Here’s How to Watch TV Shows, Movies, & Live Sports for Cheap Or FREE

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little girl on iPad using the Disney+ app with movies

Is it time to cut the cord?

You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars every month to enjoy your favorite TV shows, movies, and live sports when you can stream them for cheap — or sometimes even FREE! Check out these amazing options and watch all your favorites from almost any device!

Here are some of our favorite ways to watch TV shows and movies for cheap or free.

1. Enjoy 4K UHD at home or on the go with VUDU for free.

watch tv, movies, and sports for cheap or free – vudu computer screen of the Wild Wild West movie

iOS | Android | Website

With Vudu Movies On Us, you don’t need a subscription or contract to enjoy 4K UHD at home or on the go. You can rent or own over 100,000 titles and watch thousands of movies for FREE. Plus, you can watch on all your favorite devices, like smart TVs, gaming consoles, streaming devices, and smartphones.

2. Get a free 30-day trial of Netflix.

people watching netflix while eating popcorn

iOS | Android | Website

With Netflix, you can stream thousands of movies and TV shows right to your smart TV, gaming console, PC, Mac, mobile device, and tablet. Netflix has an extensive catalog of exclusive original shows including Ozark, Mindhunter, Stranger Things, The Crown, and much more!

Try before you buy by signing up for a FREE 30 day trial of Netflix. After your trial has ended, you can choose from one of three different plans starting as low as $8.99 per month.

Are you a T-Mobile customer?

T-Mobile ONE Family Plans come with Netflix at no extra charge (a $10.99 monthly value). That means in addition to unlimited everything with your phone service, new and existing customers who sign up for Magenta Family Plan will get Netflix Standard 2-screen streaming service for FREE!

3. Enjoy cheap entertainment and exclusive Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars content on Disney+.

little girl watching disney movie on iPad with Mickey Mouse blanket

iOS | Android | Website

Disney+ Subscribers can access thousands of TV episodes and hundreds of films that can be downloaded or streamed on up to four devices at once. These titles include brand new movies and TV shows exclusively available on Disney+ along with classic favorites like the 1937 edition of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and lots of Christmas movies!

And, if you’re looking to add the Disney+ subscription to a bundle, you can score ESPN+, Disney+ and Hulu for just $12.99 per month!

Are you a Verizon Wireless customer?

For a limited time, Verizon Wireless is offering eligible customers a Free Year of Disney+! This offer is valid for existing Verizon Wireless Unlimited customers, new Fios Home Internet customers, and 5G Home Internet customers. Eligible unlimited plans include Verizon Unlimited plan, Go Unlimited, Beyond Unlimited, Above Unlimited, Get More Unlimited, Do More Unlimited, Play More Unlimited, and Start Unlimited.

4. Watch TV shows, movies, sports, news, and original programming with Apple TV+. Try it free!

appletv + on macbook computer

iOS | Website

Apple TV+ features exclusive original shows, movies, and documentaries from artists like Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, and more. You can watch TV shows, movies, sports, news, and even purchase or rent iTunes movies in the app to stream across iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac, smart TVs, and streaming devices.

All Apple Channels are on-demand, ad-free, and the content is downloadable for offline viewing. Plus, users can share Apple TV+ and subscriptions to Apple TV channels through Family Sharing.

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial and you can watch your favorite movies, shows and so much more! Note that after your trial, your subscription will renew at $4.99 per month, however, you can cancel at any time!

Have you purchased a new Apple device lately?

If you purchased a new iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or Apple TV recently, you may be eligible for a FREE year of Apple TV+ (regularly $4.99/month)! This deal should automatically appear on any eligible device that’s running the latest operating system.

5. Amazon Prime Video is included for free with your Prime membership!

amazon prime tv on macbook computer screen

iOS | Android | Website

Catch up on movies, TV shows, and award-winning Amazon Originals like Jack Ryan and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – all streamed right from your Prime Video account. Prime Video is FREE with your Amazon Prime Membership.

