Tired of paying through the nose for cable? Here’s yet another reason to cut the cord with confidence: there are now many different options for watching family friendly content from Nick Jr., Nicktoons, Nick and TeenNick over the internet.
Continue reading to find out everything you need to know about how to watch Nickelodeon without cable.
Top Cable Replacers That Have Nickelodeon
Internet-powered “skinny bundle” cable replacers are transforming the entertainment industry.
Because they cost less and have features that old-school TV vendors lack, skinny bundle subscription services provide a very attractive alternative to cable TV.
Skinny bundle services let you purchase Nickelodeon and many other standard cable TV channels for a fraction of the usual cost. Most of these internet TV services, like YouTube TV, DirecTV Now, and Hulu With Live TV, offer between 40-70 channels for about $40 per month, and some services like Philo are even cheaper.
Almost all skinny bundle services feature DVR (Digital Video Recorder) functionality. DVR allows you to record what you want to watch and play the recording at whatever time is most convenient for you. You can also use a DVR to buffer live events so that you can zip past annoying commercials.
Here’s a quick rundown of all the major skinny bundle services that have Nickelodeon.
Philo may be right up your alley if you’re looking for a basic TV replacer and you don’t care about sports. Philo bundles 3 Nickelodeon channels (Nick Jr., Teennick and Nick) with its basic subscription package — and if you’re willing to pay $4 more, you can get Nicktoons and 8 other channels, too.
Plans, deals and pricing
Philo’s basic plan costs $16 per month, which makes it the cheapest available skinny bundle on the market right now. The $16 plan comes with 43 channels, but the $20 plan comes with 55.
Philo has a DVR feature that lets you to grab recordings of as many shows as you want and view them for up to 30 days.
You can also stream on up to 3 streams simultaneously, which is incredible, considering the low price of the service.
In addition to cheap prices, the other aspect of Philo that has made headlines is its plan to build a social network that lets you share Philo with your friends. So far, however, details about the upcoming Philo social network have been vague.
“Coming soon, Philo will integrate a social platform that connects you with your friends and family to discover new content, effortlessly share your favorite shows, and watch shows together.” – Philo press release
Aside from its lack of sports channels and local broadcast networks, Philo has also had struggles with app support for major platforms. For example, there is a Philo iOS app, but if you have an Android smartphone, there’s no app. You have to watch Philo in your web browser, which is clunky and burns through your battery.
Other apps and platforms supported by Philo include Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV (4th gen and later) and PCs and Macs using Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Microsoft Edge.
Philo does have some (1,000 hours) on-demand content, but its on-demand vault pales in comparison to Hulu and DirecTV.
- Philo carries all 4 Nickelodeon channels (Nick, Nicktoons, TeenNick and Nick Jr.).
- No broadcast networks, no sports.
- The cheapest TV replacer on the market.
- Modest on-demand library.
- Philo credentials do not unlock premium Nickelodeon web content.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to access family and lifestyle cable TV programming, Philo is your best bet. Philo is incredibly cheap and has strong features, but if you’re a sports fans you’ll want to look elsewhere to get your TV fix.
Sling TV offers very low subscription prices, but its plans don’t make much sense. Although the service focuses on customization and “a la carte” packages, it can be just as difficult to understand as a traditional cable service. And, oddly enough, Sling TV has Nick Jr., Nicktoons and TeenNick — but not Nick.
Plans, deals and pricing
Free Roku Deal
Free Roku Express
1 simultaneous stream.
Free Roku Deal$25.00/ month
Free Roku Express
3 simultaneous streams
|Sling Orange + Blue|
Free Roku Deal
Free Roku Express
4* simultaneous streams
If you want kids programming from Nickelodeon, the Sling TV base plan you’ll want to check out is Sling Blue. Sling Blue costs $25 and has around 40 channels, including Nick Jr. If you buy the Kids Extra add-on for $5, you can get Nicktoons and TeenNick, too.
