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Best streaming services for news

Rebecca Palmer smiles for the camera
Researched by
Rebecca PalmerSenior Staff Writer
Headshot of Bri Field
Reviewed by
Bri FieldAssigning Editor
Updated 2/9/23

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The best streaming service for news junkies is DIRECTV STREAM because it offers all your local channels, all the top cable news channels, and an optional 10-digit remote. Each of our top options offer all the local and national news you expect, plus a few nice extras and freedom from contracts and installation headaches.

If you’re ready to break up with cable and satellite TV but don’t want to miss up-to-the minute info and analysis, one of these premium streaming services may be worth the switch.

Editor's choice
DirecTV Stream
Staff rating

  • Plans starting at $74.99 - $109.99
  • 140+ channels
  • Unlimited DVR storage hours

Offer details: Prices and plans are subject to change. Conditions may apply.

YouTube TV
YouTube TV
Staff rating
Customer rating

  • Plans starting at $64.99
  • 85+ channels
  • n/a DVR storage hours

Offer details: Prices and plans are subject to change. Conditions may apply.

Hulu + Live TV
Staff rating
Customer rating

  • Plans starting at $68.99 - $82.99
  • 85+ channels
  • Unlimited for 9 mos. DVR storage hours

Offer details: Prices and plans are subject to change. Conditions may apply.


Americans watch TV news for a variety of reasons, but the most common is to stay up to date. (1) The next most common reason for tuning in is to watch specific programs, followed by plain old entertainment and specific personalities or news anchors, according to Statista. Another study found cable TV and streaming services are drawing equal numbers of viewers, followed by broadcast TV. (2) However, a study from 2018 found that more people watch local news than national or cable networks. (3)

Our experts assumed people shopping for streaming services for news have the same goals as people who choose cable or satellite TV subscriptions. That’s why we started by comparing services that offer all the top cable news networks: Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN. Next, we investigated services that include the local channels ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX. Each of our top four qualifies, so we then compared monthly price tags, extra fees, and usability.

While they didn’t make our best of list, we also provide info about several free and budget options for getting news. We think having access to high-quality news is important for everyone, no matter what budget you’re working with.


DirecTV Stream
Staff rating
Price: $74.99 - $109.99

  • Easy channel surfing
  • Excellent lineup of regional sports networks (RSNs)
  • Available set-top box and 10-digit remote

  • High prices
  • Slow load times
  • No casting or screen mirroring from DVR

Channels: 140+DVR storage hours: Unlimited

Offer details: Prices and plans are subject to change. Conditions may apply.

DIRECTV STREAM offers local and national news favorites in its cheapest plan

DIRECTV STREAM is the live TV streaming service that’s closest to traditional satellite and cable TV, and it’s our top choice for a news streaming service for cable cutters. It comes with all your local channels (including PBS and Univision), plus cable favorites Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC. You also get extra Fox News channels, extra CNN channels, and bonuses like C-SPAN 2, BBC America, Bloomberg TV, Fox Business Network, VICE, and CNN En Español.

It’s all included with the entry-level package, which costs about $5 more per month than YouTube TV but about the same as fuboTV. You don’t get access to many more news channels at the higher tiers with DIRECTV STREAM, so we don’t usually recommend those packages for news aficionados.

Lucky for you, all that content is easy to find and easy to record. DIRECTV STREAM comes with unlimited cloud DVR for new customers, and you can buy a custom set-top box and 10-digit remote for an extra $5 per month with financing (or $120 up front).

DIRECTV STREAM didn’t rate as highly as some of its top competitors in our overall streaming TV rankings, partly based on usability issues like slow load times and trouble resizing screens while viewing on a PC. However, we assume most folks watching TV news will do so on a standard TV at home, and we really liked the familiarity of the regular-sized remote with all the buttons.

