If you’re a news junkie, you can cut the cable TV cord and still watch FOX News, MSNBC, CNN and other networks on the cheap.

Over the past few years, I’ve tested all of the major streaming TV services, including YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV and AT&T TV Now (formerly DirecTV Now).

Best Live TV Streaming Service for Cable News

Several streaming TV services carry the most popular cable news networks in their base plans. These skinny bundles are typically half the price of cable or satellite services.

Take a look:

 Fox NewsMSNBCCNNHLN
AT&T WatchTV
$15/month
NoNoYesYes
Sling Blue
$30/month
YesYesYesYes
YouTube TV
$50/month
YesYesYesYes
Hulu + Live TV
$55/month
YesYesYesYes
AT&T TV Now Plus
$65/month
YesYesYesYes

My #1 pick is Hulu + Live TV for its mix of sports, news and entertainment networks. However, Sling TV’s Blue plan may be a better option for those who watch cable news and not much else.

Sling Blue is now the cheapest way to get the three most popular cable news networks: FOX News, MSNBC and CNN. The $30 monthly plan also includes BBC America, HLN, Newsy, Bloomberg TV, Cheddar Business, Cheddar News and Local Now.

Channel Lineups: Sling Orange, Sling Blue & Sling Orange + Blue

In the chart below, you can see the entire list of channels for Sling’s three main packages: Sling Orange, Sling Blue and Sling Orange + Blue. The first two are $30 per month each, but you can combine them and pay just $45 per month.

FOX News, MSNBC and HLN were added to the Sling Blue base plan in December 2019. At the same time, Sling increased the price of the skinny bundle from $25 to $30 per month. The streaming provider also added 10 hours of cloud DVR to its plans.

Sling Orange $30/month planSling Blue
$30/month plan
Sling Orange + Blue
$45/month
A&EA&EA&E
AMCAMCAMC
AXS TVAXS TVAXS TV
BBC AmericaBBC AmericaBBC America
BETBET
Bloomberg TelevisionBloomberg TelevisionBloomberg Television
BravoBravo
Cartoon NetworkCartoon NetworkCartoon Network
CheddarCheddarCheddar
Cheddar Big NewsCheddar Big NewsCheddar Big News
CNNCNNCNN
Comedy CentralComedy CentralComedy Central
Comet CometComet
Discovery ChannelDiscovery Channel
Disney ChannelDisney Channel
E!E!
EPIX Drive-InEPIX Drive-InEPIX Drive-In
ESPNESPN
ESPN2ESPN2
ESPN3ESPN3
FreeformFreeform
Food NetworkFood NetworkFood Network
FOX (Select markets)FOX (Select markets)
Fox News ChannelFox News Channel
Fox Sports 1 Fox Sports 1
FuseFuseFuse
FXFX
FXXFXX
HGTVHGTVHGTV
HistoryHistoryHistory
HLNHLN
IFCIFCIFC
Investigation DiscoveryInvestigation DiscoveryInvestigation Discovery
LifetimeLifetimeLifetime
Local NowLocal NowLocal Now
Motor TrendMotor Trend
MSNBCMSNBC
National GeographicNational Geographic
Nat Geo WildNat Geo Wild
NBC On Demand NBC On Demand
NBC RSNs (Select markets)NBC RSNs (Select markets)
NBC Sports NetworkNBC Sports Network
NewsyNewsyNewsy
NFL NetworkNFL Network
Nick Jr.Nick Jr.
Paramount NetworkParamount Network
Stadium
StadiumStadium
SYFYSYFY
TBSTBSTBS
TLCTLC
TNTTNTTNT
Travel ChannelTravel ChannelTravel Channel
truTVtruTV
USA
ViceViceVice

How to Pick Up Local News With Sling TV

Although the Sling Blue package is my favorite for cable news, it’s lacking when it comes to local news. Sling is able to keep its prices lower than competitors like YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV because it provides fewer broadcast stations: ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC.

If you live in an urban or suburban area, you can likely get around this limitation by installing a digital antenna. To pick up local stations, I use a $40 Mohu Leaf that connects to the back of my TV set.

My Recommendations

If your must-have channels include mostly cable news networks, Sling Blue is going to be the most affordable option at $30 per month. But if you or other members of your household watch ESPN and other sports networks, Sling Orange + Blue is probably a better choice. At $45 per month, it’s still cheaper than most of its competitors by $5 or more per month.

Not seeing all of your favorite networks with Sling TV? The good news is that you have other options. Check the channel lineups for YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV. They’re priced higher than Sling TV, but they also include the major cable news networks and may have some of the others that you really want.

For those who only want to watch FOX News, MSNBC or CNN for a one-time event like election coverage, any of the streaming TV services I’ve mentioned will do. They all offer the major cable news networks and have free trials of a week or sometimes longer.

Action Plan:


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