16 Ways to Watch Discovery Channel Without Cable

I’ve been digging into all the streaming options for years. My comprehensive analysis of streaming services ensures you can access the Discovery Channel and more, without the traditional cable costs.

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You can watch Discovery Channel without cable on seven live TV streaming services. 

DIRECTV STREAM, Fubo, Hulu Live TV, Philo, Sling TV, and YouTube TV all stream the Discovery Channel live without a cable or satellite subscription. 

I’ve been digging into all the streaming options for years. My comprehensive analysis of streaming services ensures you can access the Discovery Channel and more, without the traditional cable costs.

There are 13 plans that carry Discovery Channel within those seven live TV streaming services. Discovery shows are now available on two other streaming services, Discovery+ and Max.

Subscribers to live streaming services, cable or satellite can activate the Discovery GO app and watch TV shows or on-demand programs. 

Discovery Channel has been on cable TV since 1985. The network now has a roster of popular shows such as “Gold Rush”, “Expedition Unknown” and “Deadliest Catch.”

You can jump down to the summary of how to watch Discovery Channel without cable, or read through all your options.

How to Watch Discovery Channel Without Cable

Cord-cutters and so-called “cord-shavers” have a number of options to watch cable TV channels.

There’s a new age of TV underway, and you don’t need a cable TV or satellite provider to watch the Discovery Channel. 

Instead you can get an affordable Internet connection, and live stream your TV channels.

Live TV streaming services are widely available on Smart TVs, Roku, Apple TV or Amazon Fire TV. You can watch TV on a tablet, iPad or iPhone. 

All of these streaming services carry Discovery Channel and a number of other popular cable networks such as HGTV, Science Channel and TLC.

Some of these streaming services offer local channels such as ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX. But you should expect to pay more if you want them in your channel lineup. 

You just need to pick a live streaming service with the channel lineup that you want. Discovery Channel is currently available through Philo, Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, DIRECTV STREAM, FuboTV, and YouTube TV.


Device support: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Chromecast with Google TV along with Smart TVs by Samsung, and Sony Bravia.

Philo offers more than 70 TV channels for $25 per month, making it the cheapest way to watch Discovery Channel on as a live channel. 

Philo has one plan that includes A&E, AMC, BBC America, Discovery, Hallmark Channel, History, MTV, and Paramount Network.

New customers can get a 7-day free trial. Subscribers get unlimited Cloud DVR, and a large library of on-demand content from TV networks.

You can use Philo on Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV Stick and Android TV devices such as Google Chromecast.

From a web browser, you can watch Philo on Mac computers, and PCs. There is widespread support for mobile devices including iPhones and iPads (with current iOS), and Android smartphones.

Philo is perfect for viewers prioritizing affordability and a variety of channels, including Discovery, offering a more cost-effective solution than YouTube TV.

Subscribers can activate the Discovery GO app and dozens of others using your Philo account. You can try out Philo free for a week by signing up in under a minute using your smartphone number.

Sling TV

Blue$40/month41 (Locals included)
Orange + Blue$55/month88
Device support: AirTV Mini, Amazon Echo Show, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast along with Smart TVs from LG, Samsung, Sony Bravia and VIZIO SmartCast.

Sling TV has Discovery Channel in its Blue channel bundle, and Sling Orange + Sling Blue package.

The Sling Blue plan has 41 channels, including Bravo, Cartoon Network, NFL Network, MSNBC, Lifetime, SyFy, TBS and FS1.  A subscription is $40 per month. But subscribers can get half off their first month of service. 

All subscribers get 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage.  

You can combine the Sling Blue with Sling Orange for $55 per month. The Sling Orange plan includes 32 channels, including entertainment networks like AMC, A&E, BET, BBC America, Bloomberg TV+, Comedy Central, Disney Channel, ESPN, History, and TNT. A subscription to Sling Orange costs $40 per month.

Sling TV works on just about any streaming device and a number of Smart TVs. Sling TV appeals to those seeking customizable packages, offering more flexibility than Fubo’s sports-centric lineup.

Roku, Firestick, Chromecast and Apple TV all support the Sling TV app. There are Sling apps on Smart TVs from LG, Samsung, Sony and Vizio.

Gamers can watch TV on Xbox. The Sling app is supported by Samsung Smart TVs and Smart TVs operating on Android TV or Google TV. Sling TV supports mobile apps for iOS and Android.

Hulu + Live TV

  • Sign up & get Disney+ and ESPN+ included
  • Unlimited Cloud DVR (9 mos.)
  • Two simultaneous streams
Hulu + Live TV$76.99/month90+
Device support: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Chromecast with Google TV along with Smart TVs by Samsung, VIZIO SmartCast, Sony Bravia, PlayStation, XBox, Xfinity Flex and Xumo TV.

Hulu Live TV carries a number of popular TV channels including TLC, Investigation Discovery and key sports networks like ESPN.

