How to Watch NBC Live
You can use a TV antenna to watch NBC live for free.
Your other option is a live TV streaming service, including fuboTV, Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV, DIRECTV STREAM and YouTube TV.
Watching NBC without cable TV is really easy.
You don’t need to sign up for a pricey cable subscription just to watch Sunday Night Football, or a favorite Law & Order series.
Hulu + Live TV is currently the best way to watch NBC live without cable, especially if you want to watch the New England Patriots face off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Oct. 3.
Hulu has 75+ live TV channels, including A&E, CNN, Discovery and HGTV for $64.99 per month. There are 50 hours of Cloud DVR for recordings. A subscription includes unlimited access to the on-demand library that people usually pay $6.99 per month for.
Even if you already subscribe to Hulu on demand, you can get a free 7-day trial of Hulu + Live TV. There’s no long term contracts or obligations.
(NOTE: If you live in the New England market, your best option for streaming New England Patriots games on NBC is fuboTV. The live TV streaming service has 116+ channels, including ESPN, all your local channels, NFL Network and NESN. There is a free 7-day trial for new customers.)
This guide will show you how to watch NBC live on a Smart TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV or Google Chromecast with Google TV.
Table of Contents
- How to Watch NBC Live
- Watch NBC Live for free: TV Antenna
- How to Stream NBC Live
- What’s the best way to watch NBC without cable?
Watch NBC Live for free: TV Antenna
Let’s quickly cover how to watch NBC for free — without any kind of streaming service.
Using a TV antenna is the least expensive way to get a High Definition signal from local NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX and PBS for free.
If you have a TV antenna handy, but haven’t used it in a while, plug it into your television’s coax port and scan for channels.
People living within 30 to 40 miles of local broadcast towers have an excellent shot at getting local broadcast channels with a quality TV antenna.
You can use the free tool at AntennasDirect to see whether NBC 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 Stream NBC Live
There are a number of live TV streaming services that offer channels that you also see in cable subscriptions.
To get started, you just need an Internet connection. Once you pick a live TV service, and sign up for a free trial, you can download the app to your Smart TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast or Apple TV.
You can easily cancel 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 live streaming services.
Hulu with Live TV
Hulu with Live TV is the best pick for most people wanting to live stream NBC.
Subscribers get 75+ channels, including A&E, CNN, ESPN, HGTV and NBCSN. Hulu only offers one channel bundle for $64.99 per month and 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage.
As part of a live TV subscription, you will also get unlimited access to Hulu’s massive streaming library. So you’re essentially getting both streaming services that Hulu offers.
Hulu with Live TV supports Roku, Fire TV and Fire Stick, XBox One and Xbox 360 consoles, and iOS and Android devices. You can watch live TV on two screens at a time.
Look over the channel lineup for Hulu with Live TV before deciding whether you want to sign up.
You can get a free 7-day trial even if you subscribe to Hulu on-demand.
fuboTV has 116+ channels, including just about everything you would expect from a cable TV or satellite service.
You can get NBC in just about every market in the U.S. fuboTV has mainstream entertainment channels like Bravo, ESPN, and all three Hallmark channels. Subscribers get 250 hours of Cloud DVR.
Big Ten Network, PAC-12 Network and CBS will give you plenty of college and NFL football to watch. For New England based customers, it’s the best way to watch NESN without cable.
A subscription costs $64.99 per month. You can watch live TV on two screens at once.
fuboTV is the only live TV streaming service that offers select sporting events and TV shows in 4K. There’s a huge on-demand library of movies and TV shows for when you don’t need live TV.
fuboTV works on Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV and Android TV. You should look over the channel lineup for your area before giving fubo a try.
You can sign up for a 7-day free trial if you’re a new customer. There are no contracts or obligations.
Is NBC on Sling TV?
Sling TV is your least expensive way to live stream NBC without cable. But the Sling Blue plan only carries NBC in 11 cities across the U.S. (Check this map below to see where Sling TV carries local NBC stations in the U.S.)
Sling Blue includes 43 channels for $35 per month. You will get NFL Network, A&E, EPIX 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.
The first month only costs $10 with either the Orange or Blue plan.
If you prepay for a brief subscription, you can get a free streaming device.
For a larger lineup of 51 channels, you can combine the Sling Blue plan with the Orange plan for $50 per month. The first month for a combined Orange and Blue plan is $20.
NBC is available on DIRECTV STREAM’s Entertainment bundle, which costs $69.99 per month. Subscribers get 65+ channels, 20 hours of Cloud DVR and 40,000 on-demand shows.
You can subscribe month to month and cancel whenever you want. DIRECTV STREAM works on Roku, Android TV, Fire TV devices, Apple TV and smartphones and tablets. Subscribers can watch on 20 screens at once.
YouTube TV still offers local NBC stations and NBC regional sports networks.
As of Oct. 2, NBCUniversal and YouTube TV reached a deal to avoid a channel blackout.
For $64.99 per month, YouTube TV subscribers get about 85+ channels and unlimited Cloud DVR. You can watch live TV on up to three screens at once.
YouTube TV supports Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, and viewing on a PC. You can try YouTube TV free for 7 days.
What’s the best way to watch NBC without cable?
Hulu with Live TV will be the best bet for most people because it has widespread coverage for NBC. The 75+ live TV channels include local NBC stations around the U.S. alongside popular cable channels such as ESPN.
A subscription costs $64.99 per month. Subscribers get 50 hours of Cloud DVR for recordings and unlimited access to Hulu’s full on-demand catalog. Take a look at the channel lineup for channel lineup for Hulu with Live TV and see what you think.
Hulu + Live TV also has a free 7-day trial.
fuboTV has a robust 116+ channel lineup, 250 hours of Cloud DVR for recordings and an on-demand library of movies and TV shows. A subscription costs $64.99 per month. fuboTV works on Fire TV, Roku, Apple, on smartphones, tablets and PCs. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial.
This article was first published Sept. 20, 2017 and has been updated.
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