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How to Watch Live TV on Roku without Cable TV

Whether you're a cord cutter or not, there are several ways to watch live TV on Roku. We've listed some of the most popular live TV apps you can use.

Cord cutting, or watching TV without the aid of a cable box (cutting the cord), is something that has become increasingly popular in the last couple of years. Even if you still have cable, you can use a Roku or another streaming device in rooms where you don’t want to pay extra to have a cable box. As cord cutting becomes more popular people want to know how to watch live TV on Roku. The good news is that there are tons of Roku live TV options in both public and private channels.

Today, we’re going to look at the public Roku live TV apps because those will be easier for everyone to find. It’s as simple as going to your Channel Store with your remote and browsing the Roku live TV apps. While you can use Roku devices with or without cable, we’re going to break these Roku live TV options into two categories; cord cutters and cable users. There are many live TV apps that were made for cable users, so you’ll need to sign in with your cable information. Of course, if you don’t have cable but have a giving relative they could share their information, so you could get live TV on Roku, too.


Cord Cutters: Live TV on Roku

Best Choice
$40 - $75
64 - 99


Price: Starting at $35/month for 60+ channels (free 7-day trial)

DIRECTV NOW is a great online streaming service to use, and it’s now possible to watch DIRECTV NOW on Roku! The service launched recently, and also recently added Roku support. The service provides a great way to live stream on Roku and enjoy many of the most popular networks on TV. Key channels include FOX News, CNN, AMC, TNT, ESPN, and MUCH more. Take a look at our DIRECTV NOW review to learn more. Or, click here to start a free 7-day trial!

$25 - $40
26 - 58

Service: Sling TV

Price: Starting at $20/month for 30 Channels (free 7-day trial)

Sling TV provides a set up that is similar to cable. You have a guide that mimics something you’d have with cable, an on-demand library, and as many as 30 channels for $20 a month. You can also add channels like HBO, if you want. Some channels you’ll have include CNN, AMC, A&E, TNT, TBS, Food Network, and other channels. You can learn more in our Sling TV review and make sure to sign up for your free 7-day trial if you’re going to give Sling TV a shot!


Also Great
$44.99 - $79.99
47 - 72

Service: PlayStation Vue

Price: Starting at $30/month for 45 Channels (free 5-day trial)

PS Vue is another live streaming service that is available on Roku. The guide here is more like cable and they even have a 28-day DVR so you can record live TV on Roku and watch it later. PlayStation offers local channels, though the live streams are only available in select cities. Also available are FOX News, ESPN, FX, Syfy, USA, and plenty of other channels. You can learn more in our PS Vue review. If you plan to sign up, remember to grab your 5-day trial!


Free News for Cord Cutters


Watch the News Online

Service: News Apps (NewsOn and Newsy)

Price: Free

Both NewsOn and Newsy offer a chance to watch news from around the world free and 24/7. If you’re interested in current events, both of these channels will offer something for you. In the case of NewsOn you may even find news that’s close to home as they offer over 100 news channels! If nothing else, if you like news they are worth giving a shot. After all, they are free so you have nothing to lose!


Sports for Cord Cutters

Service: League Sports (MLB.TV, NBA TV, NHL.TV, etc.)

Price: Varies, but expect to pay $100+ per season/per sport

The sports packages are available with cable but are also available for cord cutters. You sign up through the respective websites/services and can watch all of them by downloading the Roku live TV apps through the channel store. If you’re a sports fan and don’t have cable these are a great way to get your sports fix.


Also Great
$44.99 - $49.99
60 - 64

Service: fuboTV

Price: Starts at $35/month (free 7-day trial)

fuboTV offers everything from International soccer, NFL, NBA, golf, and cycling to channels like Hallmark, Lifetime, and E!. So, basically, there’s a little bit of something for everyone. It was originally a sports service, so you’ll get your fill of a lot of sports action that you won’t find elsewhere. Cable channels were recently added and some good options are there, also. Our fuboTV review can fill you in and the free trial is a good way to check it out free.


HBO for Cord Cutters!

Also Great

Service: HBO NOW

Price: $15/month (free 30-day trial)

HBO NOW gives you the complete catalog of shows they offer with all currently aired episodes, a movie library, kids shows, and a documentary library. Basically, it’s the exact replica of HBO GO, which is what cable users receive. There is also a live TV option, so you’ll be able to watch HBO live on Roku. If you want to learn more, here’s our HBO NOW review.


Local Channels for Cord Cutters

Also Great
$5.99 - $9.99

Service: CBS All Access

Price: Starting at $5.99/month (free 7-day trial)

CBS All Access gives you the complete list of CBS shows to watch along with a library of older, “classic” shows. You can also watch event series and awards shows. CBS All Access includes a live stream or you can watch everything after it has aired in the on-demand library. Many shows offer full seasons, but at the least the on-demand network offers 5-7 recent shows so if you’re behind you can catch up. You can read our CBS All Access review here and sign up for your 7-day trial if you want to try it out.


Cable Users

Service: TV Everywhere

Price: Free with Cable or PS Vue login

TV Everywhere apps allow you to watch both live and on-demand TV on Roku. There are plenty of these apps on Roku. You can look for:

  • Watch Food Network
  • WatchESPN
  • FOX and FX Now
  • Nat Geo TV
  • ABC
  • USA
  • Watch HGTV
  • Watch Cooking Channel
  • Syfy Now
  • ID Go
  • Discovery Go
  • PBS
  • Lifetime
  • History
  • A&E
  • CW
  • CNN Go
  • NBC
  • Animal Planet Go
  • TLC Go

Those are just some of the options you can choose from concerning Roku. Currently, Roku offers 48 TV Everywhere apps. If you have cable or PS Vue, and you have that channel, you can sign in and watch it live and on-demand.

There are hundreds of other Roku live TV apps, but these are certainly the most popular options. If you have any questions or would like to recommend another live TV on Roku app, feel free to leave your suggestion or question in the comments!

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