Cable is no small expense. It can take up much of a person’s or household’s monthly budget. The average Canadian spends $52 on monthly cable bills, making free streaming services and cable alternatives a cheaper, more desirable option for many Canadians. You’re probably wondering how to watch TV without cable or internet – read on to find out.
There are a variety of alternatives to cable TV in Canada, including free and low-cost options, that often amount to less than that $52 monthly average.
Cable alternatives have been gaining popularity in recent years as more and more Canadians look for ways to cut the cord with traditional cable providers.
These alternatives offer a range of streaming services that allow users to watch their favourite TV shows, movies, and live sports events on demand without needing a pricey cable subscription.
From popular services like Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video to local options like Crave TV and RiverTV, there are plenty of choices for Canadian viewers who want to customize their entertainment options and save money on their monthly bills.
In this guide, we’ll explore the best alternatives to cable TV available for Canadians. We’ll cover the pros and cons of each, their pricing options, and what you can watch on each platform.
Disney+ is a one-stop-shop for all things Disney, featuring movies, TV shows, and documentaries from popular franchises like Star Wars, Marvel, and Pixar, as well as classic animated films and shows from the Walt Disney Company.
It’s a veritable nostalgia machine, offering new and old content alike. Subscribers get access to 1,600+ movies, over 28,000 episodes of comedy, drama, and true crime, and new releases weekly.
The platform is also user-friendly, with a simple interface allowing easy navigation and personalized recommendations based on the user’s viewing history. You can also view it on four devices or screens at once.
Access to Disney+ costs $11.99 per month or $119.99 per year (you get two months free with an annual subscription).
Access to over 1,600 movies and 28,000 drama, true crime, comedy, and more episodes.
$11.99 monthly or $119.99 yearly (2 months free with annual subscription).
New releases every week.
View on four screens or devices simultaneously.
Easily download movies and watch on the go.
2. Telus Stream+
Telus Stream+ gives you access to some of the best premium TV and video streaming platforms in one bundle. Offered by Telus, a Stream+ subscription includes Netflix Premium, Apple TV+, discovery+ and TELUS TV+.
To sign up for Telus Stream+, you need a Telus Mobility plan (extra fee).
TELUS TV+ and original shows, over 200 discover+ originals, TLC, HGTV, and thousands of shows; Apple TV+ films, TV series, documentaries, and kids entertainment; and Netflix Premium’s extensive library of films and shows.
Access to this bundle costs $28 plus tax monthly, a saving of $6.97 compared to subscribing to each product separately.
It is available on multiple devices, including phones, tablets, laptops, and TV.
Netflix Canada is the Canadian version of the tried-and-true popular streaming service. It offers a vast library of popular TV shows, movies, and documentaries.
With some plans, subscribers can watch their favourite programs on multiple devices simultaneously, making it a popular option for families. The biggest downside of Netflix is that it doesn’t offer live TV.
There are four different plans available through Netflix Canada. The “Basic plan with ads” is $5.99 per month, “Basic” is $9.99 monthly, “Standard” is $16.49 per month, and “Premium” is $20.99 per month.
The biggest difference with each price point is the number of screens allowed to watch simultaneously. Basic is allowed one screen, Standard gets two, and Premium is allowed four.
Related: How much is Netflix?
While there is no Canadian version of Hulu currently available, some of the content offered by Hulu can be accessed in Canada through other streaming services or by using a reliable VPN.
For example, some Hulu original shows are available on streaming platforms such as Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video.
Additionally, some Canadian cable alternatives offer live TV streaming options, including networks available on Hulu – such as ABC, NBC, and Fox. In Canada, at least, Hulu is one of the worst cable TV alternatives.
5. Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video offers a vast library of TV shows, movies, and Amazon original content, including critically acclaimed shows like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and The Man in the High Castle.
The platform is accessible on multiple devices, including smart TVs, gaming consoles, and mobile phones, making it easy to watch your favourite shows anywhere.
A downside to Prime Video is that the interface can be confusing, specifically when a paid content is mixed in with free content. Amazon Prime Video is included with an Amazon Prime membership and costs $79 annually.
6. Crave TV
Crave TV is a Canadian streaming service that offers a wide range of TV shows, movies, and original content. The platform features a broad selection of Canadian programming, including CBC, CTV, and Global shows, as well as popular international content from HBO, Showtime, and Starz. Crave TV may not have as many options as competing services.
Crave TV offers flexible subscription options to suit different needs and budgets, including an annual plan for $190.90 and a monthly plan for $19.99.
Related: Learn more about Crave TV.
RiverTV is a Canadian streaming service that offers live TV channels and on-demand content. The platform offers many local and international channels, including news, sports, entertainment, and lifestyle networks.
Some popular channels on RiverTV include CBC News Network, Sportsnet, Global, and History Channel, among others. RiverTV is $16.99 per month and includes an attractive 30-day free trial.