If you purchase both Sling Blue and Sling Orange (which also costs $25) you can get a $10 discount, bringing the base cost to $40. Sling Orange has ESPN and other Disney-owned channels. You still have to pay extra for Nicktoons and TeenNick, though. They’re not included in the base package of either service.
Sling TV has good apps and on-demand content, but the rest of its features are not so great.
Sling TV has a surprisingly beefy content vault. According to the Sling website, Sling TV has around 10,000 hours of on-demand videos. App support is quite good, too. Sling TV has apps for Amazon Fire TV devices, Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, Android/iOS devices, LG/Samsung Smart TVs and Xbox One. PlayStation is not on the app menu, though.
Sling TV’s DVR is limited because it doesn’t let you record any Disney-owned channels. Because Nickelodeon is owned by Viacom, you can use Sling TV’s DVR with Nicktoons, TeenNick and Nick Jr. However, you can’t record ESPN, A&E, or ABC. Plus, you have to pay $5 extra to unlock DVR service at all, and you’ll only get 50 hours of recording time, which pales in comparison to some of the other streaming services on the market in 2018.
Another downside: Sling only lets you stream to 3 devices at once with Sling Blue. You don’t get any simultaneous streaming capability with Sling TV Orange.
- Sling TV has Nick Jr., Nicktoons and TeenNick — but not Nick.
- Very inexpensive.
- Confusing plans.
- Large on-demand library.
- Sling TV credentials do not unlock premium Nick web content.
Sling TV is super cheap, but its plans are weird and its features aren’t so great. Additionally, Sling TV doesn’t have the main Nickelodeon channel — only Nick Jr., Nicktoons and Teennick.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for an inexpensive way to let your kids watch Nickelodeon content, you may want to give it a spin. You just won’t get the content available on Nickelodeon proper — only its affiliate networks.
DirecTV Now’s basic subscription package (Live a Little, $40) has 60+ channels including Nick and Nick Jr. If you upgrade to Just Right ($55) you can unlock Nicktoons and 20+ more channels.
With DirecTV Now, you get higher resolution feeds and more channels compared to other providers. However, there’s a catch: DirecTV Now is still a work-in-progress.
AT&T is currently in the process of rolling out new DirecTV Now features. The rollout has been a bumpy ride in recent weeks.
Over the holidays, DirecTV Now users experienced intermittent outages and other issues after a wave of subscribers joined to take advantage of DirecTV Now’s 1-year anniversary promotion.
Plans, deals and pricing
Like most cable replacers, DirecTV Now lets you try out their service risk-free to see how you like it. DirecTV Now’s trial period lasts 7 days, and their subscription plans start at $40. With DirecTV Now’s basic Live a Little plan you get 65+ channels. Most competing basic plans from other services have 30 to 40 channels, so it’s not a bad deal.
Along with 3 Nickelodeon channels, DirecTV Now also carries USA Network, AMC, FX/FXX, TBS, TNT, Spike, A&E plus a nice sports mix that includes ESPN and several regional FOX Sports channels.
DirecTV Now doesn’t have 4K channels yet, but we suspect that DirecTV Now will rollout 4K soon. A few weeks ago, DirecTV Now started giving Apple TV 4K devices to DirecTV Now prepayers. Current DirecTV Now subscribers already enjoy 1080p picture quality on some sports channels.
DirecTV Now has apps for all the mainstream streaming devices including Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV and iOS/Android mobile devices, as well as web browsers.
DirecTV Now’s biggest downside is that its DVR service is still in beta and users recently downgraded from 100 hours of cloud storage to just 20 hours, after the beta rolled out to the public.
Another issue is that only two people can watch streams on one DirecTV Now account at once, which could be an issue if you have a large family. Other skinny bundle services offer more flexibility.
DirecTV Now has over 25,000 titles in its on-demand catalog, including many popular Nickelodeon shows.
- DirecTV Now has Nick, Nick Jr. and Nicktoons (but not TeenNick).
- Best overall deal for AT&T subscribers.
- Best overall basic plan.
