How to Stream Animal Planet Without Cable

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Animal Planet is one of the few channels that everyone can agree on. It may not be your favorite but it is always enjoyable. If it is essential in your household, you should have no trouble finding it even after cutting the cord. Read on to find out more!

In a hurry? Animal Planet is available on most streaming services — even the smaller ones. Here are our favorites:

  • FuboTV: If you’re household includes sports fans, this is the way to go with 110+ channels. Get FuboTV free for 7 days.
  • DIRECTV STREAM: Easily transition from cable with this all-in-one customizable service. A 5-day free trial is now available for DIRECTV STREAM.
  • Hulu + Live TV: With 85+ live channels, an outstanding on-demand library, ESPN+, and Disney+, it’s impossible to top this plan. Nothing!

Animal Planet is, first and foremost, a channel that celebrates animals. Whether in the wild or curled up on your couch, this network has got our furry (and scaly, and feathered, and shell-covered, and…) friends covered.

But you don’t need cable to see what the Irwins are up to at the Australian Zoo every week. Check out below how you can continue to watch your Animal Planet favorites without cable.

What Is Animal Planet

Animal Planet was originally launched in 1996 as a joint venture with BBC Studios. It initially featured daytime family-friendly programming.

It took a darker, edgier turn in 2008 in an effort to rejuvenate their ratings. More focus was put on predators, attacks, and other sensationalized content. There was also a spotlight on humans who investigated, hunted, or otherwise interacted with them. Shows from this period include Escape to Chimp Eden and Whale Wars, and a particularly low point was a 2012 documentary on mermaids.

In 2018, they returned to their family-friendly roots. This included the mission of “keeping the childhood joy and wonder of animals alive by bringing people up close in every way.” They did so with shows like:

  • Wolves and Warriors: Documenting a wolf rescue group that employs veterans to work with and care for the rescued animals
  • The Zoo: Showcasing the stories of both the animals in the zoo and the people who take care of them.
  • The Aquarium: Similar to The Zoo, but about the Georgia Aquarium.

One angle the channel has kept is more of a narrative approach to covering critters. Shows like Meerkat Manor and Orangutan Island followed individual animals or families in their struggles and triumphs in the wild. These sometimes sound more like a soap opera than a nature documentary. But “humanizing” the animals makes for very compelling TV.

If you wanted to watch Animal Planet, you used to need a cable company. Now you can just subscribe month-to-month to a live TV streaming service over the internet. Cheaper and more flexible, there are no contracts or inflated bills, or installation appointments.

Animal Planet Shows

Shows currently trending on Animal Planet include:

  • Crikey! It’s the Irwins
  • Extinct or Alive
  • Finding Bigfoot
  • Lone Star Law
  • Monsters Inside Me
  • My Cat From Hell
  • Mysterious Creatures with Forrest Galante
  • North Woods Law
  • Pit Bulls & Parolees
  • River Monsters
  • Road to Puppy Bowl
  • The Secret Life of the Zoo
  • Tanked
  • Treehouse Masters
  • The Zoo
  • The Zoo: San Diego

Stream Animal Planet

Discovery Inc is nothing if not prolific in its acquisition and launching of new channels. It currently boasts no less than 15 channels besides Animal Planet:

Other channels that feature nature documentaries are CuriosityStream and National Geographic Wild. Which services carry which channels?

DIRECTV STREAM - Animal Planet
Animal Planet on DIRECTV STREAM.

Hulu + Live TV

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Hulu has taken its Live TV to the next level by offering Disney+ and ESPN+ alongside the original Hulu library and, of course, over 85 live TV channels. Check out Hulu Live for $69.99/mo.

Discovery channels are pretty split: Animal Planet, Discovery, Food Network, HGTV, ID, MotorTrend, TLC, and Travel Channel are all in the base package, along with NatGeo Wild. American Heroes Channel, Cooking Channel, Destination America, Discovery Family, Discovery Life, Magnolia Network, and Science are all available in the Entertainment Add-on. Weirdly, it does not carry OWN.

Hulu + Live TV comes with unlimited cloud DVR (9 months storage) and streaming on two screens at once. For details, see our Hulu + Live TV review.

Philo

philo logo

Philo is an amazing little gem of a service. For the low price of $25/mo, they will supply you with 60+ channels, including all 16 Discovery channels. Sound too good to be true?

There are a few gaps in the lineup: Philo doesn’t have any sports channels, and only one news channel. Also, they don’t carry any local stations, WarnerMedia, NBCUniversal, or Disney channels.