Not an Amazon Prime Member yet?

You can score a FREE 30-day trial to check out all of the awesome Prime Video content and enjoy free shipping on your purchases and more. Note that after your trial, you can choose to keep just Prime Video for $8.99 a month, Amazon Prime & Video for $12.99 per month and you can cancel at any time, or you can grab Prime Annual for $119 per year.

6. If you don’t mind commercials, Sony Crackle is free!

watch tv, movies, and sports for cheap or free – sony crackle on ipad screen

iOS | Android | Website

With your FREE Sony Crackle membership, you can link all your favorite devices for seamless streaming wherever you are and watch popular shows, originals, and movies. You can even personalize your experience with Alerts and Parental Controls if needed.

While there are commercials during the shows, this helps to keep the content free for users.

7. Tubi TV gives you free access to popular movies from major studios.

watch tv, movies, and sports for cheap or free – paddington on screen movies

iOS | Android | Website

When you sign up for TubiTV, you can watch movies and TV shows for FREE with no subscription fees and no credit card required. Plus, the premium content comes from major studios like Paramount, Lionsgate, MGM, and more! Get ready for some ads during the movies, but also remember you’re not paying a dime.

8. Try Sling TV for free, then choose the subscription that best fits your lifestyle.

watch tv, movies, and sports for cheap or free – sling tv streaming shows

iOS | Android | Website

Sling offers the content you love at a low monthly price. You can even choose between their three flexible memberships for channel offerings that best apply to your watching lifestyle. To make sure you love the service before you commit, new users can enjoy seven days of free streaming upon signup.

They even have special offers on Amazon Fire Stick streaming devices when you subscribe and prepay for 2 or 3 months of Sling service.

9. Find out why YouTubeTV is a reader favorite with a free 2-week trial.

YouTube on TV screen

iOS | Andriod | Website

YouTubeTV gives you 85+ channels including your local ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC streams, ESPN, regional sports networks. You’ll also get up to six accounts to share with your family and the ability to stream simultaneously on three of your favorite devices, plus a DVR with no storage limits!

At $64.99/month, YouTubeTV is the most expensive streaming service on our list. With no equipment to rent or other hidden fees, it’s still significantly less than traditional cable services. Many of our readers have suggested it as the most comprehensive and best replacement for cable TV!

Sports Fans! Here are two simple ways to stream sports online:

Watch thousands of broadcasts free every month with LiveSport 365.

ways to stream online without cable - ls sport live website on computer screen

LiveSport 365 Website

Watch more than 1,000 broadcasts per month, for FREE, with LiveSport 365! They even update stats during each game or match so you see scores and all event information in real-time.

At just $4.99/month, ESPN+ is cheap and a great value for sports fans.

watch tv, movies, and sports for cheap or free – ESPN streaming live sports online

iOS | Android | Website

For just $4.99 a month, you can stream thousands of live sports and get instant access to games with ESPN+. Not only that, but your membership also includes ESPN Originals and ESPN Exclusives!

If you’re also a fan of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars, consider getting the Disney+ subscription bundle, which includes ESPN+, Disney+ and Hulu for just $12.99 per month!

See how Lina’s Saving $100/Month By Ditching Cable

About the writer:

Angela graduated with a Bachelor's Degree and has 25+ years of experience as a writer and photographer with her work being featured in US Weekly Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, People Magazine, and more.

Join The Discussion

Comments 86

  1. Wilton

    We got a Roku last weekend and I think it will take me a couple of weeks to figure out everything that comes with it.

  2. berrylandnow

    Had sling for a while. I feel like it’s overpriced. I couldn’t find hallmark or tvland or any classic tv channels. I kind of feel like Its really geared toward men. IMO

    • Daphne Murray

      To get Hallmark on Sling, you will need to add the Lifestyle channels to your account. It will add an additional $5 to your monthly fee.

