ABC is one of the channels you want to make sure you can watch. With hit shows like Modern Family, American Idol, The Goldbergs, Match Game and Fresh Off the Boat, ABC is putting out some of the best shows on network television—not to mention The Bachelor and The Bachelorette franchises, which, for whatever reason, none of us can resist.
Needless to say, you can’t not watch ABC. That’s what we’re here for—our goal is to help you enjoy a legal, quality ABC livestream. Keep in mind streaming ABC can be tricky due to regional restrictions. Even though a streaming service says it has ABC, it doesn’t mean you can watch it in your area.
5 steps to watch ABC online without cable:
- Check to see which streaming provider carries ABC live streaming in your area (more info below).
- If the streaming service doesn’t carry ABC, check if they offer ESPN (if you’re wanting to watch ABC’s live sports coverage).
- If the streaming service offers ESPN, you’ll be able to use your login credentials to sign into the WatchESPN app to watch ABC sports events on ESPN3.
- Sign up for a free trial of the streaming service.
- Watch ABC online using the service to see how it works for you.
Streaming services for watching ABC online
#1 DIRECTV NOW: Best way to livestream ABC
DIRECTV NOW(Live a Little)
- Tons of channels
- Lots of on-demand options
What we like about it: Most ABC affiliate stations
Drawbacks: No cloud DVR
Who it’s perfect for: People who like channel variety
If you’re looking for the most complete package, DIRECTV NOW has a great price for a lot of channels. You can even watch ABC for free with a 7-day DIRECTV NOW trial.
Prices and plans for DIRECTV NOW
DIRECTV NOW offers one of the most affiliate stations for ABC, meaning it’s your best bet for livestreaming ABC. Along with ABC, you’ll have access to other major networks like FOX, NBC, and CBS—not to mention tons of other channels. In fact, if you take the average price per channel across every other streaming service, DIRECTV NOW’s channels are easily the least expensive.
ABC comes built in with the basic Live a Little channel package, so you won’t need to worry about add-ons here. If you’re in a supported region, all you need to do is open up DIRECTV NOW and select ABC—just like you would with a cable subscription.
Enter your ZIP code and see if you can livestream ABC with DIRECTV NOW in your area.
Watching ABC on DIRECTV NOW
The streaming quality may not be perfect with DIRECTV NOW, but it’s certainly good enough. Occasionally you may run into issues where the stream gets caught buffering or the screen looks a bit fuzzy, but those instances should last only a few seconds at a time.
There is one major drawback with DIRECTV NOW. Not having cloud DVR to record your favorite shows and watch them at your leisure is a problem. Yes, cloud DVR is in the works for DIRECTV NOW, but for the time being, you’ll need to count on catching shows in real time.
Check out our review more in-depth knowledge on DIRECTV NOW.
DIRECTV NOW device compatibility
You can stream ABC using DIRECTV NOW on almost any device.
#2 Hulu with Live TV: Livestream ABC and binge-watch favorite shows
Hulu Live TV(Limited Commercials)
- Access to Hulu original programming
- Highest number of local channels
What we like about it: Tons of on-demand content
Drawbacks: No channel upgrades
Who it’s perfect for: Streamers who love binge-watching
You’ve probably heard of Hulu, but Hulu with Live TV might be something new. You can binge-watch awesome shows and watch live TV in the same place. You can try Hulu with Live TV and watch ABC for free with a 7-day trial.
Prices and plans for Hulu with Live TV
At first glance, it’s really hard to tell the difference between Hulu with Live TV and PlayStation Vue. They both cost around $40 a month, they both offer ABC online, and they both offer cloud DVR. Well, we’re here to tell you there is a difference, and it’s about 1000 hours of content.
Along with your Hulu with Live TV subscription, you get access to the entire Hulu on-demand streaming library, which means you can binge-watch previous seasons of your favorite ABC shows like Modern Family, Last Man Standing, Black-ish and Shark Tank.
In terms of live TV, your basic Hulu with Live TV subscription will net you ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and dozens of other channels. With your live TV game on point and a whole backlog of Hulu streaming content, you’ll be able to watch new episodes live and watch old episodes whenever you want. Not a bad deal.
Enter your ZIP code where it says “View all channels in your area,” and see if you can watch ABC on Hulu Live TV in your area.
