If you have cut the cord on cable, or you’ve cancelled your satellite TV service because of its high cost, congratulations! You’ll be saving hundreds of dollars a year by getting rid of that pricey monthly cable bill.
However, you may be missing out on live local news and sports coverage from NBC, as well as your favorite shows like The Voice and Today. How can you get NBC without cable and all of the high cost associated with traditional TV? In this guide, we’ll show you! Let’s get started.
Method 1: The “Skinny Bundle” Internet TV Service
Because cable and satellite pay-TV services have become so expensive, many people are looking for an alternative. This has resulted in the rise of the “skinny bundle” internet TV service.
“Skinny bundle” internet TV services like DirecTV Now and Sling TV are different from traditional cable subscriptions. You don’t need a satellite or cable connection to use them, just a home WiFi network.
In addition, they do not require any long-term contracts. You only pay month-to-month, and there are absolutely no hidden fees or other costs, which makes them very appealing compared to cable.
Internet TV is also quite inexpensive. Sling TV, for example, costs only $20 for the most inexpensive package, and most other internet TV packages start at around $35-$40/month.
These internet TV services carry most of the cable and network channels you would be interested in, including NBC. If you want to watch NBC without cable, and are also interested in other cable and broadcast networks, internet TV may be right for you.
The caveat: NBC affiliate availability varies based on geographic location
What’s the catch? Unfortunately, there is one. Each individual NBC affiliate station negotiates contracts with internet TV providers separately. What does this mean? It means that not every NBC station is available from every internet TV service.
For example, your local NBC station may have signed up to deliver their content over a service like DirecTV Now, but they may not have an agreement with Sling TV. Because of this, it is very important to check NBC station availability in your area before you sign up for a “skinny bundle”. Here are some links that can help you do that.
- DirecTV Now local channels
- Sling TV local channels
- fuboTV local channels
- Hulu With Live TV local channels
- YouTube TV local channels
- PlayStation Vue local channels
Check out these links and enter your ZIP code; you’ll be able to see if your local NBC stations are available.
Now that we’ve discussed local channel availability, let’s discuss the streaming services that offer NBC.
DirecTV Now was introduced by AT&T and DirecTV in order to reclaim customers who were canceling their pay TV subscriptions, and it’s one of the most popular internet TV services due to its great selection of channels.
Plans, deals, and pricing
|Live a Little||Just Right||Go Big||Gotta Have It|
|Fire TV Support||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Special Offers||FREE FIRE TV DEAL||FREE FIRE TV DEAL||FREE FIRE TV DEAL||FREE FIRE TV DEAL|
You have four different options when selecting a package of channels from DirecTV Now, and they all include NBC, as well as other local broadcast networks such as ABC, CBS, and Fox.
Even the lowest-tier “Live a Little” subscription includes a number of other highly sought-after channels like ESPN and Fox Sports, as well as entertainment programming from AMC, TNT, TBS, and more. If you need local NBC channels and plenty of other cable stations, DirecTV Now is a good choice.
You can also get some great deals from DirecTV Now if you’re a new subscriber. Check out this article to see some of their current promotions.
Though it has a great selection of channels, DirecTV Now lags behind other internet TV services when it comes to features.
First, there is no cloud DVR. Every other internet TV service on this list has an available DVR, yet DirecTV Now doesn’t. A 20-hour free DVR will be released this spring, but until then you’re out of luck if you want to record TV. You also can only stream on 2 devices at once, which is quite restrictive for larger families.
However, it’s not all bad. DirecTV Now has a large selection of apps for iOS and Android, and support for Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, and web browsers, so you have plenty of options for watching your favorite NBC shows.
Interested in DirecTV Now? You can get a free 7-day trial of the service now, and see if it’s right for you.
Sling TV is the most inexpensive choice on our list, so it’s a good choice for cord-cutters looking to save some money on cable. Here’s what you need to know about this “a la carte” streaming service.
Plans, deals, and pricing
|Sling Orange||Sling Blue||Sling Orange + Blue|
|Fire TV Support||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Special Offers||FREE ROKU DEAL||FREE ROKU DEAL||FREE ROKU DEAL|
You can pick between the Sling Orange ($20/month) and Sling Blue ($25/month) plans when signing up for Sling. You can also combine Sling Orange + Blue for $40/month.
However, only the Sling Blue package has local broadcast stations like NBC, so we’ll focus on this plan. Along with NBC, ABC, CBS, and Fox, you’ll get top networks like AMC, FX, CNN, HGTV, Comedy Central, NBCSN, and more. It’s a pretty good package of channels for $25/month, although some channels like ESPN are missing, and only available in Sling Orange.
Sling TV has pretty good features. You can get a DVR for an extra $5/month fee. The DVR comes with 50 hours of storage.
You can also stream content on up to 3 devices simultaneously, which is better than some other internet TV services such as fuboTV, DirecTV Now, and Hulu With Live TV (without the “Unlimited Screens” upgrade).
