In a world full of reality TV, TLC certainly gives its competitors a run for their money. Thankfully, it’s no contest when it comes to choosing between cable plans and far more convenient, affordable streaming services. If you’re looking to cut the cord but keep your favorite TLC shows, we’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you need to know to watch a TLC live stream for free.
Best Shows on TLC
- 90 Day Fiancé
- Dr. Pimple Popper
- Long Island Medium
- My 600-lb. Life
What is TLC?
Of all the channels out there, TLC has one of the most twisty paths to its current state. Founded in 1972, TLC was originally called the Appalachian Community Service Network, an educational outlet partially organized by NASA. It broadened its scope in 1980, officially becoming The Learning Channel. By the turn of the century, TLC began to pull back on educational content in favor of straight-up entertainment.
Early reality favorites included Trading Spaces and Junkyard Wars, and another shift toward lifestyle programming brought about popular series like Jon & Kate Plus 8; Toddlers & Tiaras; Little People, Big World; and the infamous Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. You’ll now find The Little Couple, 90 Day Fiancé, and YouTube sensation Dr. Pimple Popper filling the airwaves.
- Launched: 1972
- Slogan: “Everyone needs a little TLC”
- Genre: Reality/Lifestyle
- Formally called: Appalachian Community Service Network (1972–80), The Learning Channel (1980–92)
- Parent Company: Discovery Inc.
TLC live stream: 4 ways to watch TLC online for free
Philo is the least expensive streaming service, but it has some limitations. You won’t find the sports channels that dominate other packages or local channels. However, it’s the cheapest way to gain access to 60 great entertainment channels for only $20 a month. You’ll get popular channels like Animal Planet, MTV, Discovery, IFC, AMC, Lifetime, Nick Jr, and the Paramount Network, as well as deep cuts like ID and Game Show Network. You also get free cloud DVR, but shows recorded are deleted after 30 days, so binge responsibly.
Hulu Live TV is one of the most popular ways to stream live TV, perhaps because you gain access to a massive library of on-demand content including classic and current TV shows, movies, not to mention Hulu’s original programming. As far as live-streaming goes, you’ll have a ton of local, entertainment, and sports channels to flip through, including HGTV, a full suite of ESPN channels, Cartoon Network, FX, and even deep cuts like Nat Geographic and Syfy.
For a more à la carte service, look to Sling TV. It offers two cable packages, Sling Orange and Sling Blue, each of which costs $30 per month. If you grab them both (Sling Orange + Blue) you can save $10 per month. Sling Blue offers more bang for your buck with over 40 channels, including sports necessities like FS1, NBCSN, and NFL Network. You’ll also gain access to the usual cable mainstays like Food Network, Discovery, Cartoon Network, SYFY, and FXX. Whichever package you choose, you can save $10 on your first month. Here’s the complete guide to Sling TV channels.
Sling’s now offering a 14-day free trial though July 6.
FuboTV was built from the ground up with sports fans in mind. There are different channel packages available whether you’re looking for basketball, soccer, golf, or even outdoor sports like rock climbing. But no worries, all the great cable channels you’re after are here too, including Viceland, Bravo, TBS, and IFC.
There’s a good chance that you’re already looking to AT&T for your wireless needs. The second you sign up, you’ll gain instant access to 45+ channels, including local channels and even free HBO in the Plus and Max channel suites. Plus, it comes with CloudDVR, which lets you record up to 20 hours of TV per month. One account works on two devices, but you can add more devices for only $5.
Vidgo offers a package for under $40 a month that pulls together more than 60 English-language channels into its National English Package, including ABC, Fox, the Disney family of channels, the ESPN family of channels (including ESPN Deportes), FS1, FS2, Fox Deportes and BeIN Sports. It offers an array of entertainment favorites, including A&E, HGTV, History, Lifetime, and a full range of Nickelodeon channels, including TeenNick and NickToons.
College sports fans will love it, too: The ACCN, Big Ten Network, the Longhorn Network, and Pac-12 Network are all on the Core package, and for $10 more, the Plus package offers all six market-specific Pac-12 Networks.
YouTube TV is a great solution for families because one subscription can add up to six accounts, and each account comes with unlimited cloud DVR. You can’t beat the variety, either: There are sports channels like NBCSN, NBA TV, and four ESPN channels, while Disney, Disney XD, Disney Junior, and Cartoon Network will keep any kid (or kid at heart) busy for hours. It also comes with a few Spanish-language channels like Telemundo and NBC Universo. AMC, BBC America, and IFC are there too, so you won’t miss out on all that prestige TV. (You can find the full list of YouTube TV channels here.)
Other ways to watch TLC online
Like many other channels, TLC allows people who subscribe to a cable or streaming service to access a TLC live stream or on-demand content from the official TLC website or the TLC Go app. For the site, simply go to TLC.com, then click the “Live Now” link near the top left. You’ll be prompted to sign in with a TV provider. For DirectTV Now customers, “DirecTV” is listed, but other channels often list “DirecTV Now” as an option, so you may have to check if your credentials work. Philo and PlayStation Vue users can search for the service on the list of accepted providers and log in using your information.
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