Subscribers get over 90 popular networks like HGTV, CNN, Fox News, ESPN, National Geographic, Nat Geo Wild, Travel Channel and USA Network. Hulu has one TV plan with History Channel.

Hulu Live TV costs $76.99 per month, and now includes Disney+ and ESPN+. You can stream TV channels on up to two devices at once. Subscribers get 50 hours of Cloud DVR.

Local NBC, ABC and FOX stations and regional sports channels are available in most of the U.S.

Another big perk with a Hulu with Live TV is the big library of on-demand content. You’ll get unlimited access to TV shows, movies and originals on Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu on-demand.

Hulu with Live TV works on Apple TV, Roku, XBox One, Amazon Fire TV, Fire Stick and Chromecast.


  • Free trial
  • 1,000 hours Cloud DVR
  • 10 simultaneous streams
Elite $84.99/month248
Premier$94.99/month257 & Showtime
Device support: Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast with Google TV, Xbox One, along with Smart TVs by Hisense, Samsung, LG, Sony Bravia and VIZIO SmartCast TV. Android, iPhones and iPads with current iOS.

Fubo (formerly fuboTV) has 182 channels including Discovery, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, MotorTrend, OWN and TLC.

This streaming service pulls together live local ABC, NBC and FOX stations, alongside regional sports channels, entertainment and news.

Fubo started out as a sports-first platform, but has grown into a full-blown replacement for cable TV. It is the only streaming service that has been airing select sporting events live in 4K.

And if you miss a game, fuboTV has a unique “look back” feature that has all games that aired in the last 72 hours.

Look over the channel lineup to see what local channels and regional sports networks are in your area. Subscribers get 1,000 hours of Cloud DVR, and you can activate a few dozen TV Everywhere apps.

Fubo is the go-to service for sports enthusiasts, especially with its ‘look back’ feature, contrasting with Hulu Live TV’s broader entertainment focus.

fuboTV works on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Android TV devices. There’s a mobile app for iOS and Android. You can also watch TV on a PC or smartphone. 

A subscription costs $74.99 per month. Fubo offers a free 7-day trial to new customers. Every plan includes a regional sports fee for its delivery of regional Bally Sports, NESN, ROOT Sports and others.


Device support: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Chromecast with Google TV along with Smart TVs by Samsung, Sony Bravia

DIRECTV STREAM (formerly AT&T TV) has Discovery Channel in its entry-level channel bundle. You have four ways to watch Discovery Channel without cable through DIRECTV STREAM.

You can sign up for a free 5-day trial on any plan.

The Entertainment plan has more than 75 TV channels for $79.99 per month.

HGTV, A&E, CNN, Nickelodeon, ESPN, USA Network and local channels such as NBC and FOX are included in the Entertainment plan. You get unlimited Cloud DVR and 40,000 on-demand movies and shows.

The Choice package is best for sports fans because it has 40 regional sports channels, including Bally Sports networks, NBC Sports and Marquee Sports Network. Choice subscribers get more than 105 channels for $108.99 per month. 

The Ultimate package has more than 140 channels, including local channels, and more sports and entertainment channels. The Ultimate package is $119.99 per month. 

The Premier Package has over 150 channels, including premium channels such as HBO, Cinemax and Showtime. A subscription to Premier is $154.99 per month.

Subscribers can get three months of Max, Showtime, STARZ, Cinemax and MGM+ (formerly EPIX) for free before the monthly rates kick in.

There are no contracts. You can subscribe month to month and cancel whenever you want. DIRECTV STREAM works on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Smart TVs running on Android TV and Google TV.

YouTube TV

YouTube TV$72.99/month128
Device support: Android TV, Google TV, Smart TVs by Samsung, LG, VIZIO, Hisense, Sharp and Sony; Chromecast, Google TV, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Xbox, PlayStation and Google Nest Hub; Android and iOS devices.

YouTube TV has 128 channels, including Discovery, HGTV, and NBA TV for $72.99 per month.

YouTube TV only has one way to get Discovery through its base plan.

The YouTube TV base plan carries other key sports channels for fans such as TNT, TBS, SEC Network, ACC Network, FS1, FS2, NFL Network, and MLB Network. YouTube TV carries regional NBC Sports networks across the U.S., but is missing others such as Bally Sports and YES Network.

You’ll be able to watch CNN, Golf Channel and FX. Unlimited Cloud DVR is included with a subscription. And you can create up to 6 profiles for a household per account.

YouTube TV is suited for families needing multiple profiles and extensive DVR, offering a different value proposition compared to DIRECTV STREAM’s sports-focused packages.

The service works with Chromecast, Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast with Google TV, NVIDIA Shield TV, and Apple TV.