But get unlimited DVR storage and streaming on up to 3 devices. Find out more in our Philo review.

FuboTV

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FuboTV’s got all the sports Philo is missing, and then some. Targeting the American soccer fan, it’s got over 110 channels in its $69.99 base Starter package. This includes Animal Planet and almost all the other Discovery networks as well. Discovery Life, Magnolia Network, and Science are available in either the Elite package or the Fubo Extra add-on ($7.99/mo), along with NatGeo Wild and CuriosityStream.

FuboTV comes with 1000 hours of cloud DVR storage and streaming on 10 simultaneous devices. Our FuboTV review has more information.

DIRECTV STREAM

DIRECTV STREAM

DIRECTV STREAM (formerly AT&T TV) provides a seemingly random distribution of the Discovery channels over three of its tiers. Animal Planet, Discovery, Food Network, HGTV, ID, MotorTrend, and TLC are all in the Entertainment package, which is $69.99/mo.

Cooking Channel, OWN, Science, and Travel Channel are added in the $89.99/mo Choice package. And American Heroes Channel, Destination America, Discovery Family, Discovery Life, and Magnolia Network (plus NatGeo Wild) are all in the Ultimate package at $104.99/mo.

DIRECTV STREAM provides unlimited cloud DVR storage and streaming on up to 20 devices at home and three on the road. To find out more, see our DIRECTV STREAM review.

Other Ways to Stream Animal Planet

  • YouTube TV: 85+ channels, $64.99, kinda like Hulu + Live TV but without all the on-demand goodies.
  • Discovery+: Discovery+ is Discovery’s on-demand streaming service starting at $4.99/mo. Mostly provides content from the Discovery channels (including Animal Planet), it also has exclusive rights to BBC Earth series and specials, original content, and some A&E, History, Lifetime, and NBC reality (like Real Housewives, Queer Eye, Top Chef, and American Ninja Warrior) to sweeten the deal.
  • Animal Planet GO: While this website/app service uses the typical TV Everywhere platform (you need a TV provider login to access the content), it does give you access to all the Discovery channels, not just Animal Planet. But you still need a TV subscription.

Streaming Devices and TVs for Animal Planet

Most streaming devices are supported these days. The services above support most of the TVs and devices in use today:

  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Android mobile
  • Apple TV
  • Chromecast
  • iOS (iPhone,iPad)
  • Roku
  • Web browsers.

All the services except DIRECTV STREAM also support Android TV-powered TVs. And other than Philo they all support Samsung smart TVs. Fubo and Hulu support LG and VIZIO TVs and Xbox systems. Hisense smart TVs are supported by Fubo. And Hulu supports PlayStation units.

Our streaming reviews have all the details.

Wrapping Up

So what are you waiting for? If you’re an animal lover who wouldn’t mind if cable companies went extinct, just sign up for one of the services above and you can cancel your cable account without missing any Big Cat Tales or The Vet Life.

Sign up with Hulu + Live TV. Or if you are on a budget, check out Philo.

FAQ

What other channels are good for animal lovers?

No other channels are completely devoted to animals like Animal Planet. But National Geographic Wild has a nature focus (not just on animals, but plants, space, geology, etc). And Discovery’s Science contains technology, space, and prehistory content in addition to animals, nature, and wilderness survival. Also, the subscription on-demand services CuriosityStream and Magellan TV both have documentaries spanning all subjects, including animals and the natural world.

Are there any channels for animals (instead of just about them)?

Actually, there are channels for animals! DogTV, the self-described first and only TV channel for dogs, is a subscription on-demand channel with programming specifically created for dogs. Intended for owners who like to put the TV on for their dog(s) when they leave their four-legged friends at home, it features visuals calibrated for a dog’s color vision.

The programming is developed with dog behavior specialists and is in 3-6 minute segments designed to relax, stimulate, and desensitize dogs to everyday events like doorbells. Discovery bought a minority stake in the company in 2014.

What’s the Puppy Bowl all about?

The Puppy Bowl is Animal Planet’s annual parody-for-charity of the Super Bowl. The event, which has been running for over fifteen years now, raises money and awareness for dog shelters and pet adoption. It features puppies playing with a variety of toys on a puppy-sized football field. Dragging a toy into the end zone scores a “touchdown.” It’s both adorable and a great cause, and it’s a perennial hit for Animal Planet.

Tune in for the next one on February 13th, 2022 at 2 pm (EST).

Alanna Baker

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