How to Watch Discovery Channel Without Cable

Stream Discovery Channel live without cable on popular services like DIRECTV STREAM, Hulu Live TV, Philo, Sling TV, YouTube TV, and Now TV. Access Discovery shows on-demand with Discovery+ and Max, cutting traditional cable costs.

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You can stream Discovery Channel without cable on six live TV streaming services.

DIRECTV STREAM, Hulu Live TV, Now TV, Philo, Sling TV, and YouTube TV all stream Discovery Channel live without a cable or satellite subscription. If you prefer on-demand access, Discovery shows are available on Discovery+ and Max.

This comprehensive breakdown of streaming services ensures you can watch Discovery Channel live and on-demand, without the traditional cable costs.

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.”

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

How to Watch Discovery Channel Live

Cord-cutters and cord-shavers have several options to watch cable TV channels without a traditional subscription. You don’t need a cable TV or satellite provider to stream Discovery Channel. Instead, get an affordable Internet connection, and live stream TV channels.

All the streaming services listed below include Discovery Channel. Here are the additional key features and channels each service offers:

ServiceFree TrialMonthly PriceKey Channels
PhiloYes$28A&E, AMC, BBC America, Hallmark Channel, History, MTV, Paramount Network
Hulu + Live TVYes$76.99HGTV, CNN, ESPN, Fox News, National Geographic, USA Network
DIRECTV STREAMYes$79.99HGTV, CNN, Nickelodeon, ESPN, USA Network, NBC, FOX
Sling TVNo$40-$55Bravo, Cartoon Network, NFL Network, MSNBC, Lifetime, SyFy, TBS, FS1
YouTube TVYes$72.99HGTV, NBA TV, TNT, TBS, SEC Network, ACC Network, FS1, FS2, NFL Network, MLB Network
Now TVNo$20A&E, HGTV, Hallmark Channel
MaxNo$9.99 – $15.99HBO, CNN, TLC, HGTV, Food Network, Animal Planet

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

These streaming services all carry Discovery Channel along with other popular cable networks like HGTV, Science Channel, and TLC. Some services also offer local channels such as ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX. However, you may need to pay more if you want local channels in your lineup.

To get started, choose a live streaming service with the channels you want. Discovery Channel is available through Philo, Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, DIRECTV STREAM, and YouTube TV.

If you’re new to streaming, here are some basics to help you transition:

  • Internet Speed: For smooth streaming, you need an Internet connection with at least 5 Mbps download speed for HD quality. For 4K streaming, 25 Mbps or higher is recommended.
  • Watching Your Favorite Shows: Streaming services work like traditional TV. You can watch live or on-demand shows whenever you want.
  • Recording Programs: Most streaming services offer a Cloud DVR feature, allowing you to record shows and watch them later. This works just like a DVR from a cable provider but stores the recordings online.


Philo offers more than 70 TV channels for $28 per month, making it the most affordable option to stream Discovery Channel live.

Philo has one plan that includes A&E, AMC, BBC America, Discovery, Hallmark Channel, History, MTV, and Paramount Network. Subscribers also get AMC+, which carries movies and series from AMC+, Sundance Now, and Shudder.

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

The Philo app is intuitive and easy to use. The guide section gives you an hour-by-hour breakdown of current and upcoming TV programs. You can also track down TV shows on-demand to catch up on entire seasons.

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 their Philo account. You can try out Philo free for a week by signing up in under a minute using your smartphone number.

Philo 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, and Sony Bravia.

Sling TV

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

The Sling Blue plan offers 41 channels, including Bravo, Cartoon Network, NFL Network, MSNBC, Lifetime, SyFy, TBS, and FS1. A subscription is $40 per month.

All subscribers get 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage.

You can combine Sling Blue with Sling Orange for $55 per month. The Sling Orange plan includes 32 channels, such as 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 almost any streaming device and many Smart TVs. It appeals to those seeking customizable packages, offering more flexibility than some sports-centric lineups.

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 running on Android TV or Google TV. Sling TV supports mobile apps for iOS and Android. There is currently no free trial with Sling TV.

Sling TV is an inexpensive option for ESPN. (Photo credit: Jim Kimble / The Cord Cutting Report)
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.