Sling TV can be used on mobile devices with iOS and Android support, or on your laptop with a supported web browser. It also has support from most streaming platforms, such as Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and Roku. Sling TV also supports most LG and Samsung Smart TVs, as well as the Xbox One console.
If you’re curious to try Sling TV for yourself, you can give the service a shot with a free 7-day trial, and see if you like it.
fuboTV is a sports-centered streaming service that has expanded into a full-fledged internet TV “cable replacer.” Here’s what you need to know about the service and its features.
Plans, deals, and pricing
|Fubo Premier||Fubo Latino||Fubo Português|
|Fire TV Support||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Sign Up||7-DAY FREE TRIAL||7-DAY FREE TRIAL||7-DAY FREE TRIAL|
There are 3 plans offered by fuboTV, but fubo Premier the most relevant for most English speakers. fubo Latino and fubo Português are geared more toward speakers from those countries currently residing in the U.S., and they don’t include local TV stations like NBC.
fubo Premier recently increased in price from $40/month to $45/month. For the price of entry, you get about 70 total channels, though this may vary based on your location. You will be able to get NBC, CBS, and Fox affiliate stations in most areas. However, fuboTV has no contracts with any ABC stations, so you won’t get any local ABC affiliates.
You’ll also get some news and entertainment channels like Food Network, A&E, CNBC, and CBS News. However, the bulk of channels, such as Eleven Sports, NBA TV, BeIN Sports 1-10, and the Big Ten Network are focused on sports.
fuboTV comes with a free DVR, which includes 30 hours of cloud storage. You can upgrade this to 500 hours of storage for a $10/month additional fee. You also can stream on 2 devices simultaneously, and you can add a third stream for a $6/month fee.
fuboTV is also available on iOS and Android, as well as web browsers and all major streaming platforms like Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, and Chromecast, so you have plenty of options for watching your favorite shows.
Interested in fuboTV? You can try it for free for up to a week at their website, and get a $25/month discount on your first month of service if you like what they have to offer.
Hulu With Live TV is a relatively new Internet TV service, and it is still technically in “beta,” despite having quite a few subscribers. Here’s what you need to know.
Plans, deals, and pricing
Hulu With Live TV simplifies things, offering only a single subscription package. Depending on where you are in the country, you’ll get somewhere between 40-70 channels for $40/month, which is reasonable.
You get local NBC stations, as well as CBS, Fox, and ABC stations in all areas where affiliates have inked agreements with Hulu With Live TV. You also get plenty of sports, reality, news, and entertainment channels like ESPN, TruTV, Viceland, CNN and Fox News, and FX. However, Viacom networks like VH1 and MTV are missing from the lineup.
Hulu With Live TV comes with a 50-hour DVR at no additional cost. You can upgrade this to 200 hours with the $15/month “Enhanced DVR” package.
By default, you can stream on 2 devices simultaneously with Hulu. However, the $15/month “Unlimited Screens” package lets you stream on unlimited devices on your home Wi-Fi network, and on up to 3 devices outside your home network.
Another great feature of Hulu With Live TV is that you get a base-tier Hulu subscription (a value of $8/month) included in your subscription for no extra fee. This means you have full access to the entire library of Hulu on-demand content.
Hulu With Live TV supports most modern streaming devices. You can use your web browser to watch on your computer, iOS and Android to watch on-the-go, and you can watch on streaming platforms such as Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, the Xbox One/360, and some Samsung Smart TVs.
If you’re interested in this service, you can try it for a week for free, at Hulu’s website.
YouTube TV officially launched late last year, and it has already become a favorite for cord-cutters due to its great features, clean user interface, and good lineup of channels.
Plans, deals, and pricing
Like Hulu With Live TV, YouTube TV offers only a single subscription package. For $40 a month —recently increased from $35/month—you get about 60 channels, though this will vary based on your location.
YouTube TV has partnerships with most NBC, ABC and Fox, stations, though you will want to make sure you get your local NBC station before signing up. You also get a ton of other great channels like ESPN, Fox News, AMC, BBC America, NBA TV, IFC, and dozens of others.
For the price, you get a really good channel lineup. However, the true value of YouTube TV can be found in its incredible features.
First, let’s talk about the DVR. YouTube has the best DVR of any internet TV service—without exception. You can store as many hours of content as you want, for up to 9 months. In addition, you can set up 6 different user accounts, and each user gets their own personal DVR.
You also get 3 simultaneous streams by default with YouTube TV, which makes it great if you plan on sharing your account with housemates or family members.
Device support is also pretty good. It was limited at first, but now you can use YouTube TV on Apple TV, Roku, Xbox One, Chromecast, Android TV, Samsung and LG Smart TVs, your web browser, and iOS/Android devices.
However, don’t expect Amazon Fire TV support to come any time soon. Amazon and Google are feuding and don’t seem in any hurry to make up in the near future.