TabloTV is a Canadian streaming service that offers live TV channels and recording options. With TabloTV, Canadian viewers can watch live TV on multiple devices, including smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs, without the need for cable or satellite.
TabloTV offers a range of features, including customizable recording options, ad-skipping functionality, and an intuitive interface that makes browsing and discovering new content easy.
The biggest drawback to TabloTV is that it does require hardware, unlike most other streaming services. TabloTV offers flexible subscription options, including a one-time hardware purchase and a subscription for either $5.99 per month or $59.99 per year.
Paramount+ Canada offers a variety of content, including movies, TV shows, and original programming from popular networks like CBS, MTV, and Nickelodeon.
Paramount+ offers live sports streaming, including NFL games and NCAA basketball, and 24/7 news coverage from CBS News.
While Paramount+ offers exclusive content, it’s not as all-encompassing as competing streaming services. Paramount+ is $9.99 per month and offers a seven-day free trial.
10. Apple TV+
Apple TV+ offers a variety of original programming produced by Apple. Apple TV+ features a broad selection of shows and has also received critical acclaim for its star-studded, high-quality programming and original content, making it a great option for Canadian viewers who want to access exclusive and unique programming.
While Apple TV+ has expanded, its content library is still not as large as competing streaming services. Apple TV+ is $8.99 a month
11. YouTube TV
Like Hulu, YouTube TV is not yet offered in Canada; however, some of the content can be accessed in Canada through other streaming services (or with a reliable VPN). If you have the means to access it, YouTube TV offers access to the cheapest cable TV in Canada.
For example, some YouTube TV original shows are available on Canadian streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and Crave TV, which offers various programming options for Canadian viewers.
When it comes to watching sports, cable packages can get quite expensive. That’s where streaming platforms come in. No matter what match you’re trying to watch, one of these cable alternatives is sure to do the trick.
FuboTV is a sports-focused, live TV streaming service with top leagues and teams, plus popular shows, movies and news.
FuboTV offers a variety of subscription packages with different channel options, including local Canadian networks, popular sports channels like TSN and Sportsnet, and international networks like beIN Sports and GolTV.
FuboTV is $14.99 monthly for the Essentials plan or $39.99 for the Premium plan.
DAZN is a sports streaming service available in Canada that offers a variety of live and on-demand sports programming. It specializes in offering live and exclusive coverage of combat sports like boxing, MMA, and kickboxing, as well as soccer and other major sports.
DAZN also provides access to some of the biggest sports leagues in the world, including the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL. DAZN costs $24.99 per month or $199.99 annually.
14. Sportsnet Now
Sportsnet Now is a Canadian streaming service that specializes in live sports programming. The platform offers a variety of sports coverage, including NHL, NBA, MLB, WWE, and more, and allows viewers to stream live games and events from their favourite teams and leagues.
Sportsnet Now Standard is priced at $14.99/month or $149.99/year.
Don’t want to download an app or buy hardware to access your cable TV alternatives? You might be interested in these streaming services and internet TV providers in Canada – all you’ll need is an internet connection. And the best part? They’re free!
15. Pluto TV
Pluto TV Canada is a free, ad-supported streaming service that offers a range of TV channels and on-demand content.
The service has a mix of channels that offer news, sports, movies, TV shows, and more, with programming from networks like CBC, Global, and MTV. It’s the premier place to get free internet TV in Canada.
Pluto TV Canada is available on various devices, including web browsers, smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, and gaming consoles. One of the standout features of Pluto TV Canada is its guide-like interface, which allows users to easily browse channels and see what’s on next.
Roku Canada is a popular streaming device that allows users to access a wide range of streaming services, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and more, all from one central platform.
Roku devices come in various models and price points, and while they do not have a streaming service, they allow you to access endless streaming services.
Like Pluto TV, Tubi Canada is a free, ad-supported streaming service that offers a large library of TV shows, movies, and hidden gems. It is available on various devices, including smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, and gaming consoles.
With so many cable TV alternatives, it can be hard to discern which one is right for you. Perhaps the biggest indicator of the best cable TV alternative for many people is cost. Many Canadians search for streaming services as an alternative to expensive cable bills.
Some other important aspects to look out for when choosing cable TV alternatives are content, device compatibility, features, and reviews from other users.
Online streaming services are becoming far more popular than cable TV. With so many platforms to choose from, digital options are more flexible and popular for many people.
The best Canadian streaming person varies by person and priorities, but a few popular options are Telus Stream+ (which combines four streaming platforms), Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Crave, Disney+, and Apple TV+.
There are many options to access live TV without cable, including RiverTV, TabloTV, and Paramount+.
Streaming is often cheaper than cable, mainly because of the flexibility streaming services allow. They offer live TV and streaming options without the high cable access prices.