    • Nicole

      Philo has tvland and hallmark channels at $20/mo

    • Amy

      We tried sling when it was pretty new and didn’t like it. Ditched it after a month. We had issues with prime time and popular shows, like The Walking Dead and certain sporting events. It would freeze and not play. Could be better now though, that was years ago!

      • Mel

        Nope. It hasn’t changed at all. I took advantage of the sling free streaming special last month. Free streaming every night from 5pm-midnight. Wanted to catch up on the Walking Dead but buffering was so horrendous….I will never pay for sling.

    • dylanfan

      Hallmark channels are only $5 add on. Lifetime is included if you want Christmas movies.


      I have had sling for 6 months. I have both orange and blue package which gives me the channels you say you do not get. It’s still cheaper than cable. My only negative issue is that it buffers too often. I have a Wi-Fi extender but it still takes a minute for programs, etc. to come in. I like it.

  3. wifeandmomof3

    Is ESPN + different than the ESPN/Hulu/Disney? I want to cut but hubby wants his football games.

    • wifeandmomof3

      Cut cable that is

    • Amy

      If he’s just an NFL fan that should be enough combined with the free over the air network channels. College gets more tricky depending on the team and conference they play in, unfortunately.

      • wifeandmomof3

        They said we can’t watch live games on ESPN? When I contacted. I am doing something wrong? Is it additional cost? I don’t understand the point of the ESPN bundle. And NFL

        • Stephanie

          ESPN and espn+ are different.

          • wifeandmomof3

            Thank you

  4. IB

    Hulu is the best. We cut directv last month after 15 years and don’t know why we didn’t do it sooner.

  5. Amy

    Hulu is free with unlimited plans at Sprint too 😊

  6. Michelle W

    Has anyone figured out parental controls on Tubi? So far my Apple TV parental controls don’t seem to stop movies outside my guidelines.

  7. Renee

    If you are a Food Stamp Recipient, Amazon Prime is only $5.99/month. Have to submit a copy of your card.

  8. J

    Please don’t forget, anyone getting
    Disney + use Ebates for $10 cash back! It takes about 2 wks for them to put it on your Ebates account.

    • Michelle W

      I just got mine yesterday from the Cyber Monday sale 😊

  9. gingerritter

    So…we have TMobile and I just went thru this with them. They actually only cover the “standard plan” which is $8.99 per month and one TV. I noticed we were being charged a very small amount for Netflix every month and that was when I inquired. So…we downgraded to what they covered for FREE! 🙌

  10. Sara

    We cut cable almost 4 years ago. Best decision we made in a while. We have Vudu, Netflix and Hulu (Hulu is free because of our Sprint account). We also have a digital antenna which gets the basic channels we need.

  11. Lynn Brown

    Can anybody tell me how you get the tv subscription if your a Sprint customer?

    • heiAt

      You have to go in, they can add it. Maybe try calling? But I went in.

    • Sara

      You should be able to access your Sprint account online to figure out if your account is eligible. If you have questions about it you can always ask the online people that pop up “to help you”.

  12. Nicole

    I tried cutting the cord in the past, but internet is so expensive without a bundled cable package (at least in my area). The higher priced internet plus a couple streaming services ended up being almost the same price as cable. Very frustrating.

    • Stephanie

      I hear you! That’s why I haven’t cut the cord yet. I pay 90 bucks a month for 300 gb plan. I have to be careful what I stream so I don’t go over. Unfortunately, where I live, it’s the only option I have if I want internet.

      • patricialavenz-goff

        I know that some towns have a deal with internet. My brother lives in Clarksville TN and he gets his for about $20 a month but it is something only the city limits have.

  13. Joe

    often not known but many libraries have agreements with streaming providers. All you need is a library card and if they have an ebooks/emedia section you may be in luck. In NYC you can add RBDigital using your library card to your internet device, smart phone, smart tv, Ipad, and then get ACORN TV, the British streaming channel. You do have to renew your subscription every two weeks but its free. With Roku or other such service you can have it streamed on your TV even if its not smart. In addition you also get access to almost every magazine you can think of, books, audio books, language lessons and The Great Courses all for free. May not be available in everyones library but worth checking out.