Interested in YouTube TV? Give it a shot with a free trial now.
Despite the name, you don’t actually need a PlayStation to use PlayStation Vue. This internet TV from Sony offers a reasonable selection of channels, alongside one of the best sets of features for larger families and households. Here’s what you need to know.
Plans, deals, and pricing
Similarly to DirecTV Now, you can choose between 4 different packages of channels with PlayStation Vue, depending on how many channels you want. Your options are:
- Access – 45 channels, $40/month
- Core – 60 channels, $45/month
- Elite – 84 channels, $55/month
- Ultra – All Elite channels plus HBO/Showtime, $75/month
Local broadcast networks are included in every plan, including the cheapest $40/month “Access” plan. You can get NBC, ABC, Fox, and CBS affiliates in most areas of the U.S., though you will want to make sure your local affiliate is available before subscribing.
You’ll also get a number of other highly sought-after cable channels like ESPN and ESPN2, Fox Sports 1 and 2, AMC, FX, Bravo, USA, TNT, TBS, and CNN. You can upgrade to the Core and Elite packages to get even more channels, like IFC, Fusion, and The Cooking Channel.
PlayStation Vue has really good features for anyone who has a large family, or plans to split an internet TV subscription between multiple housemates.
Let’s start with the biggest headline: you can stream on up to 5 devices at once on your home network. That’s more devices than any service except Hulu With Live TV. And the Hulu “Unlimited Screens” package costs an extra $15/month fee, while 5-device streaming is free with PlayStation Vue.
You also get a really good DVR. You can save unlimited episodes of up to 500 different shows for 28 days, so you don’t have to worry about running out of space, no matter how many people are using the service.
PlayStation Vue also has support for all modern streaming platforms. When you’re on-the-go, you can stream it on your laptop through your web browser, or on your iOS/Android phones and tablets. And when you’re at home, you can use streaming platforms such as Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Chromecast, and Playstation 3/4 consoles to enjoy PlayStation Vue content.
If you’re interested in PlayStation Vue, and you’d like to give it a try, you can head to their website now to get a free 5-day trial subscription.
Method 2: Get NBC and Local Stations For Free With an OTA Antenna
Not interested in the cable stations offered by the above internet TV services, or looking for a free way to watch NBC and other local stations?
Good news! If you want to watch NBC and your other local stations for free, you can do so! All you need is an Over-The-Air (OTA) antenna, and a little bit of know-how!
NBC, CBS, Fox, ABC, and the CW are all “broadcast television” stations. You can get these stations and quite a few more, and they are all freely available to you if you have the right antenna, just like a radio station!
Here’s how you can watch NBC and other local stations for free with an OTA antenna.
Step 1: Check NBC station availability
First, you will want to see which stations you can get at your home. This is important because the closer you are to the broadcast station, the more likely it is that you can use an inexpensive indoor antenna. If you are farther away, however, you may need to use an outdoor antenna to pick up NBC.
AntennaWeb is a great resource for this. Just enter your ZIP code and you’ll get a full list of the broadcast stations available to you, along with their relative signal strength. You can even get some antenna recommendations.
Step 2: Get an OTA antenna that’s right for you
Next, you’ll need to purchase an OTA antenna. If you live in the city, you can probably use an indoor antenna, such as this model from AmazonBasics. However, if you live in a more rural area, you may need an outdoor antenna, such as this model from RCA.
Essentially, all antennas will do the exact same thing, so don’t stress out about choosing the perfect antenna. Just find one that looks right for you, has good ratings, and that’s offered at a good price.
Step 3: Set it up and scan for channels
Most modern TVs have a built-in TV tuner, so all you’ll have to do is follow the antenna instructions to set it up, plug it directly into your TV, and scan for channels. Once you do, you’ll see your local NBC station on the proper channel, as well as any other channels that are within broadcast range of your OTA antenna.
Step 4: Start watching your favorite shows!
That’s it! You can watch your favorite shows live, and get news and sports coverage from your local NBC affiliate. If you want, you can even invest in a product like the HDHomeRun, which allows you to stream OTA content to smartphones, tablets, and more. It also has an optional DVR upgrade, which will let you record your shows for later viewing.
Method 3: NBC.com and the NBC App
If you have a subscription to a “skinny bundle” internet TV service, you also get access to NBC.com, and the NBC app for iOS and Android, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku, and Android TV. Chromecast is also supported through iOS and Android Phones.
All 6 internet TV services on our list include support for the NBC website and app. Just log in with your NBC account, select the “Link Provider” option, and enter the internet TV service to which you subscribe.
After you do that, you’ll be able to watch live streams, on-demand episodes, and exclusive web content on NBC.com, and the NBC app.
Why is it worth doing this? The main reason is that it lets you get around some of the more restrictive simultaneous streaming policies of internet TV services. For example, even though DirecTV Now only lets you stream on 2 devices, you can still watch NBC content on the NBC app if 2 people are already using your DirecTV Now account.