How to Watch C-SPAN Online Without Cable

It wasn’t that long ago when fans of a program were bottlenecked to purchase a cable plan just to watch their favorite channel. These cable plans were often densely packed with infomercials and channels that you regularly skipped over. Now, however, it’s easier than ever to watch your favorite shows without having to buy an expensive and excessive cable plan. This goes for even programs like C-SPAN. 

C-SPAN is a private, nonprofit organization that offers live footage of the U.S. Congress and political news that includes no editing or commentary to skew toward a certain opinion. The network has a talk show called Washington Journal that covers politics, as well as three television channels — C-SPAN, C-SPAN2, and C-SPAN3 — and the radio station WCSP-FM. From the C-SPAN live stream to their straightforward political news coverage, this program is the politics enthusiast’s dream. Interested in accessing C-SPAN now? Continue reading for more insight on how to watch C-SPAN.

Streaming services to watch C-SPAN compared

Base Price per month$79.99 (Click for current pricing)
Free Trial 5 Days
# of Channels75+
DVR StorageUnlimited

Our recommendation

With DIRECTV STREAM as your only current option to watch C-SPAN online without cable, we recommend the service to get all your daily coverage.


DIRECTV STREAM is technically not cable, although this approach ensures you get a snag-free experience so you can watch C-SPAN. DIRECTV STREAM is a streamlined version of DIRECTV; you get all the C-SPAN programs you want, as well as access to premium channels without an expensive price tag. DIRECTV has made their content streamable so that you can have its entire catalog, including C-SPAN’s channels and live streams. Mind you, internet access is required to use DIRECTV STREAM, and the company advises that you have a minimum of 24 Mbps. Home internet and cellular data will work, though we recommend sticking with using your home internet for DIRECTV STREAM’s services as data can be sluggish and costly.

Plans & costs

DIRECTV STREAM has four streamable plans to select from. C-SPAN is included in all of them, so what you want to pay is entirely dependent on what package you prefer. Below is a list of plans as well as what offers and features each package will include.

Click here for DIRECTV STREAM’s latest pricing, trials, and promotions

  1. Entertainment Plan
    • 75+ channels
    • Unlimited hours of DVR storage each month
    • 40,000 titles on-demand
  2. Choice Plan
    • 105+ channels
    • Regional sports networks included
    • 45,000 titles on-demand
  3. Ultimate Plan
    • 140+ channels
    • HBO Max, Showtime, EPIX (MGM+) free for 3 months
    • STARZ Encore included
    • Regional sports networks included
    • 55,000 on-demand titles
  4. Premier Plan
    • 150+ channels
    • HBO Max, Cinemax, Showtime and more premium channels included
    • Regional sports networks included
    • 65,000 on-demand titles

All plans come with a 5-day free trial, so you can sign up today to start streaming.

What else is DIRECTV STREAM good for?

Depending on the type of package you go with, DIRECTV STREAM offers up to 55,000 on-demand titles that are ready to stream. However, the entry-level plan, Entertainment, is the sweet spot for many online viewers. The plan features 75+ channels, unlimited DVR storage, and access to ESPN, Disney, and Nickelodeon. If you have kids at home or someone in your house is a sports fanatic, this plan is perfect for everyone in your household. 

The best part? You aren’t obligated to be at home to use your subscription. At a hotel for a business trip? Your phone can prompt and stream all of the content at once. DIRECTV STREAM can be streamed by up to 3 different devices when out of the house. 

DIRECTV STREAM highlights:

  • 75+ channels
  • Unlimited hours of DVR storage
  • Up to 55,000 on-demand titles

Other ways to watch C-SPAN

C-SPAN typically requires a form of channel subscription services, like cable or DIRECTV STREAM, in order to access their channels. Certain Live TV events are available free of cost on C-SPAN’s YouTube channel, although most of the congressional-related content is exclusive to those with a traditional TV provider or with DIRECTV STREAM.

The final cut

C-SPAN has decided to make its content digitally accessible to its viewers across the nation. As opposed to a cable subscription, DIRECTV STREAM is a competitive option that has all the bells and whistles basic cable offers with a remarkable list of features. 

There are no-contract plan options that provide flexibility for those who are interested in a service but want to dip their toes first. DIRECTV STREAM also provides access to over 75 channels, unlimited hours of DVR storage, premium channels, and more. All things considered, you can finally access C-SPAN remotely as well as the catalog of digital content included with an DIRECTV plan.


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