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How to Watch NBC Without Cable (as Cheap as Possible)

NBC is available to watch without cable through a number of services. For some, the channel might even be available to stream for free.

The cheapest way to watch NBC without cable is Sling TV. However, the channel is only available through Sling in select markets. For those not in a supported market, there are additional live TV services that stream NBC as part of their subscription. Not to mention, some consumers may find they are able to watch their local NBC channel for free.

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NBC is a popular channel in general. Whether it is to watch the latest episodes of NBC shows like Manifest, Good Girls or This Is Us, or live sports including English Premier League and NHL, NBC is going to be a useful channel addition for many individuals and households.

While NBC is available through a number of live TV streaming services, it’s not available through all of them. For example, Philo doesn’t include NBC in its channel lineup, ruling out one of the cheapest live TV services around. Likewise, Vidgo is another service that currently doesn’t carry NBC.

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Cheapest way to stream NBC

At $35 per month Sling Blue is the cheapest way to watch NBC without cable. Sling TV actually offers two main plans — Sling Blue and Sling Orange — although Sling Blue is the only plan that includes NBC in its lineup. However, with both plans costing $35 per month, users won’t be paying more if opting for the plan with NBC.

The one issue with watching NBC through Sling Blue is that local channels are not automatically available in all areas. Therefore, consumers will want to check and make sure NBC is available in their location before signing up.

NBC available in the following Sling markets:

  • Boston
  • New York
  • Philadelphia
  • Chicago
  • Washington
  • Miami
  • Ft. Lauderdale
  • Hartford
  • New Haven
  • Dallas
  • Ft. Worth
  • Los Angeles
  • San Francisco
  • Oakland
  • San Jose
  • San Diego

Besides NBC, the Sling Blue plan also provides subscribers with access to more than 40 additional channels, including ID, HGTV, Fox, NFL Network and more. In addition, the Sling Blue plan also comes with the ability to stream on multiple devices at the same time, and 50 hours of cloud DVR for recordings at no additional cost.

Other ways to watch NBC without cable

If Sling TV is not looking like the right option, or NBC is not currently available in the location through Sling, there are some other options available. The next cheapest ones are fuboTV, Hulu Live TV and YouTube TV. All three of these services include NBC in their base package and all three are priced at $64.99 per month.

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Although almost twice the price of Sling Blue, these service may prove to be more suitable overall. For example, fuboTV’s channel lineup comes with a greater focus on sports, Hulu Live TV includes a basic Hulu subscription at no extra cost, and a YouTube TV subscription comes with an unlimited cloud DVR.

Alternatively, there is AT&T TV. This live TV service actually offers multiple plans to choose from which differ in the selection of channels and price. While all of the AT&T TV plans do come with NBC, the cheapest Entertainment plan costs $69.99 per month making it is one of the more expensive options for watching NBC overall.

Watching NBC directly

As well as watching NBC through a live TV streaming service, there is also the option of watching directly through the NBC website and app. NBC actually allows some content to be watched for free, but for those looking to stream the latest episodes of shows or live events, a live TV subscription is required.

Like many other channels and networks, NBC uses TV Everywhere to allow live TV subscribers to log in with their account details and unlock all of the content that’s available. While there can be problems with TV Everywhere, such as a channel available through a subscription but not TV Everywhere support, that’s not an issue with NBC.

All of the live TV services that currently carry NBC as part of their channel lineup also offer subscribers TV Everywhere support as well. As this includes Sling TV (in areas where NBC is available), subscribers won’t be losing out on TV Everywhere support when choosing the cheapest option overall.

Watching NBC for free

Technically, NBC can be watched for free. The first option is to simply watch the over-the-air channel using an antenna. This approach might require additional hardware and some may encounter signal issues depending on their location and the strength of the antenna.

The other option is Locast. Unlike the over-the-air route, Locast provides access to local channels over the internet for free, removing the need for an antenna and avoiding any poor reception issues. However, Locast also has its caveats. The first is that Locast isn’t available everywhere so those considering this as an option for watching NBC without cable will need to ensure it is available in their location before signing up.

The other caveat worth noting is that although Locast is free, the service does rely on donations to expand to new areas. Some users have reported routine service interruptions when not donating and donations are not single payments but paid each month, making the setup similar to a subscription.

Watching NBC without cable summary

At $35 per month Sling TV’s Blue plan is the cheapest way to watch NBC without cable. However, Sling does not offer NBC in all areas. Otherwise, subscribers can either choose between fuboTV, Hulu Live TV or YouTube TV, with all of their $64.99 per month plans providing access to NBC. AT&T TV’s Entertainment plan also includes NBC, but at $69.99 per month it is the more expensive option.

While NBC can actually be watched for free, these options have their own limitations. Locast provides access to NBC for free, but similar to Sling TV, it is not available nationwide. Likewise, while an antenna is another way to watch NBC without cable and for free, users may encounter signal issues, depending on their location and reception.

Read more: How to Watch ESPN Without Cable (as Cheap as Possible)

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By John Finn

John started Streaming Clarity to help consumers navigate the live TV streaming and subscription service landscape. John has been writing about technology and TV-related services and devices since 2014 and believes the best streaming approach is to bounce between services as needed. Contact John via email at john@streamingclarity.com or on Twitter

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