CBS is a local broadcast channel that is available on five live TV streaming services.
You can watch CBS without cable on:
There are two other ways you can watch CBS through a TV antenna or the CBS website and app.
You don’t need an expensive cable subscription to watch March Madness, NFL on CBS, “The Equalizer”, or “CSI: Vegas”
This article breaks down how to watch CBS without cable on a Smart TV, Amazon Fire TV devices, Roku, Apple TV and Chromecast with Google TV.
How to Watch CBS Without Cable TV
There are a number of live TV streaming services that live stream CBS and are similar to cable TV.
These services are popular with cord-cutters who watch local broadcast channels and cable networks such as CNN, ESPN and History.
Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and Google Chromecast all support streaming live TV. You can use Smart TVs from Vizio, LG, Sony, Samsung, TCL and other major brands.
iPhones and iPad with current iOS software, Android phones and tablets have apps for live TV streaming. Gamers can watch live TV on an Xbox One or PlayStation game consoles.
You just need an internet connection to begin streaming live TV. Most of these services have a free trial that lasts up to a week.
There are no hidden fees with these services, and they require no contracts or long-term obligations. Subscribers can easily cancel service online and pay month to month for live TV.
Paramount+ (formerly CBS All Access) is the cheapest way to live stream a local CBS station.
Subscribers to the Premium plan ($9.99 per month) can stream a local CBS station live in most of the United States. Premium subscribers also get access to more live sports such as the PGA Tour, and SEC football on CBS.
Paramount+ has a mini-bundle of on-demand shows from BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon and Smithsonian Channel.
Subscribers can stream up three shows simultaneously on separate devices. So someone might want to watch that latest Star Trek episode, while another member of the family catches up on The Big Bang Theory in the other room.
A subscription to the Essential plan costs $4.99 per month and allows you to stream live NFL games on CBS. This cheaper plan for Paramount+ does not have a local CBS feed, and comes with limited commercials. It’s a solid alternative to cable if you just want on-demand CBS programs.
Most new CBS shows have next-day airing under the Essential plan. That means subscribers only have to wait 24 hours after a new episode airs on broadcast TV and cable.
Paramount+ lets you try out its service free for a week.
DIRECTV STREAM carries CBS in its Entertainment channel bundle.
Subscribers get more than 75 channels, including ESPN, TNT, TBS, HGTV, USA Network and Hallmark Channel. Local channels include NBC, FOX and ABC.
A subscription costs $74.99 per month. New customers can get the 5-day free trial without any obligations.
You get unlimited Cloud DVR for recordings, and 40,000 on-demand shows. You can watch live TV on unlimited screens within your home.
New customers can choose to get a free trial of HBO Max, Showtime, STARZ, MGM+ and Cinemax. The free trial for these premium channels lasts for three months if you keep your subscription.
The regular rate for those four channels kicks in after the three-month free trial ends.
The Choice bundle costs $99.99 per month, and has a wider variety of entertainment and sports networks. Regional sports networks including Bally Sports South, Marquee Sports Network, YES Network and NESN are included in the Choice bundle.
You can watch DIRECTV STREAM on Smart TVs, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast with Google TV and Apple TV.
Subscriptions run month to month. There are no contracts or obligations.
Hulu Live TV
Hulu Live TV is the best option for someone who wants CBS and a full suite of sports channels like ESPN, ESPN 2, ACC Network, FS1, FS2 and Big Ten Network. Bravo, CNN and History channel are in the mix too.
Subscribers get 75+ live channels, including Bravo, Comedy Central, HGTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, Telemundo and USA Network.
You can watch CBS and other local channels such as ABC, NBC and FOX. For news, there is CNN, MSNBC and FOX News.
You get unlimited Cloud DVR and access to Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu’s on-demand library. The live TV plan essentially bundles all three Disney-owned streaming services. Subscribers can watch live TV on two screens at once.
A subscription costs $69.99 per month. You can watch live TV within the Hulu app, using a Roku, Fire TV Stick, Google Chromecast, Apple TV, iPhones and tablets.
You can look at Hulu’s channel lineup in your area.
fubo (formerly fuboTV) offers a large bundle of sports, entertainment, news and local ABC, CBS and NBC stations.
There are 152 channels in the Pro bundle, including AMC, ESPN, NFL Network and Golf Channel.
Big Ten Network, PAC-12 Network and a variety of regional sports networks are included. You can watch live TV on 10 screens at once.
