We all know about the various streaming services that let you watch live TV. But what about standalone TV channels? Is it possible to watch free internet TV channels from around the world?
In this article we’ll help you find the best free TV channels on the web. Every channel on the list has a legal source, which means you’re not going to get in trouble with your ISP or the law.
The BBC makes all of its TV license-funded TV channels available for free via the iPlayer service. You can watch BBC 1, BBC 2, BBC 4, BBC News, BBC Parliament, BBC Alba, CBBC, and CBeebies.
Other BBC Studios channels that are not funded by the license fee (Alibi, Dave, Drama, Eden, Gold, W, and Yesterday) are not available. The BBC’s international channels—such as BBC America and BBC Persian—are also not available.
Bloomberg is one of the leading sources for business and market news. It produces four international TV channels which you can stream for free. These are Bloomberg US, Bloomberg Europe, Bloomberg Asia, and Bloomberg Australia.
All four TV channels are online. You can stream them for free via Bloomberg’s website. The US version is also available on Pluto TV.
The UK-based Sky News is one of the best free internet TV channels for news junkies. You can watch it for free on the Sky News website and via the Sky News YouTube channel.
Sky News does not impose any geographical restrictions. You can watch the TV channel online no matter where in the world you are.
ABC is an American network. It has a focus on talk shows, dramas, lifestyle shows, and news. There is also a smattering of sports content.
ABC broadcasts international versions in many countries. However, if you want to watch the US edition of the network for free online, you can do so via the USTVNow service.
ABC is just one of five TV channels you can watch for free on the service. The other four are CBS, PBS, MyTV 9, and CW. All of the channels are only available in standard definition.
The channel is only officially available to American citizens living abroad, but there are several workarounds you can use to gain access.
FOX Sports is a unique internet TV channel that you can watch online for free.
It is not the same version of the TV channel that you’d receive via a cable subscription or from an app like Hulu or FuboTV. Although the majority of the schedule is the same as FOX Sports 1, it does not feature any live sports.
You can, however, still enjoy highlights reels, sports commentary and analysis shows, and other regular programming.
You can watch the online-only web TV channel in the US, UK, Germany, and Austria on Pluto TV.
Eleven Sports is a UK-based sports network that’s been steadily growing in popularity and influence since its launch in 2015.
The US edition is called Eleven Sports Network. You can watch it for free on Pluto TV if you’re inside the United States. Other users will need to use a VPN.
The channel has the broadcast rights for the North American Soccer League (NASL), the Big Sky Conference, Spain’s top basketball league (Liga Endesa), the Swedish Hockey League, the World Rally Championship, the Can-Am Baseball league, and some eSports tournaments.
If you like to watch TV channels from around the world online, France 24 is worth checking out. It’s a French state-owned national broadcaster with a focus on news and magazine content.
Four versions of the channel are produced: the French edition, along with English, Arabic, and Spanish broadcasts.
You can watch the international TV channels (as well as the French broadcast) for free on the France 24 website and on YouTube.
Many people wrongly assume that it’s impossible to watch CNN for free. After all, it’s part of most cable providers’ premium packages.
But it is possible! Again, Pluto TV provides the answer. As long as you’re in the US, you can stream the domestic version of the TV channel for free. Non-US residents will need a VPN.
ITV is another British network. Unlike the BBC, ITV is independently owned. The network makes six of its channels available for free online to anyone with a UK-based IP address. They are ITV 1, ITV 2, ITV 3, ITV 4, CITV, and ITVBe. ITV Box Office and The Store are not available.
The free online channels offer the usual mix of news, drama, talk shows, and children’s programming.
Where the network excels for international cord-cutters, however, is its list of sports content. The network holds the rights to La Liga, UEFA European Championship, the FIFA World Cup, the Rugby World Cup, the Six Nations, the French Open, the Tour de France, and the Cheltenham Festival.
For our final free internet TV channel, we return to Pluto TV. Like its FOX Sports channel, Pluto broadcasts a specially adapted version of Nick Jr. to anyone living in the US, the UK, Germany, or Austria.
Kids’ programs on Nick Jr. include Dora the Explorer, Wallykazam, Peppa Pig, Bubble Guppies, and Nella the Princess Knight.
Don’t Forget About Paid Internet TV Channels
Although it’s possible to watch live TV and on-demand TV shows online for free, if you want a complete line-up of premium networks, you need to subscribe to one of the many paid live TV streaming apps.
Your options include Sling, Hulu + Live TV, DirecTV, and YouTube TV. If you’d like to learn more, we’ve rounded up some of the best live TV streaming services.
Which Free Internet TV Channels Do You Watch?
The free internet TV channels we’ve introduced you to in the article will give you a solid mix of news, sports, entertainment, and kids’ shows. But we’d love to know which (legal!) channels we have missed off the list.
And for more information about watching TV online, here’s how to unblock live TV streaming when you’re abroad.