    • RB

      Yes, even the rural county’s library in Tennessee offers two options for watching
      free movies and and obtaining free e-books through services to which they have paid memberships.
      Materials are “borrowed” (accessed) via library card for use at no cost to their patrons.
      (I am low tech and don’t watch much t.v., so I have not tried them out yet, but)
      ==> HOOPLA is one of them that offers videos.

  14. lisa

    We just bought new iPhones, how do we find out if we get appletv for a year?

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Hi Lisa! The deal should automatically appear for you on any eligible device that’s running the latest operating system.

    • JD

      A Star Hip2Saver is a recognized member of our Hip2Save community hand selected by our team for demonstrating a long history of engagement with helpful & friendly comments across and our social channels. Our Star Hip2Saver badge acts as a verification for readers who know the ins and outs of all Hip2Save sets out to accomplish — assisting our community to live extraordinary lives on ordinary budgets. Readers cannot pay or provide any sort of exchange in order to earn this badge. Rather, they are invited to participate by a member of the Hip2Save team and opt to have the Star Hip2Saver badge added to their profile & comments.

      You will get an email from Apple TV about one week after purchase. It will explain.

  15. Stephanie

    Pluto TV is free and it has a bunch of channels. Albeit I think most channels just air reruns. I have binged watched a few shows though using pluto TV that I would have had to pay elsewhere.

    • patricialavenz-goff

      I love Pluto TV.

  16. dre

    I was just going to mention Pluto tv. It’s free and very binge worthy!!

  17. katieyianitsas

    I’m surprised YouTubeTV didn’t make this list. We bought it for sports specifically, but it has local channels and many of the popular channels for $50/month. So much cheaper than cable, Satellite, and works more smoothly than SlingTV.

    • jen s.

      We have YouTube tv too! You really don’t need to subscribe to anything else with that. Sports, local news, a decent amount of movies…. it’s fantastic!

      • kylerboys

        We love YouTube TV too! Especially with a home full of sports fans. We love the unlimited DVR feature too!

    • MrsGarfield

      They raised the price to $65.

  18. JD

    A Star Hip2Saver is a recognized member of our Hip2Save community hand selected by our team for demonstrating a long history of engagement with helpful & friendly comments across and our social channels. Our Star Hip2Saver badge acts as a verification for readers who know the ins and outs of all Hip2Save sets out to accomplish — assisting our community to live extraordinary lives on ordinary budgets. Readers cannot pay or provide any sort of exchange in order to earn this badge. Rather, they are invited to participate by a member of the Hip2Save team and opt to have the Star Hip2Saver badge added to their profile & comments.

    If your cell phone provider is AT&T check and see if you are eligible for their Watch TV app. Free on many plans.

  19. Aly

    For sports, my husband and I checked out LS livesport as suggested above, but without /en added to the url we found out it is a Russian-owned website. Given the way how the internet has been infiltrated by troll farms, we just don’t trust it. We are still looking into the cheapest option available for live sports streaming so we can cut cable. Youtube, and hulu +live are the options available but their pricing seems a bit high. We tried Sling once but didn’t like it.

  20. C.J.

    I have been with DirecTV for a long time. Cancelled it last week because price was going up to $71 and the loyalty department had nothing to offer! Now I am trying to decide what to do…I do not have internet but thinking wifi for 59/mo for 1 year then adding streaming…any other ideas? TYIA

    • Edie

      Whoa, your directv is only 71.00 a month! LOL ours is 169.00 for all the bells and whistles for 4 tv sets. I’m not even complaining as long as I don’t have cable.

      • Sharon

        Maybe don’t get all the bells and whistles. I had the 2nd package with zero bell and whistles and dropped it when it went to $85. I don’t miss it. Only have over the air antenna for TV but use Netflix and Hulu.

