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How to watch CNN for free

RB-Photo/Shutterstock (Licensed) Remix by Jason Reed

There’s more to watch than just the news.

In the Trump era, CNN has become an essential source of hard news and commentary on the administration. Thankfully, it’s never been easier to watch CNN online or find a CNN live stream.

But there’s far more to enjoy on CNN than just breaking news. The final season of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown premieres Sept. 27 and will include seven new episodes—five that were partially completed before the iconic chef’s death and two specials. And if you haven’t seen W. Kamau Bell’s travel series, United Shades of America, you’re missing out.

At the very least, you’ll want to tune in to CNN come election night. Whatever the case, here’s how to watch a CNN live stream for free and a complete guide to live TV streaming services that offer CNN.

cnn live stream CNN

CNN live stream: 6 other ways to watch

All of the major live TV streaming services offer CNN in even their most basic packages, and even better: They all offer a free seven-day trial, so you can figure out which service is right for you. Here’s everything you need to know to watch CNN online.

WATCH: Is SlingTV worth it? 

1) Sling TV

watch cnn online sling tv orange blue Sling TV

Unlike the other services on this list that have different tiers of channels that build upon a base level, Sling TV basically divides its offerings into two groups, Sling Orange and Sling Blue, both of which cost $25 per month, and then combines them for one comprehensive package, Sling Orange + Blue ($40 per month). No matter which one you choose, you’ll get CNN and a host of other channels like FX, AMC, and Comedy Central. (You can find a full list of Sling TV channels here.)

Game-changing feature: Price. Sling TV offers the cheapest entry point for an online package that includes CNN.


2) FuboTV

cnn live stream fubotv channels FuboTV

FuboTV launched as a streaming TV service for international soccer, but it’s expanded well beyond that. While there’s still a strong emphasis on sports (see: NBA TV, NFL Network, and plenty more), there are some strong options for general news and entertainment, including CNN, Food Network, AMC, and Syfy. Here’s the complete FuboTV channels list.

Game-changing feature: Three-day replay for games and 30 hours of cloud DVR.


3) Hulu with Live TV

cnn live stream hulu live tv channels Hulu

If you only know Hulu as a Netflix alternative with better TV shows, it’s time for you to revisit the service. Hulu with Live TV provides more than 40 channels, including a suite of ESPN, CNN, FX, and more. The best part? It comes with free access to Hulu Limited Commercials, and you can remove ads from your on-demand viewing for an extra $4 per month. HBO and Showtime are also available as add-ons.

Game-changing feature: Every subscription comes with free access to Hulu’s on-demand library, meaning you can catch up on all of your favorite shows. (Here are our picks for the best movies on Hulu, Hulu documentaries, anime, and the must-see Hulu originals.)

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4) PlayStation Vue

cnn live news stream playstation vue access PlayStation Vue

PlayStation Vue is one of the more expensive live TV streaming services, but not by much, and it has a couple of standout features, like Kodi compatibility. (Here are all of PlayStation Vue channels.)

Game-changing feature: You can stream on up to five devices at once, and there’s unlimited cloud DVR.


5) YouTube TV

cnn live stream youtube tv channels YouTube TV

Not to be confused with YouTube Premium, which removes those pesky ads on YouTube itself, YouTube TV is a streaming service that offers one compelling package of channels. That includes strong news programming (CNN, BBC America and BBC World News, Newsy), entertainment (FX, AMC), and sports (NBA TV, MLB Network). At the price point, YouTube TV is a great starter package, but what you see is what you get. (Take a closer look at the YouTube TV channels here.)

Game-changing feature: You can add up to six accounts per household, and each one of those accounts gets unlimited cloud DVR. Even better: You can fast-forward through ads in recorded programs.

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CNN live stream: 5 ways to watch CNN online for free

1) PlutoTV

Pluto TV channels Pluto TV

  • Devices: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, Android TV, Google Chromecast, PlayStation 4, select smart TVs, and iOS and Android devices

Pluto TV sounds too good to be true. It’s a completely free live TV service that offers quality news from CNN, CBS News, NBC News, Bloomberg Television, and Cheddar News. There are also a ton of options for free movies, sports, comedy, and geek-centric programming.


2) LiveNewsOn

cnn live stream free Live News On

Not only can you watch a free CNN live stream on LiveNewsOn, you can tune in to news channels from around the world, including MSNBC and Fox News. Oh, and it’s all HD quality. What’s the catch? Well, let’s just say we won’t be surprised if this site gets shut down at some point, since it doesn’t appear to be authorized and makes it clear on its homepage that it’s “not affiliated with CNN, BBC News, or CNBC.” In our limited amount of time on the site, we weren’t hit with any weird ads or popups, and the CNN live stream loaded effortlessly. 


3) CNN

cnn news live stream CNN

If you have a cable subscription or sign up for one of the live TV streaming options listed below, you can use your sign-in credentials to watch CNN straight from its homepage. Just click the tab in the upper right-hand corner that says Live TV. Otherwise, you’ll be limited to a 10-minute free preview (though I’ve had problems streaming via both Google Chrome and Safari). Otherwise, there are countless standalone videos from the day in news if there’s a particular event that you’re looking to follow.


4) Tune In

cnn live news tune in Tune In

This is technically a free CNN live stream, but there’s a catch: It’s audio-only. But if you’re commuting, it’s a great solution. Tune In is also the best way to listen to CNN’s excellent collection of podcasts, including Anderson Cooper 360°, Cuomo Prime Time With Chris Cuomo, Erin Burnett OutFront, Fareed Zakaria GPS, Inside Politics, The Lead With Jake Tapper, and Reliable Sources With Brian Stelter.


5) CNN Go

Cost: Free to download. Access requires a cable of live TV streaming subscription

Devices: Apple TV, Apple tvOS, Samsung TV, Android TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, iPad, iOS and Android devices

Once you’re signed up with one of the services above, you can download CNN Go, the channel’s standalone app. It’s the easiest way to stay up-to-date with CNN, and the navigation is much more intuitive. It also makes it easier for you to find on-demand content, like its 2017 series, The History of Comedy.

cnn live streaming CNN

New to cord-cutting? Here are our picks for the best movie streaming sites of 2018 and free live TV apps and channels. If you’re looking for a specific channel, here’s how to watch HBO, Showtime, Starz, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, AMC, FX, Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC, FS1, TBS, TNT, Golf Channel, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, the CW, BBC, CSPAN, NBA TV, MTV, the Weather Channel, and NFL RedZone without cable, as well as free movies on YouTube. If you’re on the move, here’s how to watch Fox Sports Go and live stream NBC Sports. New to cord-cutting? Here are our picks for the best movie streaming sites of 2018 and free live TV apps and channels. If you’re looking for a specific channel, here’s how to watch HBO, Showtime, Starz, ESPN, AMC, FX, Fox News, MSNBC, and NFL RedZone without cable, as well as free movies on YouTube.

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Austin Powell

Austin Powell

Austin Powell is the managing editor of the Daily Dot. His work focuses on the intersection of entertainment and technology. He previously served as a music columnist for the Austin Chronicle and is the co-author of The Austin Chronicle Music Anthology.