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Whether it’s ‘Doctor Who’ or new British dramas, here’s everything you need to know to stream the BBC.
Ah, the BBC, the one breath of fresh, European air in a sea of cable pundits and reality shows for American viewers. You no longer have to use a VPN and stay up till two in the morning to watch Doctor Who. It’s easy to find a BBC live stream these days. Here’s everything you need to know to watch BBC America online.
What is BBC America?
Not to be confused with the actual BBC, which is unavailable to North American viewers barring some trickery, BBC America was launched in 1998 as a commercial equivalent to its predecessor’s public programming. BBC America is perhaps best known for introducing a new generation of geeks to Doctor Who, in addition to popularizing programs like The Graham Norton Show, Top Gear, and dramas like Broadchurch, Orphan Black, and Killing Eve.
BBC America used to broadcast the BBC World News’ programs, but all of that news content has been moved to the BBC World News channel. It’s still possible to get both in most streaming services, but there are some catches.
6 ways to get a BBC America live stream for free
You have plenty of options when it comes to watching a BBC America live stream. The good news? All of the following services offer a seven-day free trial, so you can feel confident you found the right service for you.
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’s streaming packages are split into two basic options (Sling Orange and Sling Blue), but the good news is that BBC America is on both. (There’s also Sling Orange + Blue if you want a bit of everything.) If you’re more of a sports person, all three ESPN channels are on Sling Orange, while most everything else is on Sling Blue. If you’re an entertainment hound, Sling Orange is probably the way to go and keeps things simple. If money isn’t an issue, you can always combine the packages for $40 per month. If you want BBC World News, there’s bad news, and then there’s worse news. The bad news is that you’ll have to pay an extra $5 either for the News Extra Sling Orange or News Extra: Sling Blue add-ons. Both are pretty dismal, with channels like Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze and RT (that’s the Kremlin-approved Russian news outlet), making BBC World News the only thing worth watching. (Here’s a complete guide to Sling TV channels.)
Game-changing feature: Flexibility. Sling TV gives you more power to decide what’s in your channel packages.
- Cost: $16 per month
- Philo devices: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, iOS and Android devices
It doesn’t get any cheaper than Philo. While it’s light on special features and premium channels, Philo TV gets you both BBC America and BBC World News for just $16 per month, which is bonkers, considering almost every other package forces you to buy a premium option. That’s in addition to AMC, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, and a bunch of others. (Here’s the complete list of Philo channels.)
- 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)
FuboTV heavily caters to sports fans, and it shows by the fact that it offers basically have every sports channel except for ESPN (sorry Monday Night Football fans). The entry-level package will get you a BBC America live stream, but you won’t get BBC World News unless you upgrade to the slightly more expensive Fubo Extra package. There are plenty of add-on options to choose from, including a pretty essential sports option that also nets you NFL RedZone and an international sports package. (Here’s a complete guide to FuboTV channels.)
Game-changing feature: Three-day replay for games and 30 hours of cloud DVR.
- 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)
The good news is you don’t need a PlayStation to enjoy Vue on all the usual platforms, and the entry-level $44.99-per-month Access package gets you BBC America. If you want BBC World News, you’ll have to go two packages up to the $59.99-per-month Elite package, and it’s a pretty paltry package that adds on a bunch of secondary nonsense, but if you just need the basics, PlayStation Vue is a solid option. (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: $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)
One simple package at one simple price, and to YouTube’s credit, you’ll get both BBC America and BBC World News, something no other service besides Philo can offer at an entry-level price point. By the way of entertainment, you’ll also get FX, AMC, plus sports essentials like ESPN, FS1, NBA TV, and more. One minor downside to consider is that HBO isn’t an option, not even as an add-on. (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.
Other ways to watch BBC America online
BBC America site and app
Like most other cable channels, BBC America gives you the option to watch online via BBCAmerica.com or the BBC America app for iOS and Android. The one catch is that you’ll need to have the login information for a cable provider account. Thankfully, BBC America also allows you to use credentials from the following streaming services: DirecTV Now, YouTube TV, Philo, PlayStation Vue, and FuboTV. Unfortunately, Sling TV won’t work. You can check a full list of providers by clicking on one of the locked shows on the website or by touching “sign in” at the top of the app.
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, 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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Joseph Knoop is a gaming writer for Daily Dot, a native Chicagoan, and a slave to all things Overwatch. He co-founded the college geek culture outlet ByteBSU, then interned at Game Informer, and now writes for a bunch websites his parents have never heard of.