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The Viacom channel offers a little bit of everything.
The Paramount Network is an odd duck. You could construct a conspiracy movie-style cork-board-with-pictures-connected-by-strings charting the channel’s evolution—from the Nashville Network to the National Network to Spike TV. (Notably, the Paramount Network is not descended from the United Paramount Network, or UPN, which later became the CW. Go figure.)
As befits a channel with such a windy history, the Paramount Network, which launched in 2018, has something of an identity crisis. There are reruns of Two and a Half Men and Friends, sure, but there’s also a wide array of original reality series—a rebooted Wife Swap, the return of Spike TV’s popular Bar Rescue, and the ingeniously viral-by-design Lip Sync Battle—not to mention MMA fights from Bellator. And the network is aiming to match AMC and FX with prestige dramas—from the Emmy-nominated miniseries Waco to the Kevin Costner-starring Yellowstone, one TV’s best-looking shows.
Curious? You can check out Paramount Network even without a cable subscription. Here’s everything you need to know to watch Paramount Network online.
How to watch Paramount Network for free
There are a couple of live TV streaming services that offer the Paramount Network. 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 the Paramount Network for free.
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)
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. If you want to be up-to-date on Bar Rescue, you’ll need to spring for one of those add-on packages—the Paramount Network does not come standard in any Sling package. But it is available as part of, somewhat curiously, the Comedy Extra package for either Sling Orange or Sling Blue. That add-on package will run you $5 a month. And you can sign up for up to four extra packages (Kids Extra, Lifestyle Extra, Comedy Extra, and News Extra) for only $10 a month. 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, the Paramount Network. 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.
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.