Whether you watch news in the background, tune in just for breaking news, or make a habit of hearing from your favorite news personalities, DIRECTV STREAM is a solid option for cord-cutters. We don’t recommend the extras for households focused on news viewing, but we think the lowest-tier package plus a $5 equipment fee is your best bet for a traditional news experience delivered over the internet.

#2: YouTube TV

YouTube TV
Staff rating
Customer rating
Price: $64.99

  • No hidden fees
  • Exclusive access to NFL Sunday Ticket
  • Six Google accounts per subscription

  • Unskippable commercials on some shows
  • Lackluster regional sports network (RSN) coverage
  • YouTube Premium and YouTube music not included

Channels: 85+

Offer details: Prices and plans are subject to change. Conditions may apply.

YouTube TV offers local and national news with a familiar interface

Switching to YouTube TV is an excellent way to catch all your favorite local and national news networks while getting rid of your traditional TV subscription. That means you can watch everything from Tucker Carlson Tonight to The Rachel Maddow Show or Anderson Cooper 360 plus your local news stations and the included national network coverage, all at the lowest pricing tier. You also get extras like TYT, Cheddar News, NEWSNATION, and NBC News Now.

YouTube TV works on virtually any streaming device or smart TV you already own, and that’s a big upside for tech-savvy viewers. However, some people may prefer a traditional set-top box and a regular-sized remote, and that’s not an option with YouTube TV. You can pay extra for a Chromecast with Google TV, which comes with a nice voice remote feature and a teeny tiny remote, but our experts thought the system could be confusing for fans of traditional TV.

The fact that YouTube TV is separate from YouTube Premium is also pretty confusing. It means you’ll still have to put up with ads on regular YouTube unless you pay for both monthly subscriptions. Even worse, the sweet parental controls that come with YouTube Kids aren’t available with the live TV service.

Lucky for you, YouTube TV comes with a free trial. You can cancel in a few clicks if you decide you don’t like it. It also includes up to six profiles, each with unlimited DVR for nine months, so everyone in your household can record favorite shows or games to watch later.

There is an extra $20 monthly fee for 4K resolution (sometimes discounted to $5), and that puts YouTube TV at a much higher price point than our other runners-up. That said, news is going to be on the lower end of picture quality on any service because news networks don’t usually broadcast in high quality. In short, you probably won’t notice any difference on your nightly local or national newscasts with the 4K upgrade, so we don’t recommend it.

#3: Hulu + Live TV

Staff rating
Customer rating
Price: $68.99 - $82.99

  • Huge streaming library
  • Access to Disney+ and ESPN+
  • Exceptional original content

  • Confusing interface
  • Frustrating on-the-go viewing
  • Limited Spanish-language options

Channels: 85+DVR storage hours: Unlimited for 9 mos.

Offer details: Prices and plans are subject to change. Conditions may apply.

Hulu + Live TV offers a ton of news plus an unparalleled on-demand library

Hulu + Live TV is a great way to access local and national news plus a huge library of on-demand content and original programming. It wasn’t as easy to use in our tests as competitors YouTube TV and DIRECTV STREAM, but we get that any new streaming service has a learning curve. If you’re willing to endure a little bit of frustration upfront in exchange for top news channels, unlimited DVR, and extra news offerings, Hulu + Live TV may be worth the cost.

There’s no way to get PBS or Univision with Hulu + Live TV, but you get cable favorites like Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN. You also get all your other local channels and the news networks that come with them (ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX), plus extras including ABC News Live, Bloomberg Television, CBS News, Cheddar News, CNN international, and NBC News Now. It’s enough news coverage to satisfy nearly any appetite.

You also get access to ESPN+ and Disney+, making for a well-rounded family offering.

Before you sign up, there are a few things to note. First, there’s no free trial and you only get two simultaneous streams at home. Next, our tests found it pretty difficult to watch on the go because of strict location protocols. It works with almost any existing streaming device or smart TV you already have, but doesn’t work well on Safari browsers. Finally, you’ll have to put up with some highly targeted streaming ads unless you pay extra, and that’s in addition to regular old TV ads that are (relatively) hard to skip.