    • Jan

      My DIL was telling me they pay $20 extra for hot spot so check your phone service’

  21. muquee

    I looked at the LS, but they don’t offer MLB as part of their sports so that is out for us. I would love to know if any one has found a good sports option. I researched a few months ago to see if we could cancel cable and could not find any service that offers MASN (Mid Atlantic Sports Network, which airs the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals games and maybe Washington Capitals hockey & Washington Wizards basketball). We only have a half dozen channels that are must haves (A&E, History, MTV, Discovery, Fox News & MASN) but could not find any service that offered all 6. In fact, I couldn’t find a service that offered both MTV & Fox News. Any insight from a fellow Hip2Saver on this would be greatly appreciated. SJ

  22. Beverly

    The reason we keep Directv is for the DVR to record our shows each week. Can anyone recommend a service that has a DVR as good as cable?

    • katrina

      Hulu Live you can record stuff on. We just quit Direct Tv and love Hulu Live. Haven’t missed DirectTV or anything they have as yet.

      • ky

        Is there a difference between Hulu and Hulu live?

    • katieyianitsas

      YouTubeTV allows unlimited recording

    • MrsGarfield

      If you record shows that air only on the NBC, ABC, FOX, CBS, CW, PBS you can look into getting an antenna and TiVo OTA DVR. I have had this set up for years and I am really happy with it. If you buy another of the various TiVo DVRs, or TiVo Mini you can have a whole-home DVR set up. My advice is to buy a DVR that has lifetime service vs monthly fees. The shows that are on cable channels I either get the dvd set from the library when it comes out or I watch it on Netflix (I get it for free from T-Mobile) or I watch it on Hulu when I occasionally subscribe. I jump from streaming subscription to streaming subscription when there are promotions and then I binge watch what I want. When I am done I cancel them.

    • Brenda

      I had a TiVo for many years. It was a bit pricy, especially since we bought lifetime service (which stays with the unit, not the purchaser) rather than pay monthly service fee. It was great!

  23. VB Vee

    Does Tubi TV and Vudu both work on Amazon Fire type tv’s?

    • Rini

      Tubi Tv does but not Vudu, that I can tell. (you have to add the app to your firestick)

      • VB Vee

        Thanks Rini.

  24. Dawn1029

    YouTube TV is the best. There are a ton of channels including sports and they let you split it between 6 households. We share with people from work. Everyone gets their own account and it ends up costing us about 12 bucks a month this way. It even lets you record shows.

  25. Spat25

    College students can get Amazon Prime Student Free for 6 months and then 5.99 a month after. Plus students get Amazon music for 99 cents a month

  26. nicolecoleman

    Hulu live is slightly cheaper at 44.99 a month which I like to watch my sports on:)

  27. katrina

    Hulu Live is putting price up from 18 Dec $10 to $54 and change from $44 something. We cut cord from Direct tv and jumped into Hulu Live and love it. Hulu Live has all the NFL games live my husband wanted to watch. We can record stuff we want just live Direct Tv. Have not even missed Direct Tv at this stage. I recommend.

  28. DJ

    Which one gives the housewives shows? My guilty pleasure 😔

  29. Sue

    Don’t forget Watch free movies, rent free ebooks, TV, audiobooks, and music for free using your library card. Many boxes allow you to download the app for free, or you can use your computer to access it.

  30. martin rabi

    Installation Sky News is available on the Amazon App Store. Simply go to search icon, search it, and then follow the onscreen instructions to install it.

  31. Nita

    I recently subscribed to & we enjoy the content.

    It is $5.99/mo after a 7 day free trial. Currently offering 13 channels (with more to come), including 3 Hallmark channels & The Weather channel.

  32. dealhunter

    Free live t…. USTVGO.TV every channel you could think of. every movie too . No cable bills . Why not guys

  33. Mary

    If you have xfinity internet, they offer a free xfinity flex device. It gives you access to several streaming options including Peacock at no charge. The first device per household is free and you can rent extras if you want.

  34. dealhunter all and every love sporting event for free

  35. patricialavenz-goff

    I am lucky neither one of my brothers is into sports. Just turned off cable.