Hulu + Live TV

Hulu + Live TV carries many popular TV channels, including Investigation Discovery and key sports networks like ESPN, making it an excellent option to stream Discovery Channel and other favorites.

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 unlimited Cloud DVR.

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

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

Hulu offers a three-day free trial of its live TV plan.  All Hulu plans work on Apple TV, Roku, Xbox One, Amazon Fire TV, Fire Stick, and Chromecast.

(Photo credit: Jim Kimble / The Cord Cutting Report)
Hulu (With Ads) + Live TV, Disney+ (With Ads) and ESPN+ (With Ads)$76.99/month90+
Hulu (No Ads) + Live TV, Disney+ (No Ads) and ESPN+ (With Ads)$89.99/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.


DIRECTV STREAM (formerly AT&T TV) includes Discovery Channel streaming in its entry-level channel bundle.

The Entertainment plan has more than 75 TV channels for $79.99 per month. This includes HGTV, A&E, CNN, Nickelodeon, ESPN, USA Network, and local channels such as NBC and FOX. 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 $164.99 per month.

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

You can get a 5-day free trial of any DIRECTV STREAM plan. 

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.

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

YouTube TV

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

YouTube TV offers Discovery Channel through its base plan. Subscribers can get a 7-day free trial. 

The base plan also includes key sports channels 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 does not include Bally Sports or YES Network.

You can watch CNN, Golf Channel, and FX. The subscription includes unlimited Cloud DVR, and you can create up to 6 profiles per household. YouTube TV is suited for families needing multiple profiles and extensive DVR, offering a different value 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.

(photo credit: Jim Kimble / The Cord Cutting Report)
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.

Now TV for Xfinity Internet Customers

Xfinity internet customers can get the Now TV and Peacock Premium bundle for just $20 per month.

Now TV carries 40 live TV channels, including A&E, Discovery, HGTV, and Hallmark Channel, making it a comparable service to Philo.

The bundle also offers 20 hours of cloud DVR and allows streaming on three concurrent screens.

This package includes a selection of films and TV shows from Universal, NBC, Bravo, Hallmark, History, and AMC, along with 24/7 live channels like BBC News, NBC News Now, Food Network, Discovery, and IFC. The bundle covers news, entertainment, sports, and on-demand content, making it a comprehensive choice for cord-cutters.

With no additional requirements beyond an Xfinity internet subscription, this bundle is a great deal for those looking to maximize their entertainment options.

NOW TV$20/month40+ live TV channels
Device support: Xfinity Stream app on Xfinity Flex, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, and Chromecast with Google TV along with Smart TVs by Samsung, VIZIO SmartCast, Sony Bravia, PlayStation, XBox, and Xumo TV.


Max, the flagship streaming service from Warner Bros. Discovery, combines HBO and Discovery+ content, offering an alternative to streaming Discovery Channel live.

Max brings together several 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 channels, then this streaming service might be worth a try.

One of the first things I noticed with my subscription is that I get 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 browse through the roster of Max shows and movies on its website.

Discovery+ still offers a standalone streaming service for $4.99 per month. However, it does not carry a live TV feed of Discovery Channel or its latest episodes of new shows.

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.

Is Discovery Channel available on Fubo?

Discovery Channel is no longer available on Fubo as of April 30, 2024, due to a dispute between the streaming service and Warner Bros. Discovery. The dispute partly centers on Fubo being unable to reach a separate deal to bring WBD’s Turner sports networks, including TNT, TBS, and truTV, back to its service.

Can I watch Discovery Channel for free?

Philo, Hulu Live TV, DIRECTV STREAM, and YouTube TV all offer free trials, and include Discovery Channel 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. 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, Hulu Live TV, Philo, Sling TV, Now TV, and YouTube TV are the live TV streaming services that carry Discovery Channel as a live TV channel. But remember, you can watch Discovery shows on Max, and Discovery+.

In considering the balance between cost, channel variety, and additional features, Philo and Hulu Live TV are as the top two choices for streaming Discovery Channel as a live TV channel.

Philo, priced at only $28 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, and 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+.


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.