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How to watch local channels on Hulu with Live TV


Oct 7, 2020 — 6 min read

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Over the years, Hulu has grown to become one of the giants of the streaming service world. But it has branched out beyond on-demand viewing to offer users an extensive live TV line-up, totaling 65+ channels. Hulu’s local channels have, of course, always been included in its live TV packages. In fact, the platform can boast that it has the most widely available local coverage of any streaming service right now. All the major names like ABC, CBS and FOX are there along with popular channels like The CW. Want to find out how to watch Hulu channels in your area? Read on for all the insider tips and tricks. And don’t forget to check out our full Hulu + Live TV review.

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What Hulu Live TV package do you need to watch local channels?

Can you get local channels on Hulu? The answer is yes. Both the service’s live TV packages come with identical local channels. However, users throughout the country may notice a difference as the local line-up does vary by location.

Hulu Live TV

Hulu’s standard live TV package combines its huge on-demand library with a full live TV experience. For $54.99/mo., you’ll be able to watch Hulu live local channels including ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, Telemundo and The CW. Unlike other streaming services, Hulu’s local coverage is available across most of the US, meaning you’re unlikely to miss out on the local action. In addition to standard local networks, you’ll receive access to several regional sports networks (RSNs). Most RSNs come from FOX and NBC, but you’ll also find channels that rarely appear on other services’ lists like Marquee Sports Network and YES Network. Some live programming, especially sports events, will be subject to blackouts. But on-demand content from local channels is usually available in all areas the day after it’s aired.

When it comes to regular channels, Hulu + Live TV offers everything from Bravo and Disney Channel to CNN and ESPN. As you can see, families, reality show fans and sports-lovers are all equally catered to. Up to 50 hours of cloud DVR storage is also available for all Hulu + Live TV subscribers. (Upgrade to 200 hours for an extra $9.99/mo.) To top everything off, you’ll receive two simultaneous streams and can create and personalize up to six user profiles per account. (Again, there’s the option to upgrade to unlimited simultaneous streams for a further $9.99/mo. Or combine the enhanced DVR and screens for $14.98/mo.)

Hulu Live TV (no ads)

If you can’t stand commercials, opt for Hulu’s no ads Live TV plan. It costs a little more — $60.99/mo. in total — and is identical to the standard live TV plan, except for the fact that it allows you to banish ads from the majority of on-demand content. (Right now, Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are all exempt from the ad-free benefit.) However, you’ll still have to view ads when watching live TV and when watching on-demand content that’s exclusive to live TV subscribers. 

All Hulu + Live TV packages come with a seven-day free trial, so you can spend a week checking out all the local coverage you’ll receive. If you want to do your research before committing to a trial, you can check the kind of local channels you’ll get to see by entering your ZIP code on Hulu’s site. Find a full list of Hulu’s live TV channels here.

Does Hulu Live TV require an add-on to watch local channels?

Whether it’s extra storage space for recordings, a premium channel like HBO or the chance to bundle with Disney+ and ESPN+, several add-ons are available with Hulu + Live TV. But you don’t need any of them to access local channels. The only thing you do need is a private Wi-Fi connection to designate as your home network. (More on that later.)

What devices do you need to watch local channels on Hulu Live TV?

No matter whether you’re lounging on the sofa at home or traveling on public transport to work, you’ll be able to access Hulu + Live TV. The streaming service’s compatible devices even include game consoles, smart TVs and compact streaming sticks, giving you plenty of choice. Here’s every device you can watch Hulu’s local channels on:

  • Amazon Fire tablets
  • Amazon Fire TV devices
  • Android phones and tablets
  • Android TVs (select models)
  • Apple TV (4th generation or later)
  • Chromecast
  • Echo Show
  • iOS phones and tablets
  • LG TVs (select models)
  • Nintendo Switch
  • PlayStation 4
  • Roku devices (select models)
  • Samsung TVs (select models)
  • VIZIO SmartCast TVs
  • Web browsers (both on Mac and PC)
  • Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Do you need an app?

If you watch Hulu + Live TV via Hulu’s website, you won’t need to download any kind of app. But every other device requires Hulu’s updated app. Some devices like TVs come with it pre-installed. If yours doesn’t, downloading the app is simple. Just search for Hulu on your device’s app store and click install. 

How to watch local channels on Hulu Live TV step-by-step

To access your local TV guide via Hulu, you’ll need to take a few simple steps. From kicking off your free trial to setting up your home network, here’s everything you need to know.

  • Step one: Head to Hulu’s website on your computer or laptop and click the trial button to start your free seven-day trial
  • Step two: Choose a plan. If you want to watch local channels, you’ll need to opt for either Hulu + Live TV or Hulu + Live TV (no ads).
  • Step three: Enter your email address, create a password and prepare to add in other personal information like your name and address.
  • Step four: Select how you want to pay and enter the applicable billing information. (You won’t be charged during your free trial, but will be automatically billed for your first month as soon as your trial ends. If you don’t want to continue as a Hulu subscriber, ensure you cancel before the last day of your free trial to avoid paying a single dollar.)
  • Step five: Your account has now been created. Next, download and sign into the Hulu app on any compatible device.
  • Step six: Set your home network within 30 days of signing up to access the right local channels. This network will need to be a non-mobile internet connection that is private to your home and not shared with a dorm or office. To set the network, ensure you’re signed in on a living room device and go to your account page on a computer or mobile browser. Head to the privacy and settings section and click Set Home.
  • Step seven: All available local channels will now appear in your Hulu + Live TV guide. Watch on any supported device at any time.

To sum it up 

 Hulu is one of the best live TV streaming services for local viewing simply because it’s accessible in so many areas. Whether you want to stay on top of local news headlines or never miss a second of your local team’s games, you shouldn’t have a problem with Hulu + Live TV. Of course, certain restrictions do apply. Select events may be subject to local blackouts, and some areas may find they can’t access certain networks. But, on the whole, Hulu + Live TV is one of the easiest streamers to opt for if you’re a local TV fan. 

Price is obviously something to consider, too. With costs starting at $54.99/mo., Hulu + Live TV may not be as cheap as other streaming platforms, but you’ll receive a top-notch service that combines 65+ live channels with thousands of hours of on-demand content. And remember: you don’t even need to pay extra for local coverage. 

By Lauren Sharkey

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