Best apps for live TV – Free & paid

Watching live TV on apps has started to become the norm over the past decade as more and more television stations have created apps for live and on-demand viewing.

When it comes to stations specific channels, what you consider the ‘best’ will often depend on which shows you like on each television station.

However, there are now a few apps out there that show live TV across a number of different stations and channels – this is different from services like Netflix, that generally focus on movies and TV series.

In this article, we are going to look at the best three apps out there today that are brilliant for streaming live television on the go.

Best apps for live TV – Ranked


The Freeview app, for me, is the best app currently on the market if you are looking to watch live tv on the go without paying any fees.

The app works by linking up with external streaming apps such as BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, and All 4 to bring together every free-to-air channel’s app in one place.

When you first log in to the Freeview app, you are given the option to add in any streaming services that you are currently signed up to. If you don’t have any of their suggestions downloaded then they provide links directly to the app store for you to go and download them.

To get the absolute most out of the Freeview app, we’d recommend that you get all of their suggested apps downloaded, providing that you have the storage space available on your device to do so.

Once you’ve passed this section you are then greeted by a screen that shows you what’s currently on television at this moment in time.

To watch one of these shows, simply select the shows title and then press the play button – the app will then redirect you to the relevant streaming service and start playing automatically.

If you scroll to the bottom of this page you will notice a list of channels with a love heart next to their name.

Tap the love heart next to any channels that are you particularly fond of to add them to your favourites.

One cool feature of the Freeview app is the ‘guide’ option which can be found on the menu bar which runs across the bottom of the screen.

This TV guide shows you what’s currently on live and what’s coming up on every channel available to you, in the same way the TV guide does on your television.

You are able to set reminders here for any upcoming shows that you want to stream via the app by selecting a future show and tapping the alarm icon.


NowTV makes this list purely for the fact that it provides customers with the ability to watch live sport across all of Sky Sports’ channels without needing to have a Sky Sports subscription.

No, this doesn’t mean it’s free, but it does mean that you can pay one off fees on certain days, weeks or months that there are sporting events that you really want to watch live.

Once you’ve downloaded the NowTV app you need to select ‘join’ and then select which membership you want to sign up to. Given that NowTV only makes this particular list because of the live sport they offer, you need to select ‘sports membership’ and then select which package you want.

The offers here will vary from time to time but typically they always offer monthly and daily packages priced at £33.99 and £9.99 respectively.

Once you’ve signed up you will then have the option of all the Sky Sports channels at your fingertips, allowing you to watch the biggest sporting events on the planet.

This includes Premier League football matches, the Super Bowl, England cricket test matches, Golf’s four majors and every single Formula One race.

If you pick your month carefully, you could get a feast of sporting action at a decent price. See our Now TV review if you want the full lowdown on the platform.

Pluto TV

The final live tv app that is worthy of a mention is Pluto TV. Without doubt, this app isn’t as well known as the aforementioned two but it still provides a brilliant service to users in the UK.

Pluto TV essentially provides a live streaming service across a whole host of different channels from around the world, all of which are absolutely free.

When you first fire the app up, you are basically greeted by one gigantic tv guide which allows you to scroll down to see what’s on and what’s coming up.

While it does appear to be one big mess, and it kind of is, you can’t really complain given that you’re getting all of this for nothing.

To watch a show on this huge tv guide, simply click on the show title of your choice and the show in question will start playing automatically (usually on a crystal clear picture, too).

One thing that Pluto TV does do to help customers out in locating shows relevant to them is by categorising each station Across the top menu bar you can slide across to see which categories they have from ‘Movies’ and ‘Crime’ to ‘Christmas’ and ‘New on Pluto TV’.

Once you’ve found a category that suits your interest, select it and it will redirect you instantly to all of the live shows currently on that fit within that category.

While it’s most appealing selling point is its free live streaming, Pluto TV does also offer customers the ability to catch up on shows via their on-demand tab.

The shows on this page are also categorised, making it really straightforward for you to locate any shows that you want to catch up on.


As you may have noticed, we decided to steer clear of station specific streaming services such as All4 and BBC iPlayer because as we said earlier, how you rate those apps will almost entirely depend on the content they house.

Instead, we’ve focused on three apps which indisputably provide great content for everyone, as well being easy to use and very intuitive. We would absolutely recommend giving all three a go.

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Andy is a Professional Content Editor with expertise in a whole host of areas (or so he tells us anyway). His main interests are sports, tv/film and social media. He has reviewed over 100 apps so far for Apps UK.

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