If you just want news, Hulu + Live TV might not be a good fit. But if you like news and also enjoy sports, entertainment, and Hulu originals like Handmaid’s Tale, The Kardashians, or Only Murders in the Building; or if you want Disney favorites like Star Wars and Hamilton, Hulu + Live TV may be worth a shot.

#4: fuboTV

fuboTV offers some live news and an extensive sports package

When you want easy access to your local channels and two of the top three cable news networks, fuboTV is a solid option. You can find all your local channels except PBS and Univison in most markets, and that means access to all your local news broadcasts in English. You also get cable heavy-hitters MSNBC and Fox News, but you’ll miss out on CNN and other Turner Network channels like TNT and TBS.

That said, you do get some extra news options with fuboTV. That includes NBC News Now, Bloomberg Television, ABC Localish, Telemundo, NEWSMAX, and NEWSNATION, plus tons of regional sports and related news.

While fuboTV starts at a lower price than some competitors, we were surprised to find a hidden regional sports fee on our bill. That said, we liked the multiple profiles and the intuitive interface, and the help documentation was second to none. We also liked the unlimited DVR, but had trouble finding on-demand content. That may not be a big deal to most news viewers, though, since breaking news is the name of the game.

If you like sports and want a side dish of breaking local and national news, fuboTV may be a nice alternative to traditional cable TV. If you’re a big fan of CNN or PBS NewsHour, though, we recommend looking elsewhere.

What to consider when choosing a streaming service for news

The best streaming services for news offer both national favorites and variety. That’s why our experts started with a list of top channels in the US. (4) Nine of the following top 15 channels feature at least some news:

  • CBS
  • NBC
  • ABC
  • FOX
  • Fox News Channel
  • Univision
  • CNN
  • Telemundo

Local and broadcast news

If you’re serious about news, you need to know what’s going on in your city and state. According to research by the Knight Foundation, Americans are more likely to trust broadcast news affiliates than any other news source. (5) That’s why we considered only services that offer local programming in our top four.

These same local channels also feature hourly national news broadcasts such as CBS News, NBC News, and ABC News, which is another reason we gave them extra credit. We gave even more bonus points to streaming services that offer PBS, even though it didn’t make the list of top stations. In addition to PBS NewsHour, we assumed people who like news would also like the scads of informative and educational content available from the listener-supported station.

How to get local channels for free

Local stations are broadcast over the air, and that means there’s free TV for everyone! All you need is a TV and a digital antenna, which you can get from a local electronics store or online retailer for as little as about $20. If you live in a metro area, a small one mounted on your TV will work. In rural areas, you might need a larger model mounted on the outside of your home. Where you live will determine which channels you can receive for free.

Cable news networks

The same study that showed the importance of local channels put cable news high on the list. Fox News gets the biggest audience by far, followed by MSNBC and CNN. These networks were readily available among the streaming services we tested, and it makes sense. They offer round-the-clock news and opinion that shapes the national debate day in and day out.

Monthly prices and fees

If you’re switching from cable or satellite TV, our in-house television provider research shows price is a major motivating factor. That’s why we weighted value heavily in our overall star ratings for streaming providers. We also considered price when we determined the top streaming services for news (but found all the top services cost about the same).

Each of the top providers offers free cancellation, few (if any) hidden fees, and the option to use streaming devices you already own. This is a refreshing change from cable and satellite TV, and we think it’s one of the best reasons to switch to streaming.

