ABC Live Stream: How to Watch ABC Online without Cable

ABC Book Cover ABC

Looking for a legal way to watch ABC online without cable? Check out all of the best ways you can enjoy an ABC live stream in our full guide below.

Where to Watch Online:

DirecTV Now button (free 7-day trial)

Sling TV button (free 7-day trial)

(free 5-day trial)


ABC is undoubtedly one of the most popular channels in the country. With hit shows like Once Upon a Time, The Muppets, Grey’s Anatomy, Quantico, Modern Family, The Goldbergs, and Fresh Off the Boat, the channel puts out some of the most beloved shows. And don’t forget about huge ABC sports events, like the NBA Playoffs and college football bowl games; awards shows, like the Academy Awards and American Music Awards; and world news coverage, including the Presidential debates and election night live stream. For those without cable who want to enjoy everything ABC has to offer, thankfully there are more legal ways to watch ABC live stream than ever before.

5 steps to watch ABC online without cable:

1. Check to see which streaming provider carries ABC live streaming in your area (more info below).

2. If the streaming service doesn’t carry ABC, check if they offer ESPN (if you’re wanting to watch ABC’s live sports coverage).

3. 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.

4. Sign up for a free trial of the streaming service.

5. Watch ABC online using the service to see how it works for you.

How can you watch ABC online either live streaming or on demand? There are numerous great options we’ll detail below. Read on to learn how you can watch ABC live stream and on demand.


DIRECTV NOW Offers ABC Streaming in Select Markets

directv now review

Launched in late 2016, DIRECTV NOW is a new and rapidly growing live streaming service. Like Sling TV and PlayStation Vue, DIRECTV NOW acts as an alternative to cable TV, offering a package of popular channels streaming directly to your various devices with a free 7-day trial. There’s no need for a satellite dish or a cable subscription, as DIRECTV NOW functions completely over the internet. With DIRECTV NOW, ABC streaming is available live in select markets and is available with on-demand content in all other markets. You’ll be able to confirm channel availability in your area during the signup process.

Additionally, DIRECTV NOW gives you access to the WatchESPN App. This is important, because all sporting events that air on ABC will also be available via WatchESPN. So, even if you live somewhere where ABC is not offered directly, you’ll still be able to watch ABC-hosted sporting events via DIRECTV NOW.

DIRECTV NOW’s basic package starts at $35 per month, which includes 60+ channels. This includes ABC (in select markets), ESPN, AMC, CNN, FOX News, and a whole lot more. If you want more selection, there are larger packages available. DIRECTV NOW works on most devices, including mobile devices, computers, and streaming players like Apple TV and Chromecast.

Read our complete DIRECTV NOW review for more details on the service. Or, try things out for yourself with a FREE 7 day trial!


Sling TV Offers ABC Live Stream in Select Markets

Sling TV reviews

If you want a true ABC live stream, Sling TV now offers the channel in select markets across the country. The popular live streaming service has started to add local affiliates in U.S. markets that include ABC streaming live in Chicago, Fresno-Visalia, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Raleigh-Durham, and San Francisco. ABC is included in the Broadcast Extra package which is an additional $5 per month on top of the service’s basic $20 per month lineup. That makes it the cheapest way to watch ABC live stream online.

The basic package comes with over 25 channels, including ESPN, ESPN2, AMC, TNT, TBS, HGTV, Food Network, and more. See the full Sling TV channels lineup in our review. There’s no contract, you can cancel at any time, and you can stream Sling TV on a variety of devices, including Roku (get a free Roku device when you sign up for 2 months of service), Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, mobile phones, tablets, and computers.

Looking to watch the NBA live stream or other ABC sports events? Here’s the cheapest solution available nationwide. There’s something else important to note about watching ABC streaming through Sling TV. If you’re just wanting to watch ABC online for its sporting events (like the primetime NBA games and NBA Playoffs on ABC live, for example), you can do so on ESPN3, accessible on Sling TV’s guide for Orange package subscribers. That’s right, all you need is to subscribe to Sling TV’s basic $20 a month package! ESPN3 carries all live ABC sports events.

