13 Places You Can Legally Stream TV Shows for Free

13 Places You Can Legally Stream TV Shows for Free
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For a brief moment there, it seemed we had finally moved on from the horrible cable TV business model. Streaming was cheap, easy, and full of our favourite shows. In 2022, however, it feels like every show is attached to its own streaming service, forcing you to pay cable prices to have access to everything. If you’ve come full circle and are sick of paying for TV, there’s an easy way to watch to your heart’s content completely free.

With all free content on the internet, the TV we’re about to talk about is powered by commercials. It won’t be the ad-free streaming experience you might be used to if you’re coming from Netflix or HBO. However, if you think of this like a cable TV replacement, it’s not a bad deal at all. Use the ad break to get yourself a snack, use the bathroom, or think about how much money those ads are saving on you on streaming expenses.

YouTube

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YouTube is the latest player in the free TV marketplace. Sure, the site made its fame as a free way to watch content, but now you can watch honest-to-goodness TV shows for free, so long as you’re OK with the ads.

The company says you can enjoy an initial 4,000 shows from its “Movies & Shows” tab. Just look for titles sporting the “Free with Ads” tag, rather than “Buy” or “Rent.” Right away, some of the titles advertised include Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, Unsolved Mysteries, Scream Queens, The Weird Al Show, and 21 Jump Street.

Peacock

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Peacock, NBC’s streaming service, is one of the few amongst the big streaming giants to offer a free tier. Not a free trial, mind you, but a true, never-ending service for free. The company claims, with a free account, you have access to over 40,000 movies, TV shows, and “more.”

Since Peacock does offer two other paid tiers, the free version is a bit limited. Still, you do get access to some premium shows, including the first five seasons of The Office, as well as the first two seasons of Parks and Recreation (let’s be real, the two shows you’d use Peacock for).

Tubi TV

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Tubi is one of the biggest free TV services out there. The site belongs to FOX Entertainment, containing more than 35,000 movies and TV shows, in addition to nearly 100 news channels from around the country.

You have access to a wide variety of shows, especially from the 2000s, like Naruto, Rome, Kitchen Nightmares, 3rd Rock From the Sun, Peep Show, etc. In addition, you’ll find a “Live TV” tab, featuring sports, news, and entertainment, perfect for having something to put on in the background.

Comet TV

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If you’re looking for a free TV service focused on sci-fi, give Comet a try. The site has a limited but interesting list of classics in the genre on-demand, such as The X-Files, Quantum Leap, Farscape, and The Outer Limits. Comet also hosts its own live stream, in case you’d rather the service choose your next programming for you.

Crackle

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Real ones know Crackle as the original home of Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee. Even though Netflix stole the hit web show away from Crackle, there are still plenty of shows to shift through in its catalogue. Some shows that stand out to me are The Dick Van Dyke Show, Forensic Files, The Beverly Hillbillies, The Real Ghostbusters, and Jackie Chan Adventures, among tons of other titles. Crackle even has its own original programming, although the list is a bit limited.

Crunchyroll

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Don’t let its outdated look fool you: Crunchyroll is the perfect free website for Anime fans. The site has access to a huge amount of shows, including One Piece, Attack on Titan, and My Hero Academia. While the service offers a premium tier, you certainly don’t need to pay to get a lot out of Crunchyroll.

If you’re streaming on desktop, consider giving Crunchyroll’s beta a try. It offers additional features, in tandem with a new look that makes the site more in line with what you’d expect from a 2022 streaming service.

Adult Swim

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If you’re an Adult Swim fan, you should know you can watch a lot of their content for free online and through their app. While some content is locked behind a cable login, there are plenty of shows that aren’t (sometimes entire seasons). I’m not sure what deals are in place to decide which content is locked, since, sometimes, the first episode of a season isn’t available for free, which would stop many of us from starting the show in the first place.

Still, the amount of free, high-quality Adult Swim content here is great, allowing you to waste a lot of time watching some funny cartoons. The channel also hosts live streams of its shows, so you can pop in and check out a random episode whenever you want.

IMDB TV

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IMDB might’ve started as an internet database for movie information, but now, it’s a bit more than that. The site has its own original programming, with shows like Play-Doh Squished, Corner Gas, and Timewasters, in addition to a large library of big-name shows, like Mad Men, Schitt’s Creek, and Chicago Fire.

Since Amazon now controls the company, you’ll need a Bezos account to log in and stream. You don’t need to have Prime in order to use it, though, so a free Amazon account will work just fine.

Pluto TV

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Let’s turn our focus to live TV options. One of the best, and most ubiquitous, options is Pluto TV. The service offers hundreds of free TV channels, spanning movies, entertainment, reality TV, gaming, music, sports, crime, and more. There are plenty of high-profile names in its channel list, including Showtime Selects, Paramount+ Picks, MTV Pluto, and CNN, but there are plenty of channels you might not know about that offer some entertaining content.

Take a browse through Pluto’s long list of channels and options. There’s almost certainly something for everyone here.

Xumo TV

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Xumo TV is another great option for live TV. The service offers seemingly hundreds of channels, if scrolling through its length TV guide is any consideration. You’ll find news from ABC and NBC, movies from CineLife and Xumo Movies, game shows from Game Show Central and Family Feud, and kids’ content from Cool School and Xumo Kids.

In addition to a sea of live streaming TV channels, Xumo also has a series of on-demand options. You’ll see many of the same Xumo channels you see in its livestreaming line-up listed here, each with its own collection of clips and shows. You can choose what to watch from History Shorts’ catalogue, or binge Architectural Digest’s offerings.

Plex

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You might know Plex as a movie service, but it also does live TV. There are plenty of channels to explore, like Crackle, AMC Thrillers, IGN, Fail Army, and World Poker Tour. My favourite, however, has to be the Portlandia channel. Having a random episode of Portlandia playing in the background any time I want makes Plex a must.

Samsung TV Plus

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If you own a Samsung TV or a Galaxy smartphone, you might want to consider Samsung TV Plus for your live TV needs. The service offers 100% free Live TV, and includes channels like NBC News NOW, Stories by AMC, Vice, Court TV, Game Show Central, America’s Test Kitchen, in addition to roughly 190 more options, according to Samsung.

The catch is, this service is exclusive for Samsung devices. If you don’t own one of the company’s TVs or phones, you’ll have to skip for now. But if you are in the Samsung ecosystem, their live TV app might be the choice for you.

LG Channels (Xumo)

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Similarly, if you’re an LG fan, LG Channels is a great option. It’s likely built right into your smart TV, making it a convenient choice, and is actually powered by Xumo. It’s an easy way to get the live TV features from Xumo without needing to download another app to your smart TV.

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