A subscription costs $74.99 per month. fubo adds a regional sports fee. It costs $10.99 per month for one regional network. It’s $13.99 per month if you have two RSNs in your area.
Look over the channel lineup in your area to see what kind of local channels or regional sports channels are available.
Subscribers get 1,000 hours of Cloud DVR and a “look back”, an on-demand feature that has sporting events that aired in the last 72 hours.
fuboTV is the only live streaming service to offer select sporting events in 4K. You can stream 4K programming with the Elite and Premier plans.
A fuboTV subscription also gets you access to TV Everywhere apps for more than 40 networks. You can watch fubo on Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, Fire Stick, web browser and NVIDIA Shield.
You can check out fuboTV free for 7 days.
CBS is available in many markets with YouTube TV. You will get 128 channels for $64.99 per month, including ESPN, NBC, FOX AND CBS.
The channel lineup includes 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.
Subscribers can use Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku and Chromecast. Smart TVs running on Android TV and Google TV are supported. You can also watch TV live on a PC with your subscription. You can try out YouTube TV with a free 7-day trial.
CBS website and CBS app
Two other ways to get a CBS live stream is through the CBS website and CBS app.
You can use your subscription to YouTube TV, DIRECTV STREAM, fuboTV, and Hulu Live TV to activate the CBS app or CBS website. Even if you don’t subscribe to a live TV streaming service, select episodes and programs are available with a pay TV provider.
You can also find some free streaming options within the CBS app such as CBS News, ET Live and CBS Sports HQ.
How to Watch CBS for free using a TV antenna
You can easily jump into the era of cord cutting by using a TV antenna for some free CBS. Head over to Antennas Direct Transmitter Locator tool. Punch in your zip code or address and push the “View Channels” button.
If there is a CBS broadcast tower within a 30 or 40 mile range, then there’s an excellent chance that you can watch sports or whatever else you want for free in HD quality.
For more tips on using an antenna read my months-long studies:
- How to Choose the Best TV Antenna
- How to Connect Multiple TVs to One Antenna
- Review: The Best Indoor TV Antennas
- Review: The Best Outdoor TV Antennas
If a TV antenna won’t work for you, keep reading. There are plenty of other alternatives to cable so you can keep watching CBS.
How to Watch CBS Without Cable FAQs
These are questions that readers ask when researching ways to watch CBS without a cable TV provider.
How to Watch CBS without a TV provider
You can stream some CBS programming for free on the CBS website or app. A TV antenna may get you a free CBS station in your area. Paramount+ is an affordable way to live stream CBS and watch all its network shows on-demand.
Is CBS on Sling TV?
No. According to The Chicago Tribune, CBS continues to be very selective about which streaming platforms the company partners with. CBS has struck agreements with AT&T TV, Hulu with Live TV and YouTube TV.
Is CBS free on Amazon Prime?
No. Amazon Prime subscribers do not have access to CBS. But you can use your Amazon Prime account to subscribe to Paramount+, which carries a live CBS feed under the Premium plan. The Premium plan costs $9.99 per month.
How to Watch CBS free on a Smart TV
Smart TV users can try to get CBS for free by plugging in a TV antenna and scanning for over-the-air channels such as PBS, FOX, NBC, and ABC under settings.
You can also sign up for DIRECTV STREAM, fuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, or YouTube TV.
How to Watch CBS on Roku
Roku and Roku TV owners can watch some free episodes and programs on the CBS app. But to get a live CBS channel, you need to subscribe to DIRECTV STREAM, fuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, or YouTube TV. Roku TV owners can also try to get CBS for free with a TV antenna.
How to Watch CBS on a Amazon Firestick
Fire TV and Fire Stick owners can subscribe to DIRECTV STREAM, fuboTV Hulu Live TV, or YouTube TV to watch CBS without cable.
What is the cheapest way to watch CBS?
Paramount+ is the cheapest way to get your local CBS station if you can’t use a TV antenna. You have to sign up for the Premium plan to get a local CBS channel. The Premium plan costs $9.99 per month. New customers can sign up for a free 7-day trial.
DIRECTV STREAM is a better choice if you want a full channel lineup of sports, news and entertainment networks.
ESPN, TNT, and HGTV are included in the channel lineup. Subscribers pay on a month-to-month basis, so there are no long term commitments. The service has a free 5-day trial.
A subscription costs $74.99 per month and includes unlimited Cloud DVR storage for recordings. Take a look at the channel lineup to see if it’s a good fit.
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.
Note: This article was published on February 4, 2021, 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