Max with Discovery+

  • Price: $9.99 – $19.99
  • Combines HBO and Discovery shows
  • DVR: No
  • Simultaneous Streams: 2 to 4 devices (depending on plan)
With Ads$9..99/monthSports from TBS, TNT and TruTV (with B/R Add-on)
Ad-Free$15.99/monthSports from TBS, TNT and TruTV (with B/R Add-on)
Ultimate Ad-Free$19.99/monthSports from TBS, TNT and TruTV (with B/R Add-on)
Device support: Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Cox device, LG Smart TV, PlayStation, Roku, Samsung TV, VIZIO Smart TV, Xbox, XClass TV/Xumo TV, Xfinity X1 and Flex

Max is the new streaming iteration from Warner Bros. Discovery that weaves HBO and Discovery+ into a single streaming service. It replaced HBO Max.

Max pulls together a number of media brands under WarnerMedia, including HBO, DC Entertainment, CNN, Discovery Channel, TLC, HGTV, Food Network, and Animal Planet. 

Max doesn’t have live TV channels, but if you’re a fan of HBO and shows from the above mentioned channels, then the streaming service might be worth a try.

Discovery Channel Max
Max combines HBO, Discovery+ and other WarnerMedia brands. (Photo credit: Jim Kimble / The Cord Cutting Report)

One of the first things I noticed with my subscription is that I am getting new episodes of TV shows from Discovery and Discovery+ such as “Ghost Adventures.”

The Max Ad-Lite plan is $9.99 per month, and gives you two simultaneous streams. The Ad-Free plan is $15.99 per month, and the Ultimate Ad-Free Plan has up to 4K resolution. Max with Discovery+ is excellent for fans of HBO and Discovery content, providing a unique blend not available on more traditional services like Sling TV.

You can sign up for a Max subscription, or look through the roster of Max shows and movies on its website.

Discovery+ still has a standalone streaming service for $4.99 per month. But the service does not carry a live TV feed of Discovery Channel or its latest episodes of new shows.

How to Watch Discovery Channel FAQs

These are questions readers ask when researching ways to watch Discovery Channel without a TV provider. 

Can I watch Discovery Channel for free?

Philo, fuboTV, DIRECTV STREAM, and YouTube TV all offer free trials, and include Discovery in their live TV channel lineup. If you cancel before the free trial ends, then you won’t be charged. 

There is no long term way to watch Discovery Channel for free. You need either a cable provider or a live TV streaming service to watch favorite shows such as “Street Outlaws: Fastest in America”, “Deadliest Catch” and “Moonshiners.”

Is Discovery Channel on Amazon Prime?

The cable network Discovery Channel is not available on Amazon Prime. However, Amazon Prime subscribers can sign up for Max or Discovery+ through Amazon Channels. 

Is Discovery joining HBO?

Yes. In fact, Warner Bros. Discovery merged HBO and its Discovery Plus streaming service and relaunched it as “Max” on May 23, 2023. The new combined service has all titles from HBO, along with movies and series from DC Entertainment, CNN, Discovery Channel, TLC, HGTV, Food Network, and Animal Planet.

How can I stream Discovery Channel?

DIRECTV STREAM, fubo, Hulu Live TV, Philo, Sling TV, and YouTube TV are the six live TV streaming services that carry Discovery as a live TV channel. But remember, you can watch Discovery shows on Max, and Discovery+. 

PhiloLowest price ($25/month), over 70 channels, unlimited Cloud DVR, wide device support.Lacks local channels and sports, limited high-profile networks.
Sling TVFlexible packages from $40/month, 50 hours Cloud DVR, wide device compatibility.Higher cost for combined packages, limited local channels.
Hulu Live TVOver 90 networks, includes Disney+ and ESPN+, 50 hours Cloud DVR.Higher price at $76.99/month, limited simultaneous streams.
fuboTVComprehensive sports coverage, 1,000 hours Cloud DVR, “look back” feature for games.Priced at $74.99/month, regional sports fee.
DIRECTV STREAMMultiple packages, broad channel selection, unlimited Cloud DVR.Starts at $79.99/month, higher tiers more expensive.
YouTube TVLarge channel selection including sports, unlimited Cloud DVR, up to 6 profiles.$72.99/month, lacks some regional sports networks.
Max with Discovery+Combines HBO and Discovery+ content, affordable Ad-Lite plan.No live TV channels, higher cost for Ad-Free plans.

In considering the balance between cost, channel variety, and additional features, Philo and Hulu Live TV emerge as the top two choices.

Philo, priced at only $25 per month, is the most budget-friendly option and offers a significant variety of channels, including Discovery, making it ideal for viewers who prioritize affordability without sacrificing a rich selection of content.

On the other hand, Hulu Live TV, though priced higher at $76.99 per month, provides a more comprehensive package. It includes over 90 popular networks like HGTV, CNN, ESPN, as well as access to Disney+ and ESPN+. This makes it suitable for households seeking a broad range of entertainment, news, and sports channels, along with the added value of streaming services like Disney+.

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 11, 2021, and has been updated.

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.