Broadband internet required

On the subject of cost, we have to acknowledge that streaming live TV requires a broadband internet connection. That’s defined as speeds of at least 25 Mbps, which would be a little more than enough for streaming one video in high definition. (6)

You can get internet at these speeds from DSL, cable, or fiber providers, plus some satellite connections or fixed wireless companies. The US price benchmark for these speeds is about $70 per month, but average prices nationwide range from about $60 per month for DSL to about $75 for fiber and $83 for cable. Fixed wireless is the least common and most expensive, at an average cost of about $92 per month. (7)

Streaming devices and smart TVs

All our top choices for watching news on streaming services let you use equipment you may already own. Some of the most popular streaming sticks cost as little as $30, up to about $150 if you want an option with all the bells and whistles. Our in-house experts use the following:

You can also use gaming devices like the Playstation or Xbox and smart TVs from Samsung, TCL, LG, and more. Some even come with Roku technology onboard.

Each of our top streaming services for news also works with a system called TV Everywhere, which lets you sign up using your credentials from your TV service to access channels from the home screens of streaming devices or smart TVs.

When you combine monthly costs for internet access with the cost for a streaming service plus a streaming device, costs can get pretty high. Lucky for you, you have a lot of other options!

Cheap ways to stream TV news

If you already have internet from your cable company, you might be able to watch a lot of live news by logging into your service provider’s online portal or navigating to the home interface of your smart TV. You won’t necessarily get all your favorite cable TV news personalities or find full-length shows, but it’s an easy way to get quick updates.

You can also try simply logging into YouTube.com on any browser, smartphone, tablet, or streaming device. The standard video service is separate from YouTube TV, but you’ll have tons of free news options. If you splurge for the YouTube Premium service for $11.99 per month, you can even skip the ads. It’s a nice way to get everything from quick updates to breaking news and clips from your favorite cable news shows, and it’s what we recommend for most people who don’t want to pay for a full-fledged cable TV replacement. Give the following a try:

Streaming apps news networks

It seems like every company and service provider has an app these days, and news is no exception. If you’re interested in news from just one or two outlets, you can access most of the content via free branded apps. Most offer national and international news exclusively, meaning you’ll need a separate way to access local news. Some also require a login. These are our top recommendations:

  • CBS News offers a free app
  • NBC News offers an app that my require authentication with your TV service provider login
  • ABC News offers a free app
  • Fox Now has an app, but you have to log in with a paid TV subscription
  • Fox Nation is a subscription on-demand service
  • MSNBC has an app, but you have to log in with a paid TV subscription
  • CNN+ had an app, but it was discontinued in October 2022
  • Univision has an app, but you have to log in with a paid TV subscription

Free news services with custom apps

The latest news providers on the scene aren’t available on cable or satellite TV at all—they stream exclusively. There are more and more options all the time, (8) but the following are the top choices we considered. Most are available as separate apps or as channels on third-party streaming services:

  • NEWSY: This service offers news, investigations, documentaries, and more.
  • NEWSMAX: This right-leaning service offers around-the-clock coverage on Washington, Hollywood, and more.
  • Cheddar News: This service streams American financial news from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and several locations in Washington, D.C.
  • TYT: Short for The Young Turks, this left-leaning channel features news and commentary and is also available on several social media networks.
  • Haystack News: This free service features stories from the Associated Press, plus local and global news about entertainment, science, tech, business, finance, and sports.
  • VICE: This Canadian-American outlet focuses on edgy, immersive investigations and smart documentaries plus nightly news.

Affordable (or free) streaming options

There are also free and super cheap streaming services that offer news, and you can find them online, on a variety of streaming devices and smart TVs, and via mobile app. We recommend them for people who want only a little news or who are willing to patchwork providers to save money.

  • XUMO: This free streaming TV app comes with a lot of repetitive ads, but you can get coverage from many of the top local and cable networks, plus newcomers like NEWSY and NEWSMAX. The service also offers sports, movies, weather, and more. Best of all, no login required!
  • Pluto TV: This service, owned by Paramount streaming, offers more than 250 ad-supported channels and has its own news network, plus Bloomberg News, CNN RePlay, Cheddar News, NEWSMAX, NEWSY, Blaze Live, OAN Pulse, TYT, and Yahoo! Finance. No login or password required, but you will see a truckload of targeted ads.
  • Frndly TV: If you’re mostly into feel-good movies and want just a little news, this service may be worth a look. It includes Vice and Local Now as well as The Weather Channel, plus all the Hallmark channels and Lifetime. Pricing starts at just $7 per month.

