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Live (streaming) from New York!
Watching Saturday Night Live online without cable isn’t as easy as you might think. While all of the major live TV streaming services offer local channels at this point, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to an SNL live stream. The availability of NBC varies depending on the service and your location. Here’s everything you need to know to watch SNL online ahead of the season 44 premiere on Sept. 29 with host Adam Driver and musical guest Kanye West.
SNL season 44 schedule
Saturday Night Live doesn’t release its full schedule all at once. That would spoil too many surprises. Here’s what we know so far:
Sept. 29: Adam Driver, Kanye West
Oct. 6: Awkwafina, Travis Scott
Oct. 13: Seth Meyers, Paul Simon
Nov. 3: Jonah Hill, Maggie Rogers
Nov. 10: Live Schreiber, Lil Wayne
Nov. 17: Steve Carell, Ella Mai
Dec. 1: Claire Foy, Anderson .Paak
Dec. 8: Jason Momoa, Mumford & Sons
Dec. 15: Matt Damon, Mark Ronson & Miley Cyrus
Jan. 19: Rachel Brosnahan, Greta Van Fleet
Jan. 26: TBA
What channel is SNL on?
Saturday Night Live airs on NBC at 11:30pm ET.
SNL live stream: 8 ways to watch Saturday Night Live online
Every major live streaming service offers NBC in some capacity, but you’ll need to check if there’s a local affiliate available in your area. We’ve provided the links to do so below. Regardless, a subscription to one of the following services will allow you to live stream SNL NBC app.
WATCH: Is SlingTV worth it?
1) Sling TV
- Cost: $25-$40 per month (after a 7-day free trial)
- Sling TV devices: Amazon Fire TVs, Android Fire Stick, Apple TV, Android TV, Roku, Xbox One, Google Chromecast, Oculus Go, and iOS and Android devices
- Sling TV local channels: NBC, Fox (check your local availability here)
Sling TV is the most well-known and popular live TV streaming service on the market right now. For some strange reason, local channels aren’t available as part of its basic Sling Orange package. That means you’ll either need Sling Blue ($25 per month) or, if it’s important that you also get ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN3, Sling Orange + Blue (seen below), which costs $40 per month. (Here’s a complete guide to Sling TV channels.)
Game-changing feature: Price. Sling TV offers the cheapest way to stream Saturday Night Live.
- Cost: $40 per month (after a 7-day free trial)
- Hulu devices: Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, and iOS and Android devices
- Hulu local channels: ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, the CW (check your local availability here)
If you love Saturday Night Live, chances are you already love Hulu. The streaming service is the best way to catch up on your favorite TV shows, and its invested heavily in its original series, most notably The Handmaid’s Tail. Now you can watch live TV on Hulu, too, so you don’t have to wait till the next day to stream Saturday Night Live or the latest This Is Us episode. Hulu with Live TV offers 40 channels that range from sports ESPN, FS1, Big Ten Network, NBC’s Golf Channel) to news (Fox News, MSNBC, CNN,) to entertainment (FX, Disney). Here’s a complete guide to Hulu Live TV channels.
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.)
- Cost: $44.99-$79.99 per month (after a 7-day free trial)
- PlayStation Vue devices: PlayStation 3 and 4, Roku, Amazon Fire, Google Chromecast, Kodi, iOS and Android devices
- Local channels: NBC, Fox, ABC, CBS (enter your ZIP code here to check your availability)
Let’s clear up one common misconception first: You don’t need a gaming console to use PlayStation Vue. It works with a wide range of devices, even Kodi. Its basic live TV package is a little more expensive than the competition for roughly the same channels, but it’s an intuitive streaming service. (Here’s a complete guide to PlayStation Vue channels.).
Game-changing feature: You can stream on up to five devices at once, and there’s unlimited cloud DVR.
- Cost: $44.99 for your first month and $54.99 per month thereafter (after a 7-day free trial)
- FuboTV devices: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Android TV, iOS and Android devices
- FuboTV local channels: Fox, NBC, CBS (check local availability here)
When you’re done streaming Saturday Night Live, if your first thought is to see what European soccer games might be on, FuboTV is the right streaming service for you. Its sports-centric package specializes in international sports, but you also get channels that are traditionally add-ons elsewhere (NBA TV, NFL Network, Pac-12 Network) in your basic package. Here’s a complete guide to FuboTV channels.
Game-changing feature: Three-day replay for games and 30 hours of cloud DVR.
- Cost: $49.99 per month (after a 7-day free trial)
- YouTube TV devices: Google Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Xbox One, iOS and Android devices
- Local channels: NBC, CBS, Fox, ABC, the CW (enter your ZIP code here to check your availability)
YouTube TV is a solid choice for watching Saturday Night Live online. You get NBC, CNBC, and NBCSN, in addition to MLB Network, NBA TV, ESPN, AMC, and Syfy. Just don’t expect to skip ads on YouTube. For that, you’ll need YouTube Premium, a separate service. (Here’s a complete guide to YouTube TV channels.)
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.
6) The NBC app
Cost: Free to download
Devices: Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Roku, Amazon Alexa Skill, iOS and Android devices
With a cable subscription or any of the live TV options listed above, you can unlock all of your favorite shows on the NBC app and, in most U.S. cities, live viewing. Episodes of new shows are loaded the day after they air, which makes it a great way to watch SNL but also This Is Us, The Good Place, The Voice, and more, while classic shows like Friday Night Lights, Saved by the Bell, and Battlestar Galactica are available in their entirety on-demand. Without a subscription, you still get three free episodes if you create an NBC profile.
Cost: Free to download
Devices: iOS and Android devices
You won’t be able live stream SNL with this app, but it’s so ridiculously comprehensive that it’s worth mentioning. Also: It’s free. It’s far more comprehensive than what you’ll find on YouTube and much easier to use. For example, a quick search for Leslie Jones brought up 241 skits to watch. Plus, the app boasts of having an AI-enabled recommendation system that offers up suggestions tailored to how an what you watch.
That said, if you want to watch full episodes, the app will direct you to download the NBC app covered above
Saturday Night Live doesn’t live stream on YouTube, but it’s the best way to catch all the highlights from the show. SNL uploads nearly every skit and musical performance to YouTube on Sundays. This way you can get a good night sleep, skip some commercials, and see everything you missed from the program.
In fact, you can spend hours going down a YouTube wormhole of SNL highlights. The channel smartly offers curated collections for key cast members (Alec Baldwin, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, etc.), as well as themed videos (“Back to School with SNL”), behind-the-scenes footage, and highlights from previous seasons.
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, Sundance TV, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, Willow, AMC, FX, Fox News, Freeform, MSNBC, CNN, CNBC, FS1, TBS, TNT, Tennis Channel, Golf Channel, Syfy, HGTV, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, Bravo, Lifetime, Discovery, PBS, the CW, BBC, CSPAN, NBA TV, MTV, Comedy Central, Food Network, TLC, HLN, A&E, Animal Planet, National Geographic, the Weather Channel, the History 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.
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Austin Powell is the former 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.