  36. Amy

    I recently bought a new iPhone and got Apple TV for free. I was shocked by how little is on there. If you can’t get it for free I wouldn’t waste the money on it when there are much much better options. I think there are maybe 30 titles total on there.

  37. paul

    There’s also the free IMDb tv, through Amazon. They are starting to create their own originals, including a continuation of “Leverage”. Come on… Leverage! I can’t wait!

    • dealzgurl

      Yes, I find myself watching the freebies like more than the ones I pay for sometimes.

  38. Paul

    Sign up @ then pair with FitzyTV App a lot of tv Channels for free.

  39. DeborahMc

    Our cable bill without bells and whistles is $215. monthly. No premium channels and when I contacted XFinity they said it’s the internet that’s costly. We live in a large northern Florida city so getting service is not an issue. We have tried many times to lower the bill but no luck. I’m open to any suggestions on lowering the internet cost.

    • Teresa

      I live in Winchester Va and my Cable is almost 200.00 my internet is not that good. I’m thinking very seriously pulling away from them. I will stay with the Internet I do have Roku The newest one and love it so I think I’m gonna go with that on both my tv’s.
      If you want to stay with them, go to their website and look for their specials. Or you can call and tell them you will be canceling cause you can’t afford it. I bet you they will tell you well sir let me see what we can do.. hope this helps.
      I have done that a few times and they gave me good deals.

    • Christina

      Threaten to leave & switch to another provider in the area. They will try to get you a discount.

  40. Peaches

    I have T-mobile but unfortunately for me my plan is for a single person now. Which means no free Netflix for me. Just a more expensive plan at $50.00 instead of $35.00 per person for 2 or more.

  41. John

    There is an app called IMDb TV that has old programs that is free.

  42. Pat

    I can’t believe you didn’t mention ROKU, it’s about all I watch. I have over 100 free apps loaded, totally free. Your only expensive is the initial cost of the ROKU box. I love, love it.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for the suggestion, Pat!

    • Teresa

      I have Roku but the ones I clicked on says I need a supscription.

  43. wimedtypr

    I haven’t have cable for yeArs and years, one of the first cord cutters. We use Roku on all 5 TVs. Lots of free content on Roku. Haystack or newson local news, tubi, crackle, Roku channel, free items on Vudu, free games, free networks, cartoons, news etc. I also bought one time Roku. App purchases of old country western movies like John Wayne, old drive in movies, old hollywood movies etc. We use a moku leaf indoor antenna and get all the local prime time stations plus 45 more like nbc cbs, abc fox. To record all the antenna channels I have a 2 tuner Tablo. Records 2 shows at a time. Just added the Tablo app on Roku free and able to use on all TVs. I have sling plus the 5 extra lifestyle pkg Hulu and Netflix. Sling is awesome. No buffering, so many great networks, able to watch on demand many shows. So much content.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      How cool! Thanks so much for sharing what has been working for you!

  44. Bea

    Me too. I need my Housewives 🤪

  45. Alamode

    If you have a college student, they may be eligible to get HULU, Showtime, and Spotify for $5/month. You need to renew annually and the rate will go up once they graduate, but you can cancel at any time. My college kids LOVE this!

  46. Christina

    My problem is it is the internet that is expensive. I have basic cable & stream it (no box), bought my own modem because I got sick of them raising rate on modem rental. and one of the lower internet plans & it is around $80. If I could internet cheaper I could cut cord as I use Vudu, Amazon Prime video, & Netflix. Any suggestions? I live in Bothell, Washington.

  47. Pamela Holt

    I cut the chord, bought me a amazon firestick. download mozilla , to fet your internet browser and download firefox. i also like to yse put in ustv247 . it will bring up several , for free. i like ustvgo247 you will get starz , hbo, hallmark, 100’s channels free. you can also get free sports, bews etc, channels free if you put in search and put the channel you want, with the words, free live streaming all is free. do not pay anything!

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