- 4K is coming.
- DirecTV Now credentials can unlock TV Anywhere content.
If you’re an AT&T subscriber, DirecTV Now is a killer deal. Another reason to consider DirecTV Now: 4K. Out of all the streaming services we’ve seen, DirecTV Now seems to be the closest to enabling 4K support.
Additionally, DirecTV Now has the best basic bundle around. Also, DirecTV Now is the only skinny bundle service that lets you unlock premium “TV Anywhere” content on Nickelodeon’s websites and apps.
The main downside of DirecTV Now is that it’s brand new. This skinny bundle has only been around for a year, so you should expect some problems from time to time as AT&T continues to roll out new DirecTV Now features and iron out its kinks. The DVR and simultaneous streaming policy are also somewhat limiting.
If you’re curious about DirecTV Now, you can check it out free for 7 days and see what you think.
Free 7-day TrialSubscribe Now
Nickelodeon Apps & Websites
Even though AT&T’s DirecTV Now is spotty in some areas because it’s relatively new, one big advantage it has over the competition is the fact that you can use DirecTV Now credentials to unlock Nickelodeon videos and content from other “TV Everywhere” sites around the internet.
Here’s a quick overview of Nickelodeon’s web content.
Like its name suggests, the Nick Jr. site caters to preschoolers and kindergartners. It features full episodes and clips from shows like Block Party, Shimmer and Shine and other similar titles.
The Nick Jr. website’s interface is picture-based, which makes it easy for little kids to use.
Nickelodeon sites have free videos that you can watch without a cable TV subscription. But with DirecTV Now, you can unlock more.
TeenNick is very similar to Nick Jr., only the target demographic is teens. Teennick has shows like Zoey 101, Drake and Josh and iCarly. Full episodes are available, but you have to log in with TV Everywhere to view some of them.
On Nick, you’ll find clips and episodes from hit Nickelodeon shows like Spongebob Squarepants, The Loud House, Henry Danger and others. Like Nick Jr., the Nick website’s interface is super simple and kid-friendly.
Nick at Nite
The Nick at Nite website spotlights classic sitcoms of shows like Full House, Friends and The Fresh Prince of Bel-air. There aren’t any videos, though — only animated gifs and a TV schedule.
The Nick App
Though promotional literature for the Nick app suggests that it puts “the best of Nickelodeon at your fingertips,” its focus is clearly on kids and teens. There doesn’t seem to be any Nick at Nite content on the app.
The latest update to the Nick Android app lets you watch every season of various shows including Henry Danger, Game Shakers, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn and others.
Along with its on-demand library of video content, there are various games you can play on the Nick app. Titles include Super Brawl World, Basketball Stars 2, Destruction Truck Derby and Block Party 3.
In addition to Google Play, the Nickelodeon app is available on iTunes, Roku and Amazon.
Nickelodeon’s Nick app has mostly positive reviews. Here’s what one reviewer had to say about it:
“So cool. I love watching all free episodes of my favorite shows like Henry danger and game shakers. If you’re a big Nickelodeon fan, then this is the perfect for you to put on your favorite shows!“
Our Verdict: The Best Way to Watch the Nickelodeon Without Cable
If you want to see Nickelodeon content without a cable subscription, you have a ton of options. Here’s a quick breakdown of your best available choices.
The overall best skinny bundle for Nickelodeon fans
Even though DirecTV Now has been experiencing some growing pains lately, it’s the best overall choice for fans of Nickelodeon content. Three Nickelodeon channels (Nick, Nick Jr. and Nicktoons) are available via DirecTV Now, plus you can use your DirecTV credentials to unlock premium Nickelodeon website/app content.
The cheapest way to watch Nickelodeon without cable
Philo is the least expensive way to catch Nickelodeon content without a cable subscription. For just $20, you can get access to all 4 Nickelodeon channels via Philo: Nick, Nick Jr., Nicktoons and TeenNick. The only downside to Philo is that you can’t use your credentials to log into TV Everywhere.