Watching ABC with Hulu with Live TV
Hulu may be master of on-demand streaming, but it hasn’t quite mastered the art of livestreaming. The experienced streamer will notice a little fuzziness on the edges of screen and a slight choppiness in general. But if the little things don’t bother you, then you should enjoy the streaming quality on Hulu with Live TV.
If you like super-personalized content, then you’ll enjoy Hulu with Live TV’s interface, but if you prefer the freedom of channel surfing, you might hate it. Currently, Hulu with Live TV doesn’t offer any sort of guide to scroll through your channels—it relies instead on its personalization algorithm to make recommendations. We’d be okay with that if the algorithm was better at its job. But the interface is in beta, so it can only go up from here, right?
Want to learn more about Hulu with Live TV? Here’s our review with more pros and cons about the service.
Hulu with Live TV device compatibility
Streaming ABC live on Hulu is pretty dang easy—most streaming devices are compatible.
#3 YouTube TV: Livestream ABC with strong local coverage
Youtube TV(Youtube TV)
- Unlimited DVR
- Great ABC availability
What we like about it: Strong local coverage across the board
Drawbacks: Available only in select markets
Who it’s perfect for: Fans who want to stream local channels
Currently, YouTube TV isn’t available across the whole country , which is why we can’t recommend it over DIRECTV NOW, Hulu, or PlayStation Vue. See if it’s available in your area and watch ABC for free with a 7-day trial.
Prices and plans for YouTube TV
Making decisions can be hard, which is why it’s a relief that YouTube TV offers only one channel package for $40 a month. Your YouTube TV packages includes ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS, all of which are supported with tons of local affiliates. Along with the strong local channel coverage, you got your classic cable channels like AMC, ESPN, and FX.
It sounds great, right? And it is, but if you’re looking to add more channels to your streaming package, YouTube TV doesn’t offer much opportunity for upgrades. Currently, there are only four add-on networks: Showtime, FOX Soccer Plus, Shudder, and Sundance TV.
Like we mentioned, YouTube TV isn’t accessible everywhere yet, so make sure to check out the list of available cities.
Watching ABC with YouTube TV
Considering YouTube has been streaming video for years now, we had high expectations for the streaming quality of YouTube TV. We’re happy to say that we left feeling very impressed. There were very few instances of buffering mid-stream or quirks with the interface. Even after watching for several hours straight, the stream stayed consistently smooth.
It can be hard to grasp the concept of unlimited, but YouTube TV offers unlimited cloud DVR storage. That means you can just record show after show without ever needing to worry about filling up your storage. That kind of freedom is hard to come by.
YouTube TV device compatibility
You can stream ABC using YouTube TV on a variety of different streaming devices.
#4 PlayStation Vue: Livestream ABC with excellent streaming quality
Playstation Vue(Access Package)
- Top-notch streaming quality
- Good playback features
What we like about it: Smoothest stream around
Drawbacks: A little expensive
Who it’s perfect for: Streamers looking for the most complete package
PlayStation, in our opinion, offers the best overall package around. However, due to its weaker local ABC coverage, it falls to third on our rankings. But if you happen to get ABC in your area, PlayStation Vue is an awesome choice. You can try it out and watch ABC for free with a PlayStation 5-day trial.
Prices and plans for PlayStation Vue
The biggest drawback with PlayStation Vue is the expensive base package at $39.99 a month for over 45 channels. For streamers looking for the least expensive way to watch ABC, the $39.99 price tag can be a bit high. However, for those of you willing to pay the price, PlayStation offers a great service.
You have the option to upgrade your channel package and pay a few extra bucks a month for more channels, but if you’re all about watching ABC, then you won’t need to worry about it.
Check if you can livestream ABC with PlayStation Vue by clicking the pin icon next to the Subscribe Now button and entering your ZIP code.
Watching ABC on PlayStation Vue
If you’re familiar with the world of streaming, you’ll notice a difference with PlayStation Vue’s quality. The picture looked clearer, instances of buffering rarely happened, and the system never crashed during our testing. That level of quality just isn’t quite there with the other streaming services. So, yes, you’re paying a good chunk of change for PlayStation Vue, but it’s worth it.
One of our favorite things about PlayStation Vue is the inclusion of unlimited cloud DVR. This means you can record shows , and you never need to worry about exceeding your limit. There is a catch, though—your content deletes 28 days after being recorded. So make sure to stay on top of your DVR, as hard as it can be.