Premium streaming services with a limited news selection

The options above are great if you’re a little scrappy and willing to sit through commercials. If you have a medium-sized news appetite and a medium-sized budget, though, some of our overall top streaming picks may be a good fit. Check out the following:

  • Sling: Both the Sling Orange and Sling Blue packages offer access to some cable news, and you can buy the News Extra add-on for $6 per month. You’ll miss out entirely on local channels, though, so we recommend pairing the service with an HD antenna.
  • Vidgo: This up-and-coming service offers ABC and Fox local stations plus Fox News and Univision and a handful of right-wing stations, but it’s a bit pricey and hard to use.
  • Philo: This service comes at about half the price of our top streaming services, but offers only BBC America and VICE for news.
  • Peacock: This service costs just $10 per month without ads, but offers only Sky News TODAY All Day, NBC News, and a handful of local NBC stations. But if you’d rather watch The Office than The Situation Room, the price is right!

Deciding which service is right for you

There are hundreds of ways to get news in 2023, and we love it! We think it’s great to get information from a variety of sources and to practice good media literacy habits along the way.

But being on the news junkie side ourselves, we love having access to every possible outlet. Staying up to date is important for emergencies and elections, but it’s also vital if you want to better understand your world and have an impact on your community at large.

If you’re willing to pay $50 or more each month for all the local and cable news out there, check out our top pick, DIRECTV STREAM, or our runners-up YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV, and fuboTV. If you’d rather skip the monthly fees, we recommend trying an HD antenna.

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The people behind our research
We believe the best information comes from first-hand customer experience and methodical research by subject-matter experts. We never source information from "content farms," and we don’t generate content using artificial intelligence (AI). You can trust that our recommendations are fact-checked meticulously and sourced appropriately by authentic, industry-recognized people.
Contributing researcher
Rebecca Palmer smiles for the camera
Researched by
Rebecca PalmerSenior Staff Writer

Rebecca Palmer has been writing about tech and consumer finance since 2010. Her work has been featured in the Deseret News, Idaho Business Review, TopTenReviews.com, and more. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, and lives in Salt Lake City with her exceptionally delightful pup, Nymeria.

Contributing reviewer
Headshot of Bri Field
Reviewed by
Bri FieldAssigning Editor

Bri Field has a background in academia, research writing, and brand marketing. She has edited scientific publications, conference papers, digital content, and technical communications. As Assigning Editor, she enjoys ensuring all content is accurate, clear, and helpful. In her free time, you can find her in the kitchen trying a new recipe, out on a hike, or working through her massive TBR list.

Endnotes and sources

(1) Main reason for watching cable news among adults in the United States as of February 2022, by age group.” Statista. Retrieved 26 Oct. 2022.

(2) “Streaming grabs 35% of TV time in August, but overall usage dips as summer winds down.” Nielsen. Retrieved 26 Oct. 2022.

(3) “Fewer Americans rely on TV news; what type they watch varies by who they are.” Pew Research Center. Retrieved 26 Oct. 2022.

(4) “Most-Watched Television Networks: Ranking 2021’s Winners and Losers.” Variety. Retrieved 27 Oct. 2022.

(5) “Local News Most Trusted in Keeping Americans Informed About Their Communities.” Knight Foundation. Retrieved 27 Oct. 2022.

(6) “Household Broadband Guide.” Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 27 Oct. 2022.

(7) “2022 Urban Rate Survey — Fixed Broadband Service.” Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 27 Oct. 2022.

(8) “The Biggest Change in Media Since Cable Is Happening Right Now.” Politico. Retrieved 27 Oct. 2022.

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