Watch CBS Live & On-Demand: 6 Cable-Free Options for 2024

You can watch CBS as a live TV channel through five live TV streaming services, or a TV antenna.
Paramount+, Hulu + Live TV, DIRECTV STREAM, Fubo, and YouTube TV all stream CBS live on Smart TVs and streaming devices without the need of a cable subscription. You cannot get CBS on Sling in 2024.

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Looking for ways to stream CBS live without a cable subscription?

Paramount+, Hulu + Live TV, DIRECTV STREAM, Fubo, and YouTube TV offer CBS on Smart TVs and most streaming devices in 2024. Remember, CBS is not available on Sling.

CBS is essential for sports fans, hosting NFL games, Champions League, PGA Tour events, and NCAA Men’s Basketball. It’s the home of Super Bowl LVIII this year. This guide details 10 streaming service plans and a TV antenna method for local CBS access based on annual testing since 2016.

How to Watch CBS Live Without Cable

Renowned for its rich programming, CBS is the go-to network for an array of top-tier live sports and captivating prime-time shows. CBS is home to popular shows like “Big Brother,” “48 Hours,” and “Fire Country.” 

One of the advantages of using a live TV streaming service is that you will no longer have to wonder, “What channel is CBS?” because your lineup of local channels is front and center. 

Paramount+ with Showtime, DIRECTV STREAMFubo and YouTube TV are the four live streaming services that offer a free trial and let you stream CBS live.

The cheapest option for a CBS live stream is through Paramount+ with Showtime at $11.99 per month.

Paramount+: Streaming CBS live on a budget

Want the most cost-effective way to watch CBS for free on a smart TV or streaming device?

Paramount+ stands out as a top choice if you can’t use a TV antenna to get CBS for free. While the Essential plan of Paramount+ doesn’t include a local CBS feed and comes with limited commercials, you can watch all NFL games on CBS, including Super Bowl LVIII.

The service is a budget-friendly alternative to traditional cable, especially if you’re primarily interested in on-demand CBS programs. Initially launched as CBS All Access, Paramount+ has evolved into a vast library of movies, live news, and full seasons of hit TV shows from networks like CBS, BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, and the Smithsonian Channel.

The Essential plan is only $5.99 per month, and you can dive into a plethora of shows and movies. Get exclusive access to Paramount+ Originals, including fan favorites like “Special Ops: Lioness,” “Tulsa King,” and “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.”

For parents, streaming the latest episodes of “Paw Patrol” and “Peppa Pig” is a breeze, keeping the little ones entertained with their beloved characters.

With the Paramount Plus with Showtime package, not only do you get your local CBS station, but also the entire Showtime library and 4K HDR streaming, for $11.99 per month.

Sports enthusiasts subscribing to the Showtime package enjoy even more live sports action, including the PGA Tour and SEC football.

Subscribers can stream up to three shows simultaneously on separate devices, ensuring everyone in the family gets to watch their preferred show or live TV event. 

With the Essential plan, most new CBS shows are available just 24 hours post-broadcast, minimizing the wait to stay up-to-date with your favorite series. Depending on your plan, you can stream on-demand movies and shows in HD or up to 4K picture resolution.

Paramount+ lets you try out its service free for a week.


sports on paramount plus
(Photo credit: Jim Kimble / The Cord Cutting Report)
  • Popular new movies and TV shows
  • CBS live stream (Premium Plus)
  • Live sports
With Showtime$11.99/moCBS Live & Showtime
Device support: Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, Android TV, Android phone, Android tablet, Chromecast, Fire TV, Portal TV, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PCs, Samsung TV, Vizio TV, LG TV, Roku, Xbox, Xfinity, Xumo, Cox Contour box, VIDAA TV, Google TV.


With DIRECTV STREAM (formerly AT&T TV), accessing local CBS channels is straightforward, especially with the entry-level Entertainment channel bundle. 

There are four ways to watch CBS live without cable through DIRECTV STREAM.

