they carry extra live streams of their channels that you won’t get within your live TV subscription. 

So now that I’ve shared with you a few ways to watch live TV and free local channels on a Fire Stick or Fire TV Cube, what options are you going to try out? Let me know in the comments below. 

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.

Jim Kimble is a seasoned industry expert with over two decades of journalism experience. He has been at the forefront of the cord-cutting movement since 2016, testing and writing about TV-related products and services. He founded The Cord Cutting Report in 2016, and serves as the editor.

Major publications, including MarketWatch, Forbes, and South Florida Sun Sentinel, have interviewed Kimble for his years of expertise. He gives advice on the complexities consumers are navigating with streaming options, and over-the-air TV. Kimble has been a staff writer or correspondent for several award-winning, daily newspapers, including The Boston Globe.

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