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With the threat of cord-cutters looming and the ongoing shift to on-demand online viewing, many once-proud cable networks have suffered something of an identity crisis. In search of bigger, broader audiences, they’ve floated away from their core programming—which is how we got the WWE on Syfy. That makes CMT—Country Music Television—something of a pleasure.
Sure, CMT is not exactly the same Nashville-based channel laser-focused on country music that it once was. But it still plays an awful lot of country music. It still hosts the CMT Music Awards. It’s the network that helped rescue Nashville from the cancellation heap. Its original series, like the long-running Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team and the more recent Nashville-based reality series Music City, still remind you of the CMT of old. And even its reruns, like Reba, Last Man Standing, and the monument to Lone Star State asskickery that is Walker: Texas Ranger have a certain unifying blue-collar ethos. In a constantly shifting cable landscape, that makes CMT something of a rock. Like an old Brooks & Dunn tune, it’s comforting.
If you want to catch up on CMT, you can do it without a cable subscription—cop any of the live TV streaming services below and you can watch it anytime. That’ll also grant you access to the CMT app, available on iOS and Android devices, which will let you watch much of CMT’s programming on demand.
Here’s everything you need to know to watch CMT online.
How to watch CMT for free
There are a number of live TV streaming services that offer CMT. So, how do you decide which one is right for you? Well, that depends on your budget, what other channels you just can’t live without, and what device (or devices) you plan on streaming with. We cover all of those essential issues below. But don’t worry: No matter which service you select, you’ll be able to start with a one-week trial, allowing you to watch CMT for free.
1) Sling TV
- Cost: $25-$40 per month (40% off first month)
- 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)
Dish Network’s foray into over-the-internet live TV is the most popular such service in the U.S. That’s no surprise, given the low barrier to entry it offers for many of the most popular cable networks. For only $25 a month, you can sign up for a tier of Sling TV that will handily compete with any basic cable package. Sling TV offers a slightly dizzying array of options: two distinct packages (Sling Orange and Sling Blue) that you can sign up for separately or together (Sling Orange + Blue, which costs just $40 per month), and add-ons ranging from premium channels like Starz to cloud DVR storage. CMT is not available as part of Sling TV’s basic packages, but you can add it to any of them just $5 per month as part of the Comedy Extra bundle. I don’t claim to understand that categorization, but considering you’ll also get MTV, TruTV, and MTV2, it’s a great deal. Here’s a complete guide to Sling TV channels and our Sling TV review.
- Cost: $16 per month (after a 7-day free trial)
- Philo devices: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, iOS and Android devices
- Philo local channels
Philo began in a Harvard dorm room as a makeshift attempt to circumnavigate the Ivy League university’s lack of cable. It’s since grown into just about the best deal in live streaming television—at $16, you won’t find a lower barrier to entry anywhere. Sure, at that bargain price you’re getting a more limited channel selection, with no sports and none of the major news networks. But there are some real heavy-hitters among its over 40 networks, including AMC, BET, MTV, HGTV, Comedy Central, and, of course, Lifetime Movies. Philo also has a generous DVR policy, so your favorite shows fit on your schedule. You can read more about Philo’s DVR strengths and limitations here. You can check out a complete list of Philo’s channels right here.
- Cost: $44.99 for the first month, $54.99 per month thereafter (after a 7-day free trial)
- FuboTV devices: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, Android TV, iOS and Android devices
- FuboTV local channels: Fox, NBC, CBS (check local availability here)
FuboTV is known primarily as a sports streaming service, and it’s undoubtedly the best option out there for international soccer, but it’s so much more than that. Case in point: It’s one of the best options for watching CMT online. In addition to speciality sports options like NFL Network, Big Ten Network, and NBA TV, you’ll get great channels like HGTV, CNN, Bravo, AMC, BBC America, Hallmark, and Lifetime Movies. In fact, FuboTV’s basic package offers more than 95 channels, including Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, VH1, and other channels that were recently added as part of a new deal with Viacom. The only thing missing is ESPN. (Here’s the complete FuboTV channels list and our comprehensive FuboTV review.)
New to cord-cutting? Here are our picks for the best movie streaming sites of 2019 and free live TV apps and channels. If you’re looking for premium services, here’s how to watch HBO, Showtime, and Starz online. Want a specific channel? Here’s how to stream A&E, AMC, Animal Planet, BBC, Bravo, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, CNN, CNBC, C-SPAN, Comedy Central, the CW, Discovery, Disney Channel, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, Food Network, Fox News, Freeform, FS1 and FS2, FX, Golf Channel, Hallmark, HGTV, History Channel, HLN, Lifetime, MSNBC, MTV, National Geographic, NBA TV, Nickelodeon, PBS, Sundance TV, Syfy, TBS, Tennis Channel, TLC, TNT, the Weather Channel, Willow, VH1, 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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Patrick Caldwell is a streaming entertainment reporter. He previously served as a staff music critic at the Austin American-Statesman.