The Entertainment package has more than 75 live TV channels. Subscribers can watch TV on unlimited screens within your home.

ESPNESPN2HGTV 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.

The Choice package has 40 regional sports networks, including Bally Sports networks, NBC Sports, NESNMarquee Sports Network and YES Network. Choice subscribers get more than 105 channels total.

The Ultimate package has more than 140 channels, including local channels, and more sports and entertainment channels. The Premier Package has over 150 channels, including premium channels such as Max, and Cinemax.

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.


directv stream local channels
(photo credit: Jim Kimble / The Cord Cutting Report)
Device support: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Chromecast with Google TV along with Smart TVs by Samsung, Sony Bravia

Fubo: Streaming CBS & CBS Sports Network

Fubo (formerly fuboTV) is another way to watch CBS live without cable, but offers the network across three different plans.

You can kick off any Fubo subscription with a free 7-day trial. Fubo offers three plans, Pro, Elite and Ultimate.  

The Pro plan has local broadcast channels such as ABC and CBS alongside CBS Sports Network, ESPN, NBA TVCNBCACC NetworkBig Ten NetworkSEC NetworkNFL Network, NBC Sports and Golf Channel.

AMC, HGTV, Food Network, Freeform, History, Food network, HGTV, Comedy Central and Investigation Discovery are some of the entertainment channels.

Subscribers get 1,000 hours of Cloud DVR storage. You can watch live TV on 10 screens at once. A subscription costs $79.99 per month. A regional sports fee is included, and costs between $11.99 to $14.99 per month.

The Elite plan is $89.99 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. 

Compared to similar streaming services that offer live TV, Fubo is recognized for its harder-to-find regional sports channels such as ROOT Sports, NESN and regional Bally Sports networks.


New England Patriots
Fubo has a dedicated section for upcoming NFL games. (Photo credit: Jim Kimble / The Cord Cutting Report)
  • Free trial
  • 1,000 hours Cloud DVR
  • 10 simultaneous streams
Elite $89.99/month255
Premier$99.99/month264 & 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.

Hulu + Live TV: Streaming CBS Without Cable

Hulu + Live TV offers an expansive selection of over 75 channels, including local CBS stations, making it a favorite for those looking to stream CBS live. With Hulu, cord-cutters can enjoy a massive variety of programming, from the family-friendly Great American Family and HGTV to the sports-centric ESPN.

In addition to CBS, you’ll have access to other local stations such as NBC, ABC, and FOX with the TV plan, ensuring that you can watch CBS live without cable. The subscription doesn’t just stop at local channels; it also includes regional sports channels like NBC Sports, connecting you to your local sports scenes.

Hulu’s channel lineup is comprehensive, featuring a mix of entertainment and news channels including Bravo, Comedy Central, FOX News, History Channel, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, FOX Business, SyFy, Telemundo, and USA Network. This variety ensures that every member of the family finds something to enjoy on their streaming devices.

Priced at $76.99 per month, Hulu + Live TV offers great value with its unlimited Cloud DVR feature, allowing you to record your favorite movies, TV shows, and news programs. The subscription goes beyond live TV channels, granting full access to ESPN+, Disney+, and Hulu’s extensive on-demand library.

Explore the channel lineup of Hulu with Live TV to see if it’s the right fit for your entertainment needs and discover how you can watch CBS for free on a smart TV with this versatile streaming service.

Hulu + Live TV

Hulu Live TV channels 2024
(Photo credit: Jim Kimble / The Cord Cutting Report)
  • 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.

YouTube TV: Watch CBS Without Cable

YouTube TV makes streaming CBS live a breeze for the non-tech inclined, putting 128 channels at your fingertips.

It’s the ideal choice for cord-cutters looking for comprehensive coverage, including local ABC, FOX, NBC, and PBS stations. A subscription is $72.99 per month. 

