Can You Watch Live TV on Apple TV?

These days, the number of people using cable alternative streaming services is growing very rapidly. To keep up with demand, there have also been more and more streaming devices coming out. One popular streaming device is the Apple TV. While Apple TV will certainly work for Netflix and other on-demand services, we are often asked, can you watch live TV on Apple TV? The answer, thankfully is yes! Keep reading to learn how to watch live TV on Apple TV.

Apple TV live TV is available via a number of different services. Apple TV has “apps”, just like all other Apple products, that allow you to stream live and on-demand content from a variety of services. In this guide, we’ll explain how to watch live TV on Apple TV in great detail, and the best services to use to do just that.


Can You Watch Live TV on Apple TV?

Absolutely! There are now many different ways to watch live television on Apple TV. Whether you’re after the latest TV show episodes, the newest movies, the news, or sports, we’ve got you covered. There are a few different approaches for how to watch live TV on Apple TV, so we’ve broken up the options into categories.


Apple TV Live TV Channel Bundles

Perhaps the best way to stream live TV on Apple TV is to purchase a channel bundle from one of the services discussed below. These services give you a lot of channel options, which means the best variety possible in a single app. These are paid services, but they still represent a huge discount compared to traditional cable or satellite TV service. If you’re wondering how to watch live TV on Apple TV, one of these services is the best place to start.


Watch Live TV on Apple TV via DIRECTV NOW

DirecTV NOW is a new streaming service that is an excellent way to stream live TV shows on Apple TV. It’s owned and operated by DIRECTV, but it’s much cheaper and more flexible than a satellite/cable package. It requires no long-term contract, and gives you 60+ channels to watch live. Here are some highlights:

  • DIRECTV NOW works over the internet – no cable required
  • You can download the DIRECTV NOW Apple TV app to watch live TV on your Apple TV
  • You get 60+ channels in the base package for $35 per month
  • Key channels include ESPN, TNT, AMC, Comedy Central, CNN, Cartoon Network, FOX News, Disney Channel, and more
  • Up to 120+ channels are available in larger packages
  • Apple TV local channels like FOX, NBC and ABC are available in select markets.
  • Add on premium channels like HBO and Cinemax for just $5/month extra
  • See the full DIRECTV NOW channel list for details
  • No contract is required; cancel any time
  • Watch from a variety of other devices, as well – including your smartphone
  • There is a free 7-day trial available

DIRECTV NOW is perhaps the best way to watch live TV on Apple TV, and a very affordable option.


Use Sling TV to Watch Live TV on Apple TV

Can you watch live TV on Apple TV for less than $0.70 per day? With Sling TV, yes, you can! This service is offered at only $20 per month, making it one of the most affordable ways to stream live TV on Apple TV. But don’t let the price mislead you – this service still presents a huge number of quality channels, and a great option for cord-cutters. Highlights include:

  • Sling TV offers 30+ channels for $20 per month
  • It works over the internet – no cable required
  • Download the Sling TV app on your Apple TV to get started
  • You can get up to 100+ channels in the larger packages
  • Select Apple TV local channels are available in certain areas
  • Premium channels like HBO are available to add on
  • See the Sling TV channel list for details
  • No contract needed – cancel any time
  • Watch from mobile devices and more
  • Prepay for 3 months, and get 40% off an Apple TV
  • Try Sling TV for free for a week with their free trial offer

Sling TV is an excellent choice for those looking for a budget option. It’s one of the best ways to watch TV live on Apple TV.


Stream Live TV on Apple TV via PlayStation Vue

PlayStation Vue is another service you can use to watch live TV shows on Apple TV. It works in the same way as the two described above. Some key facts about Vue include:

  • Get 45+ channels for $30 per month
  • Watch directly on your Apple TV
  • Key channels include ESPN, TNT, CNN and more
  • Premium channels available as add-ons
  • See the PlayStation Vue channel list for details
  • Some Apple TV local channels included in select areas
  • Watch from some other devices, but mobile viewing is not allowed
  • Free trial available

Overall, Vue is a good service, but both Sling TV and DIRECTV NOW are better options at this point.


Apple TV Live News Streaming Options

For those who like to stay informed about the latest happenings, you may be looking for a way to watch the News on Apple TV. There are several different options, as detailed below. See more info in our guide on how to watch the news online.


News Station Apps for Apple TV


Most major news stations have their own dedicated Apple TV apps. There’s CNNGo, Fox News, ABC, CBS News Live, and more. These apps are designed to watch news on Apple TV, however, they all require authentication with a cable provider’s login. So, basically, if you have a cable TV subscription, you can sign in to your cable account via the Apple TV app of your choice.

These apps, for the most part, won’t work without a cable TV login. But if you already have cable, it’s a good way to watch the News on Apple TV.


Use Newsy to Watch News on Apple TV

Newsy is a totally free news service that has an Apple TV app. It’s free to download, and free to use, with no cable TV login required. For cord-cutters, this is a good way to stream news on Apple TV for free, without needing to sign up for anything expensive.


