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How to watch live TV on Apple TV

Apple TV is an underrated streaming device, especially when it comes to live TV.


John-Michael Bond


Published Jan 3, 2018   Updated Mar 10, 2021, 8:35 pm CST

Apple TV doesn’t get enough credit for helping usher in the era of streaming entertainment. Apple TV launched in 2007, a full year before Roku announced its first receiver, the Roku DVP. The device often gets lost in the conversation because of its comparatively high price point, but it’s easy to watch live TV on Apple TV, and it’s capable of pristine 4K streaming.

With the addition of streaming TV apps, Apple TV has become one of the best premium media devices on the market. The only downside is you’ll need at least a 4th generation Apple TV to use these services. That said, here’s everything you need to know to watch live TV on Apple TV.

how to watch live tv on apple tv

How to watch live TV on Apple TV

Hulu with Live TV

watch live tv apple tv - hulu

Hulu with Live TV represents a beautiful middle-ground for people familiar with streaming but new to streaming live TV. A Hulu with Live TV membership includes a full package of cable TV channels, along with a traditional Hulu streaming membership. Should you ever get sick of watching live TV, Hulu is waiting for you with more to watch. Not that you’ll run out of content on Hulu with Live TV. Its 65-plus channel package includes everything from Cartoon Network to ESPN, with every major news network to boot. If that wasn’t enough, Hulu with Live TV includes 50 hours of cloud DVR storage and on-demand shows not included with Hulu’s streaming service. 

Hulu Live TV Logo
Hulu Live TV $64.99
Hulu Live TV
(no ads on
Hulu content)

Sling TV

watch live tv apple tv - sling tv
Sling TV

Sling TV is a live streaming TV solution that lets users pick from a handful of inexpensive channel packages. Rather than getting a hundred channels that you don’t care about with an expensive cable package, Sling TV offers smaller packages of hot channels at a discount. Along with live streaming TV, Sling TV offers on-demand and cloud DVR for subscribers as well. Sling offers two packages, Sling Orange and Sling Blue, both of which cost $30 per month, along with the option to get both packages for $45 per month.

There’s some channel overlap, with both offering mainstays like Cartoon Network, Comedy Central, and CNN. That overlap makes the missing options from each package frustrating. Sling’s Orange package has three ESPN channels and Disney, but not Nat Geo, FX, local channels, FS1, or SyFy. The Blue package, on the other hand, has all of your favorite sports channels—except ESPN. You can solve the problem by getting Sling Orange + Blue. There’s so much overlap that buying both doesn’t feel like it adds much. Still, at just $45 per month for the combo package, getting everything with Sling TV won’t break the bank.

Sling TV
Orange + Blue$50

3) FuboTV

how to watch live tv on apple tv - fubotv

FuboTV is an international sports fan’s best friend, a live TV streaming service that offers the best of soccer, NBA, and Formula-1 along with basic cable channels. While you’ll miss out on a few favorites like ESPN, FuboTV includes Bravo, MSNBC, SyFy, History, and other basic cable standards you’ve come to expect. With over 98 channels included in the basic package, you get a ton of content for your money. Spanish speakers looking for a cheaper alternative should also consider the Fubo Latino package for $7.99 per month. This package comes with 15 Spanish language channels for a reduced price. If making sure you’ve got access to local channels is important to you, FuboTV deserves an extra look. While it doesn’t include ABC, it offers local NBC, Fox, and CBS channels for most of the U.S. market. Your membership even includes cloud DVR.

fubo tv
Family with Showtime$74.99 ($69.99 for first 3 mos.)

4) Philo TV

watch live tv apple tv - philo

If you’re looking for streaming TV on a budget, no service compares to Philo’s 58-channel $20-per-month baseline package. Originally designed for students living in college dorms, Philo’s lineup is light on news, but it packs in some of the best channels in entertainment: AMC, BET, CMT, MTV, Comedy Central, and VH1. Philo comes with on-demand and unlimited DVR, with recordings lasting up to 30 days. No one offers more for less. However, the lack of news beyond BBC World News is frustrating. If you can get by without American news sources, Philo is a steal.


5) YouTube TV

watch live tv apple tv - youtube tv

In an oversaturated streaming TV market, YouTube TV sets itself apart by offering unlimited cloud DVR space and access to YouTube Red’s original programming. Its channel selection includes 60-plus channels, with a wide range of basic cable standards like AMC, FX, E!, ESPN, and Fox News. Best of all up to five people can watch simultaneously, with each user getting their own unlimited DVR. The only downside is YouTube TV isn’t available nationwide yet. (To see if you can use YouTube TV, check here.) While $64.99 a month is expensive, the unlimited DVR and great channel lineup soften the blow.

Youtube TV
1 Month$64.99
Sports Plus$10.99/mo.

Streaming Device Guides

Amazon FireApple TVAndroid
RokuSmart TVsXBox

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, 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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*First Published: Jan 3, 2018, 6:00 am CST