You can watch CBS as a live TV channel through five live TV streaming services, or a TV antenna.
There are 10 plans that carry CBS within those live TV streaming services. You can get a local CBS station free using a TV antenna in most of the U.S.
The Paramount+ Essential plan is an affordable way to watch CBS shows such as NCIS, 60 Minutes, Blue Bloods and The Challenge USA. And there are select episodes of CBS shows available on the CBS app and website.
CBS launched on July 1, 1941, and currently airs popular TV shows such as Big Brother, 48 Hours and Fire Country. CBS carries live NFL games, the PGA Tour and NCAA Men’s Basketball.
How to Watch CBS Live Without Cable
Cord-cutters can use a variety of streaming devices, including Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Chromecast with Google TV to stream CBS shows.
Smart TVs by Samsung, Sony Bravia, Vizio and LG support most streaming services.
A number of live TV streaming services are similar to cable TV subscriptions. You can watch local broadcast channels such as NBC, FOX, ABC and PBS. There are popular cable channels too, including CNN and ESPN.
Game consoles including XBox and PlayStation support watching TV. Mobile apps for streaming services can be used on iPhones or an iPad (with current iOS). You can use Android mobile devices to watch your favorite CBS shows as well.
To get started, you just need an Internet connection or data plan. Once you get a free trial of a live TV streaming service, download the app to your Smart TV, or streaming device.
Don’t forget that using a TV antenna can get you a local CBS channel with important local news and weather reports.
Here’s a quick look at each of these live TV streaming services.
Paramount+ is the cheapest way to live stream a local CBS station.
Subscribers to the Paramount Plus with Showtime get a local CBS station, the full Showtime library, and 4K HDR streaming for $11.99 per month.
First launched as CBS All Access, this streaming service now has a growing library of movies, live news, and full seasons of TV shows from CBS, BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon and Smithsonian Channel.
A subscription to the Essential plan costs $5.99 per month, and you can look over shows and movies now on the service. There are a number of Paramount+ Originals such as Special Ops: Lioness, Tulsa King and Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.
Parents can find the latest episodes of Paw Patrol and Peppa Pig that are available on streaming.
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.
Subscribers can stream up three shows simultaneously on separate devices. So someone might want to watch that latest Star Trek: Strange New Worlds episode, while another member of the family catches up on Special Ops: Lioness in the other room.
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 (formerly AT&T TV) has local CBS channels in its entry-level Entertainment channel bundle. You have four ways to watch CBS without cable through DIRECTV STREAM.
You can sign up for a free 5-day trial on every plan without any obligations.
The Entertainment package has more than 75 live TV channels for $74.99 per month. Subscribers can watch TV on unlimited screens within your home.
ESPN, ESPN2, HGTV 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 Max (formerly HBO Max), STARZ, Cinemax and MGM+ for free before the monthly rates kick in.
The Choice package has 40 regional sports networks, including Bally Sports networks, NBC Sports, NESN, Marquee Sports Network and YES Network. Choice subscribers get more than 105 channels for $99.99 per month.
The Ultimate package has more than 140 channels, including local channels, and more sports and entertainment channels. The Ultimate package is $109.99 per month. The Premier Package has over 150 channels, including premium channels such as Max, and Cinemax. A subscription to Premier is $154.99 per month.
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.
Fubo (formerly fuboTV) carries local CBS channels in all of its channel packages.
AMC, HGTV, Food Network, Freeform, History, Food network, HGTV, Comedy Central and Investigation Discovery are some of the entertainment channels.
Fubo offers three plans, Pro, Elite and Ultimate. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial of any Fubo plan. Subscribers get 1,000 hours of Cloud DVR storage. You can watch live TV on 10 screens at once.
A subscription costs $74.99 per month. A regional sports fee is included, and costs between $10.99 to $13.99 per month.
The Elite plan is $84.99 per month, and has 65 more sports, news and entertainment channels. The Ultimate plan has 231 channels, including Showtime and NFL RedZone, for $99.99 per month
fubo has a library of on-demand content, including movies and TV shows. Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV and Smart TVs all carry the fubo app.
Fubo has mobile apps for iPhone and Android so you can watch ESPN live on your smartphone. Subscribers can watch live TV through their web browser.
Hulu + Live TV
You will get local NBC, ABC, and FOX stations with the TV plan. A subscription includes regional sports channels such as NBC Sports.
A subscription costs $69.99 per month and includes unlimited Cloud DVR, so you can record movies, TV shows, and news programs.
Subscribers get more than just live TV channels to watch. You will have full access to ESPN+, Disney+ and Hulu’s on-demand library.
You can look over the channel lineup of Hulu with Live TV to see if it’s a good fit.
YouTube TV has 128 channels for $72.99 per month, and you’ll be able to stream CBS live.
Subscribers get local ABC, FOX, NBC and PBS stations. The channel lineup includes ESPN, Oxygen Network, USA Network, Comedy Central, CBS 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 Max (formerly HBO Max) to the base plan. Customers get unlimited Cloud DVR and an on-demand library of CBS 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.
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. You can likewise use your subscription to a cable provider or satellite service.
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 watch CBS without a cable provider by using a TV antenna.
A TV antenna is the least expensive way to watch CBS live as a free over-the-air (OTA) channel. Local channels such as NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, MeTV, ion TV, MyNetworkTV 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 CBS affiliate, with a quality TV antenna.
You can use the free tool at AntennasDirect to see whether CBS 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
- How to Connect Multiple TVs to One Antenna
- Review: The Best Indoor TV Antennas
- Review: The Best Outdoor TV Antennas
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 watch CBS without a TV provider by using a TV antenna. CBS is a broadcast network that is available as an OTA channel.
You can likewise stream some CBS programming for free on the CBS website or app. Paramount+ is an affordable way to live stream CBS and watch all its network shows on-demand.
Is CBS on Sling TV?
No. CBS is not on Sling TV. CBS currently has agreements with DIRECTV STREAM (formerly AT&T TV), Fubo, Hulu + 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+ with Showtime, which carries a live CBS feed. A subscription costs $11.99 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 OTA channels. If you can get CBS as an OTA channel, you may also be within range for other local PBS, FOX, NBC, and ABC stations.
You can also sign up for Paramount+ with Showtime, DIRECTV STREAM, Fubo, 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, Fubo, 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, Fubo, Hulu Live TV, or YouTube TV to watch CBS without cable.
Where to Watch CBS Live
Paramount+ is the cheapest way to get your local CBS station if you can’t use an antenna. You have to sign up for Paramount+ with Showtime to get a local CBS channel. A subscription costs $11.99 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. Local channels such as CBS are included along with ESPN, TNT, and HGTV.
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.
Note: This article was published on November 25 2017, 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.
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. You can follow Jim on LinkedIn, YouTube and at X at @james_kimble