The channel lineup includes ESPN, Oxygen Network, USA Network, Comedy Central, CBS News, CNN, and Telemundo. There is a mix of mainstream and niche-interest channels like CNN, FS1, FS2, Sundance TV, and TBS.  

Whether it’s live sports, the latest news, or engaging entertainment, YouTube TV ensures you’re always in the loop.

You can maximize your viewing experience with live and on-demand TV shows on up to three screens simultaneously. 

You can add premium channels like Max (formerly HBO Max) to your base plan. Subscribers also benefit from unlimited Cloud DVR and an exclusive on-demand library of CBS shows, making it easy to watch CBS live without cable.

YouTube TV extends its reach across various streaming devices, with dedicated apps for Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, Chromecast and a user-friendly mobile app.  

YouTube TV has a free 7-day trial, providing an easy way to watch CBS for free on a smart TV and discover all that YouTube TV has to offer.

YouTube TV

(photo credit: Jim Kimble / The Cord Cutting Report)
  • Free trial
  • Unlimited Cloud DVR
  • Three simultaneous streams
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.

How to Watch CBS for Free Using a TV Antenna

For cord-cutters and those looking to watch CBS live without cable, a TV antenna offers a cost-effective solution.

It’s not just about affordability — it’s about accessing CBS and a variety of other channels in its purest form – free, live and over-the-air (OTA). With a TV antenna, you’re not limited to CBS. You can enjoy a wide range of local channels like NBC, ABC, PBS, MeTV, ion TV, MyNetworkTV, and Telemundo, all for free.

If you’re situated within 30 to 40 miles of local broadcast towers, the chances are high that you’ll successfully receive a variety of local broadcast channels, including your local CBS affiliate. This makes a TV antenna a compelling choice for those wanting to watch CBS for free on a smart TV or any other TV setup.

For precise reception possibilities in your locale, AntennasDirect offers a handy, free tool.

Just input your ZIP code to check if CBS and other local channels are within your reach. Remember, local channels deliver programming in 1080i or 720p — in High Definition. So, if you’re aiming to stream CBS live without the monthly subscription fees, a quality TV antenna might be your best bet.

How to Watch CBS Without Cable FAQs

Find your answers on how to watch CBS without a traditional TV provider, including free and paid options on various devices.

How Can I Watch CBS Without a TV Provider?

You can enjoy CBS without a traditional TV provider by utilizing a TV antenna for Over-The-Air (OTA) channels. CBS, a major broadcast network, is accessible this way in many areas. 

For additional convenience, stream select CBS programs for free on the official CBS website or app. For a broader selection, consider subscribing to Paramount+, a cost-effective solution offering CBS live streams and a rich library of on-demand shows.

Can I Watch CBS on Roku Devices?

Yes, Roku device owners can watch CBS in multiple ways. Enjoy select free CBS content through the CBS app. 

For a comprehensive experience including live CBS channels, consider subscribing to services like DIRECTV STREAM, Fubo, Hulu + Live TV, Paramount+ or YouTube TV. Roku TV users might also access CBS for free with a TV antenna, depending on their location.

Where Can I Watch CBS Live Without Cable?

Watch CBS live without a cable subscription by opting for Paramount+, the most affordable avenue for accessing your local CBS station, especially if an antenna is not viable. Paramount+ with Showtime offers a live CBS feed, priced at $11.99/month, with a free 7-day trial for new customers. Alternatively, consider DIRECTV STREAM for a wider range of channels, including CBS, with no long-term commitments and a 5-day free trial.


I spend hundreds of hours throughout the year conducting hands-on testing of streaming services, including Peacock, DIRECTV STREAM, Fubo, Sling TV, YouTube TV, Hulu Live TV. I do the same rigorous testing for TV antennas and TV-related hardware. Check out the review policy to see how I compare products and services.The Cord Cutting Report is a reader-supported publication, and may earn affiliate commissions when you pick a streaming service through a recommendation. Read our affiliate policy for more information.

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.