Are you a T-Mobile customer? Since Sling TV and T-Mobile have teamed up to offer T-Mobile customers with a 30% discount, you only have to pay $14/month for the basic channels package. This means that you can add the Broadcast Extra package (which isn’t offered at a discount), an additional $5/month, to your Sling TV subscription and only pay $19/month. You can take advantage of this offer for one year, but don’t worry, you can cancel at anytime without penalty. Learn more here.

Try Sling TV free for 7 days now.


PlayStation Vue Lets You Watch ABC On Demand

PlayStation Vue is another popular live streaming service that’s available nationwide. This live streaming service is similar to Sling TV in that it offers a bundle of channels streamed live to your devices. However, there are some caveats to that whole “live” thing. For local channels (like ABC), Vue doesn’t have rights to broadcast the channel live in all markets. The only Vue markets that let you watch ABC live stream are Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, and Dallas. In all other locations, Vue only offers on-demand content when your stream ABC. Shows are made available the day after they air live in most cases.

Vue will also give you access to the WatchESPN App, though, so live streaming of ABC-hosted sporting events is still possible nationwide. Plans start from $30 per month, and work on most devices. Read our full PlayStation Vue review for more info.

PlayStation Vue now offers a free 7-day trial for new members.


Watch ABC Online with Content Available on Hulu


Another best bet for watching ABC streaming on demand is a service like Hulu. As a Hulu subscriber, you will have access to many of your favorite ABC shows shortly after they air (in many instances, you can watch ABC online the day after the shows air with Hulu). That’s right, stay current with How to Get Away with Murder, The Bachelor, Quantico, and The Bachelorette, The Family, The Muppets, Grey’s Anatomy, and Once Upon a Time during the regular season without having to schedule time in front of the television. You can get a Hulu subscription for just $7.99 a month and you can cancel anytime.Remember, this won’t let you watch ABC live, but you can still enjoy a ton of great content shortly after it airs.

There are also attractive add-ons such as Showtime for an additional $8.99 per month. Hulu is also offering a commercial free option for $11.99 a month. However, the basic package still has fewer commercials than broadcast TV. Check out our full Hulu review for more info.

Get a free 7-day trial today!


Watch ABC Over-the-Air with an Antenna

mohu leaf antenna

Since ABC is a broadcast network, if your home is within range of the local TV station you should be able to pick up programming using a digital antenna. We recommend the Mohu Leaf 50 Indoor HDTV antenna. It’s our favorite option for a reliable signal for the average viewer. Check out to find the best price. This allows you to keep up with ABC live. Check out our guide to the best OTA antennas for more information.

And guess what? You don’t need to limit yourself to the TV guide schedule. There are over-the-air DVR options that will allow you to record your favorite shows to watch at your own convenience. Our favorite is the Tablo which not only works like any traditional DVR but also allows you to stream shows live to your personal devices. That means you can watch an ABC live stream on paired devices like TVs with a Roku streaming player, Smartphones, tablets, and more. You can learn more about Tablo and other cord cutter DVR options here.


Sports: Watch ABC Online via WatchESPN

WatchESPN app logoIf 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.


Questions about How to Watch ABC Online?

Now you know everything we know about watching ABC live stream and on-demand without cable. If you have any questions or need help, just comment below!

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1 Comment on "ABC Live Stream: How to Watch ABC Online without Cable"

  1. Gregory Landes | April 23, 2016 at 7:56 am |

    I live in suburban Philadelphia and tried the option of the Mohu Leaf 50 and I am returning it solely for the reason I am unable to receive 6abc from Philadelphia. It is a low band VHF channel and is very difficult to receive. NBC and CBS in Philadelphia have moved to UHF frequencies and come in great with the Mohu Leaf 50. However I cannot even receive a signal for 6abc. It’s absolutely pathetic. If you live in the Philadelphia area, beware the Mohu Leaf 50 may not be your solution.

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