Use Streaming Services to Watch News on Apple TV

The streaming services we already discussed before, like Sling TV, PlayStation Vue and DIRECTV NOW, all offer news channels. And since they all offer Apple TV apps, that means you can watch news live on Apple TV. All three services will work, but DIRECTV NOW is the best option, because it includes the most news networks. Some included news networks are CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, and more.


Apple TV Live Sports Streaming Options

For sports fans who can never get enough action, you’re probably wondering can you watch live TV on Apple TV – and not because you want to catch the latest episode of The Voice, but because you want to watch as much live sporting events as possible! We hear you, and we have a full guide on how to watch sports online. And below, find the best methods for watching live sports on Apple TV.


Use FuboTV to Watch Live Sports on Apple TV

FuboTV review

FuboTV is a quality streaming service that offers a good way to watch sports on Apple TV, as well as on many other device.

FuboTV is primarily focused on soccer, making it the best way to watch soccer online. Fubo offers many channels like BeIN Sports, GOLTV, Univision, El Rey Network, and more, all of which host a ton of live soccer and other sports. FuboTV is just $10 per month, with no contract required, and there is a free trial for new users.

FuboTV is now expanding to offer a full bundle of live TV channels to its subscribers, expanding beyond just sports. They plan to offer 70+ channels, including some Apple TV local channels. However, keep in mind that this service is in the early stages of development, and is not live yet. We’ll keep the FuboTV channel list updated as details are released. The new service should start at around $35 a month.

For now, you can still use FuboTV as a live sports streaming method, and later when the service expands it might become more like Sling TV and DIRECTV NOW, offering a wide variety of channels. FuboTV offers a free trial for new customers.


League Sports Packages offer Sport-Specific Streaming

Each of the major sports leagues – NBA, NHL, MLB, etc. offer their own Apple TV apps, and their own standalone services. The three most popular services are NHL.TV, MLB.TV, and NBA League Pass, which, as you can imagine, are designed for NHL, MLB, and NBA fans, respectively.

These leagues offer their own dedicated subscription services, and their own Apple TV apps. They are not free – prices vary depending on the package you choose, but expect to pay $100-$150+ per season for each service. These are good choices for dedicated sports fans, but definitely on the pricey side.


WatchESPN and FOX Sports Go offer Streaming for Cable Subscribers

If you have a cable subscription, you can use your login details to gain access to apps like WatchESPN and FOX Sports Go on your Apple TV. These apps provide live content from ESPN and FOX Sports, respectively. You’ll need your cable TV login to access them, or you can use your Sling TV, DIRECTV NOW or PlayStation Vue credentials.


Use Streaming Services to Watch Sports on Apple TV

The “Big Three” streaming services; DIRECTV NOW, Sling TV and PlayStation Vue all offer direct, live access to sports on Apple TV. All three include ESPN and ESPN2, and Sling TV offers ESPN3. Some packages from these services also include NBCSN, FS1, and even regional sports networks in some areas.


Apple TV Premium Channels Options

Can you watch live TV on Apple TV and still enjoy premium channels? Yep! If you’re looking for premium channels like HBO, look no further than the options below.


HBO offers Several Ways to Watch HBO on Apple TV

hbo live stream

Fan of HBO? Who isn’t these days! With epic shows like Game of Thrones, it’s hard not to love HBO.

For Apple TV users, there are a few different ways to watch HBO on Apple TV. They include:

  • HBO Now – this is HBO’s standalone streaming service. It’s $15 per month, and does NOT require a cable subscription.
  • Add-ons – Sling TV and PlayStation Vue offer HBO as an add-on to your subscription for $15 per month. DIRECTV NOW does, as well, and it’s only $5 per month extra (the cheapest way to watch HBO on Apple TV is definitely via DIRECTV NOW).
  • HBO Go – this is HBO’s official app, but it’s only usable by cable subscribers who have HBO as part of their subscription. You’ll need to sign in using your cable TV credentials. Note that not all providers give you access to HBO Go, and not all support Apple TV. Learn more here.


Watch Showtime via Their Dedicated App

Showtime is another popular premium channel, and they offer an Apple TV app. The service is sold as a standalone product for $10.99 per month. It’s also possible to add on Showtime to certain services, like PlayStation Vue and Amazon Prime Video.


Other Ways to Watch Live TV on Apple TV

The methods listed above are the most popular and best ways, but if you’re looking for a complete answer to the commonly asked question, can you watch live TV on Apple TV, the answer is that there are many different ways. There are over 2,000 apps available for the Apple TV, and many of them offer live TV streaming on Apple TV. Plus, with the popularity of Apple TV rapidly expanding, more and more apps will be released. Feel free to explore the App Store on your Apple TV to find new opportunities.


Can You Watch Live TV on Apple TV? Our Final Recommendations for Best Results

This is a lot of information, we know! If you’re looking for the bottom line, for just our best suggestions, we would recommend doing as follows:

  • Sign up for the free trial of DIRECTV NOW, or the Sling TV free trial (or both!)
  • This will give you 7 days to explore the service(s), before you pay anything
  • Download the appropriate app on your Apple TV
  • Explore the service, and see if it meets your needs
  • If you crave more, come back to this guide and explore some of the other options listed here.

That’s it for now! If you have any questions about how to watch live TV on Apple TV, feel free to leave a comment. Have a great day!