If you, like millions of Americans (and millions more around the world) decided to cut the cord and say goodbye to cable and satellite bills forever you’ve probably been on the hunt for replacement TV.
And while there are plenty of great streaming options available to pick and choose from, many of them with low prices and no contracts, nothing beats 100% free of charge TV.
Below we highlight some of the best free streaming TV channel options you’ll have to pick and choose from. Each of these services is guaranteed to be 100% free (with no strings attached), accessible on almost all of your devices, and super simple to get started with.
Shall we jump right in?
Pluto TV is maybe the closest thing to “traditional” TV for cord cutters looking for a totally free alternative.
Providing you with a similar TV Guide style interface that you’ll be able to use to navigate up to 3 ½ hours of live TV programming at a time, you’ll find that Pluto TV has something for everyone to watch across its more than 200+ channels.
Granted, this platform used to be a little streamlined and a little underwhelming when it first started. And that sort of hurt the reputation of Pluto TV early on.
Today, though, the platform has been significantly reinvested in by new parent company Viacom – including major changes to the program that added popular major TV networks like Nickelodeon, MTV, and Comedy Central (all Viacom properties) as well as CNN, NBC, CBS and, NFL Network, and more.
Set up is simple and straightforward and best of all you’ll never need to give Pluto TV any of your payment information to leverage these 100% free services. Advertising breaks happen at the same rate that commercials would have with a traditional TV plan, and the folks behind Pluto have gotten a lot better at inserting them correctly.
Try this free streaming TV channels service before you try any other!
Ranking right up there with Pluto TV as far as the true “best of the best” free streaming TV channels services are concerned, no other company aside from Pluto has made as big an investment in three TV them Tubi.
More than $100,000,000 has been spent on licensing deals alone for content to be shared on Tubi. You’ll be able to find all kinds of popular movies, currently running television programs, old classics and reruns, and so much more.
Tubi is constantly adding even more content to the mix on a pretty much day-to-day basis. You won’t have to struggle to find anything to watch on Tubi, that’s for sure.
Even better is the fact that you don’t even need to create an account to enjoy this life TV content.
All you have to do is download the app (available on all major streaming devices, smartphones, tablets, computers, and gaming consoles) and you are off to the races.
The bulk of the free streaming TV channels services that you have to pick and choose from are going to be supported with advertising, advertising that breaks into your content the same way that commercials would nontraditional TV.
Kanopy is a little different.
Giving you streaming access to a service comparable to Netflix (with almost all of the same movies and TV shows available, including The Criterion Collection series of classic and historically important films), all you need to watch movies and TV shows on this platform is a library card.
Your library card entitles you to a free membership with no strings attached, though your specific library may restrict you to a handful of movies and TV shows a month (or not). That’s wholly dependent on the plan your library as with Kanopy.
If you’re a classic film buff then access to The Criterion Collection is going to be worth popping down to your local library, signing up, and creating an account ASAP. Again, it’s 100% free of charge with no strings attached.
Crackle from Sony has been around for a long time (a LONG time) but never really got the kind of support or established audience that other video streaming platforms like YouTube received, for example.
Because of that people kind of forget that Crackle even exists – and that would be a mistake.
Totally free of charge, filled top to bottom with a lot of movies and TV shows from the Sony library, and maybe most well-known for the famous Comedians and Cars Getting Coffee series with Jerry Seinfeld this is definitely a streaming service you’ll want to sign up for ASAP.
The offerings aren’t quite as robust as some of the other choices, but access to a lot of Sony movies and shows makes it all worthwhile. Besides, it’s not like it’s going to cost you anything!
Practically no one knows that Amazon is behind this 100% free video streaming service, which is kind of odd considering the fact that Amazon promotes it so heavily – even though Amazon hasn’t folded it under the Prime brand or banner just yet.
At the same time, finding content to watch for free on this streaming service is pretty simple, especially if you already have a Firestick from the folks at Amazon.
IMDb Freedive content will pop up in organic searches with that streaming device. That makes finding new shows in new TV programs to watch for free pretty simple and straightforward. There’s even a “Freedive” channel you can navigate to on the Firestick interface to make things a little simpler.
Don’t sleep on YouTube when it comes time to find great TV shows, documentaries, and movies to watch without paying a penny.
A lot of people think of YouTube as almost 100% user generated content. And while that’s definitely true to a degree, there are a lot of major media companies that post their movies and TV shows to YouTube to attract more viewers.
History Channel is just one of the major media companies that takes this approach. They have full episodes of all of their popular programs (past and present) available to watch completely free on YouTube just like you would watch any other piece of video content on the platform.
And they definitely aren’t the only company doing this!
On top of that, YouTube (with the help of Google) have been offering free ad supported movies and TV shows to watch inside of the YouTube environment.
All you have to do is navigate to the movie/TV section of the YouTube interface on your favorite device, find content available for free from Google you’d like to watch, and then you are off to the races!
Combine that with the opportunity to watch everything else that YouTube offers (including great user generated content and original programming you will find elsewhere) and it’s a no-brainer to have this on your favorite streaming device, phone, or tablet.
The CW was one of the first major traditional television channels to offer almost all of its content available to stream completely free of charge, with only one restriction – that this brand-new content wouldn’t release until the day after it aired on traditional television.
That’s a trade-off the overwhelming majority of people are willing to make, especially when the price is free!
The only other hitch that you’ll have to deal with when it comes to The CW and their streaming solution is that only a few most recent episodes are going to be available at any one particular point in time.
If you have a favorite show you want to stay on top on it’s important that you watch the last or five episodes as quickly as you can before they are replaced by even newer episodes. This doesn’t happen with all of their programs, but it happens often than not that you’re going to want to make sure you don’t miss out.
The CW also has another streaming service (called CW Seed) that gives you unlimited free access to a lot of their older programs, including complete series runs of shows like Who’s Line Is It Anyhow. That’s definitely something you want to check out if you’re into the older run of shows from this channel.
The neatest thing about this particular platform is that you don’t need a physical antenna to watch your local broadcast channels any longer.
Providing you with access to your local channels that are broadcast OTA without the necessary hardware, you’ll be able to stream your favorite local ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and PBS channels without difficulty.
There’s just one catch.
As of right now, Locast isn’t available in every location around the country.
Only a handful of major media markets are currently included in this platform, including:
- New York
- Washington DC
If you are outside of those major metropolitan media markets the odds are pretty good that you won’t be able to take advantage of all that Locast brings to the table.
All in all, finding the best 100% free TV channels is easier than ever before thanks to all of the services we offered above.
On top of that, there’s no reason that you have to stick to just one of the services we highlighted earlier. Check a handful of them out – or check all of them out – there are no restrictions!