7 Best Free Streaming Services in the UK

If you're still on the fence about completely cutting the cord, the good news is there are streaming services out there that won't cost you a precious pound. They may feature ads in between programmes or require you to have a TV licence to fully access their channel lineup, and availability may depend on your broadband provider. But for the most part, these services come at no extra charge. 

We round up the best free streaming services in the UK right here and include pertinent details, like subscription price and channel lineup, to guide you through the process of selecting the best fit for you. 

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Exclusive to Virgin broadband customers, Stream from Virgin Media is a seamless way to watch on-demand streaming apps and live Freeview channels all in one place. You won't need a satellite or aerial for this, but you will have to install a puck-like device on your TV's HDMI port, which requires a £35 one-time activation fee. Apart from your broadband and streaming services bills, you won't be charged for any ongoing costs after that fee.

What's interesting about Stream is that it makes it easier to pick and choose which apps you want on your homepage, so you're sure to only see and pay for the content that you like. Additionally, you get 10% credit back on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other streaming subscriptions you add through Stream. 

And when it comes to content, you have your pick among major broadcast channels and on-demand streaming services. You can also add premium channels like Sky Cinema, Sky Sports, BT Sport, and the Essential Entertainment Package for an extra fee, cancellable each month.

Sometimes referred to as "Gay Netflix," Revry is a streaming service dedicated entirely to LGBTQ+ content. It has live TV channels—among them Revry Her, News, LatinX, and Brasil—and on-demand movies and TV shows. Because it is ad-supported, Revry mostly comes for free. But if you want to make the most of your subscription and unlock exclusive content, you can upgrade to premium by paying $6.99/month (or roughly £5.80 in the UK) or $59.99/year (around £49.50). 

Notable titles on the platform include Drag Latina, Drag Roast, Gayborhood, and House of Pride.

As the streaming arm of Channel 5, My5 has all of Channel 5’s offerings and more, including original shows like Milkshake! for kids, All Creatures Great and Small for adults, and thanks to parent company Paramount, American franchises like Yellowstone, Law & Order, and Criminal Minds. My5 also has a live TV option that streams Channel 5, 5STAR, 5USA, 5SELECT, and 5ACTION real-time. 

It’s quite a convenient streamer; the only downside is that, as of this writing, you can’t download episodes for offline viewing. But with free access and on multiple devices to boot, it’s a worthy entry into the UK’s homegrown services.

Freeview Play is a free live TV and on-demand streaming service rolled into one. It has an easy-viewing Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) that allows you to both see upcoming shows and replay previously aired ones via a nifty rollback function, making it a great catch-up service too. With more than 70 live TV channels, 10 on-demand UK streamers, and 25 radio stations, it's no wonder Freeview Play is increasingly becoming a staple in UK households. In fact, the service comes pre-installed in many smart TVs released from 2020 onwards. 

Now, the catch is that Freeview Play's live TV and EPG functions only work if you have an aerial connection. But even without one, you can still view on-demand content from Freeview Play's partner streamers like the BBC iPlayer, for instance, and get recorded feeds from their respective channels. Apart from the iPlayer, Freeview Play's partner streamers include ITVX, All 4, My 5, UKTV Play, CBS Catchup, Legend, PBS America, Pop Player, and BBC Sounds. As for the live TV channels, that will largely depend on your location, but it does cover major bases like BBC, Channel 4, and Channel 5, among many others. 

If you're looking for a platform that brings everything all in one place, then Freeview Play is certainly worth considering.

Discovery Plus is a streaming service that offers a mix of on-demand content and live TV channels. With its reserve of documentaries, educational programs, reality shows, and competitive games, as well as its lineup of channels like TLC, Quest, and Animal Planet, it's the go-to streaming service for non-fiction aficionados. 

Discovery Plus has a free tier that gives users access to some of its channels (namely Quest, Quest Red, Really, HGTV, Food Network, and DMAX), but if you're after the true-blue Discovery Plus experience, then you might want to look at its Entertainment pass, which costs £3.99/month, and its Entertainment & Sports Pass, which costs £ 6.99/month. Apart from having more channels on your lineup (including Eurosport 1 and 2 on the Sports Pass) you also get access to Discovery Plus originals with these paid subscriptions. 

Previously known as All 4, Channel 4 is the official streaming service of the TV channel it names. Here you'll find everything the channel offers, including local gems that have skyrocketed to international fame like Derry Girls and Skins as well as Hollywood hits like Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and 10 Cloverfield Lane. 

You can watch all these either for free (with ads) or for a fee (without ads). The premium, ad-free subscription starts at £3.99, but if you're not so sure yet about subscribing, you can test the platform with a 14-day free trial. Channel 4 is also available on most devices, including PC, TVs, and smartphones. 

When it comes to homegrown quality titles, it’s hard to have the BBC beat. The network is home to fan favorites like Sherlock and Doctor Who, as well as critical darlings like Fleabag and Industry. And thanks to a deal with Disney’s FX, it also carries a number of quality imports like What We Do in the Shadows and Pose. Which is why the BBC’s streaming arm, the BBC iPlayer, is such a handy service to have. It brings together a variety of beloved titles into one convenient place and serves as a catch-up platform for the most recently aired shows on the telly.

There are a number of impressive features as well, including live TV streaming, offline viewing, profile switching, and parental controls, although the iPlayer’s tendency to constantly rotate its catalog of titles could be a pro or con, depending on your preference (you can read more about title availability here). 

The only caveat is that you need to have a TV license to access the iPlayer, which costs a hefty £159 a year. But if you already got that covered, you can just quickly sign up for a BBC account and you’re good to go.

Ready to cut the cord? Here are the 14 live TV streaming services that offer a free trial.

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The streaming services on this page were chosen by our editors. If you choose to subscribe to a streaming service we recommend as a result of our research, analysis, and curation, our work is sometimes (but not always) supported by an affiliate commission from the streaming service when you make a purchase.

That's all from us for the 7 Best Free Streaming Services in the UK!