You can read more about PlayStation Vue by checking out our review.
PlayStation Vue compatibility
One of the best things about PlayStation Vue is that you can stream it on PlayStation consoles and lots of other devices.
#5 Sling TV: Least expensive package, but low ABC coverage
- Broad range of channels
- Super cheap base package
What we like about it: Very inexpensive price
Drawbacks: Weak local ABC coverage
Who it’s perfect for: Streamers living in a big city
No doubt the most tempting thing about Sling TV is the cheap price tag at $25 a month, but the ABC coverage is pretty low. You can watch ABC for free and try out Sling TV with a 7-day trial.
Prices and plans for Sling TV
Let’s talk about the package you’ll be getting to livestream ABC with Sling TV. As it currently stands, you’ll need to subscribe to the Sling TV Orange package, which offers the Broadcast Extra add-on that includes ABC. Sling TV’s Orange package costs $20 a month, and the Broadcast Extra costs an additional $5 a month, making your grand total $25 a month.
The main drawback with Sling TV is the weak local ABC affiliate coverage. Unless you live in a big city, chances are you won’t get access to ABC coverage. Then again, streaming services are always adding more local affiliates, so hopefully Sling TV will offer more soon.
Find out if you can stream ABC with Sling TV in your area by clicking the Show My Available Channels button and entering your ZIP code.
Watching ABC on Sling TV
Sling TV’s offers a fairly reliable streaming quality that has some quirks. You’ll probably come across some moments of buffering, delayed audio, or the system crashing altogether. Considering every service occasionally suffers from these issues, Sling TV is pretty good making these moments rarer.
We were really impressed with Sling TV’s interface. It strikes the balance between offering an intuitive guide and breaking down channels based on genre. Whether you prefer a more conventional guide or want something more personalized, you should have no problem navigating Sling TV.
You can get a better idea of what Sling TV is all about by reading our full review.
Sling TV device compatibility
Chances are, if you have a streaming device, watching ABC live on Sling TV shouldn’t be an issue.
#6 Wildcard: Antenna
Antenna may be coming in fifth place, but it could easily be the best choice for you. In theory, you make the one-time purchase of an HD antenna, set it up, and stream local channels like ABC to your heart’s content.
Paying $50 once is a lot better than paying $30 every month for the foreseeable future. If you find the majority of your live TV viewing is based on local networks, we would strongly recommend taking the antenna route.
The catch with an antenna is that you’ll be stuck with only local channels. You don’t get ESPN, TNT, or Food Network with an antenna. But if you’re the type of TV viewer who doesn’t really care about those additional channels, then an antenna is right up your alley.
Sports: Watch ABC Online via WatchESPN
If sports programming is your primary concern, ESPN airs ABC sports games live on ESPN3 or their WatchESPN App. ESPN3 is available in the Sling TV interface to those with the ESPN channels in their lineup.
Sling TV presents the easiest way to watch these ABC sporting events, because ESPN3 is offered directly by Sling TV in their Orange package. With that said, both DIRECTV NOW and PlayStation Vue also offer access, it’s just more indirect. With DIRECTV NOW or Vue, you’ll have to download and use the WatchESPN App, login with your DIRECTV NOW/Vue credentials, and then use that app to watch the action. It’s an extra step, but it provides a viable way to stream ABC online for sporting events.
Watch ABC Online on the ABC Website
ABC often posts episodes of recent shows on their website about a week after they air. Keep in mind that the selection is limited – they don’t necessarily post all shows, and they’re only available for a limited amount of time. So using the website as your main method to watch ABC online is a bit of a crap shoot.
The website also offers an ABC live stream in select markets. However, this requires that you log in with your pay TV provider. So those of us without cable are out of luck here.
ABC does offer an app that works on your computer, phone, or devices like Roku, but again, at this time you can’t watch it without cable credentials to log in.
Time to start streaming
Ranking the ways to watch ABC online can be tricky. So much depends on if your area gets ABC streaming coverage. Make sure to take advantage of those ZIP finders and free trials to find out if you can stream ABC in your area.
So, what service will you use to stream ABC? Please let us know in the comments below. Feel free to follow us on Facebook for continuous updates on the ever-changing world of streaming.