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How to Watch Black News Channel (BNC) Without Cable

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Black News Channel has stopped airing and producing new and live content. See below for BNC Alternatives.

Black News Channel (BNC) is one of the fastest-growing news channels in the US. And although it provides content for people in Black communities, its audience reaches well beyond that. Learn how to watch one of the best news outlets without subscribing to cable!

In a hurry? BNC hasn’t caught on in a big way in the live TV streaming industry. But it does come with the base DIRECTV STREAM plan, which you can try free for 5 days!

Those looking for a news channel that is focused on an African-American perspective and news that is important to those in the Black community should secure access to the Black News Channel (BNC).

One example of this consisted of discussions of why Gabby Petito’s disappearance and death were covered by mainstream media as much as they were. This was contrasted with how similar cases involving people of color are usually ignored.

The BNC is a newer network, having been launched in 2020, but its reputation and popularity have steadily increased since its premiere. However, its availability is still limited. The only option that cord cutters have to watch a live broadcast of this channel is DIRECTV STREAM ($79.99/mo).

Get DIRECTV STREAM Free for 5 Days

What Is BNC

The Black News Channel is an idea that was in the making for more than a decade before it was finally launched. It was the brainchild of JC Watts, a former Congressman from Oklahoma, who left office at the end of 2003. It was at around that time that he decided to launch this type of news network.

Finally, about 10 years later, an agreement with Florida A&M University was put into place. The plan at that time was to house the channel on the school’s campus in Tallahassee, FL. However, that changed some as the BNC was ultimately placed in an off-campus building in the same city.

After its announced launch was pushed from 2019 to 2020, it hit the airwaves on Feb 20, 2020, in the midst of Black History Month.

When the channel premiered, it was only available in 3 million homes. However, that number ballooned to more than 50 million by the end of 2021.

Among the first stories that it produced significant coverage of was the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, an African-American man who had been running near Brunswick, GA. Just three days after the channel’s launch, he was chased and murdered. That coverage continued over the following couple of years.

One of the ways that the BNC has stood out is its focus on issues and conversations that are important to the Black community. These are generally not happening on mainstream outlets in as much depth as many believe they should. In some cases, they are simply not happening there at all. That is despite many of those mainstream news outlets having a notable percentage of African Americans on their news staffs.

The Black News Channel also features Black people doing things in their communities that are not receiving focus on their local or national news outlets.

Looking into the future, those responsible for the BNC know that it is important to maintain its independence as that is essential for it to be viewed as reputable and authentic by its viewers. In other words, it would lose a lot of or all of that authenticity if it was to be bought out by a mainstream news outlet.

Get DIRECTV STREAM Free for 5 Days

BNC Shows

Here is a list of some of the most popular shows that are regularly featured on the Black News Channel:

  • Start Your Day with Sharon and Mike: This show features Mike Hill and Sharon Reed and has been on the air since its premiere on March 1, 2021. It is broadcast from 6-10 am.
  • The World Tonight with Kelly Wright and Nayyera Haq: This show, which begins BNN’s evening programming with a run from 5-7 pm, regularly features interviews and analysis.
  • Amplified with Aisha Mills: Next up on the evening’s list of programs is this one, which is airs at . Mills is a social impact advocate and political strategist who shares her views of politics and policies.
  • Black News Tonight with Marc Lemont Hill: For an hour from , Hill, an activist and cultural critic, brings his views to a worldwide audience, thoughtfully looking at the challenges that the Black community faces.
  • Making the Case with Yodit Live: The next hour of programming features Tewolde, a former judge, prosecutor, and defense attorney who provides analysis of cases with her expert knowledge and background.
  • Prime with Charles Blow: Airing at , this show features author and New York Times columnist, Charles M Blow. He contributes his insights and thoughts on various aspects of American culture.

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If you can’t watch your favorite movies and shows because of your location, a VPN will allow you to get the access you are entitled to, plus extra security and unequalled privacy. Check out our VPN Guide for everything you need to know, including our top pick ExpressVPN.

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Other brands worth checking out include Hotspot Shield and CyberGhost.

Stream BNC

To stream live coverage of what is being broadcast on the BNC right now, you have just one option.



DIRECTV STREAM provides access to the Black News Channel through its lowest-priced Entertainment plan for $79.99/mo. Numerous other news-related channels are included in that plan, such as C-SPAN, C-SPAN2, CNBC, CNN, Fox Business, Fox News, HLN, and MSNBC.

If you are interested in more channels, consider DIRECTV STREAM’s other plans: Choice ($108.99/mo), Ultimate ($119.99/mo), and Premier ($164.99/mo). Most of the news channels are available through its Entertainment plan, however. One exception is BBC World News; you need at least the Ultimate plan in order to watch that network.

Also note that DIRECTV STREAM offers unlimited DVR storage when you sign-up online. This is useful if you want to record a BNC program for later viewing. You will have plenty of time to do so as anything that is stored is accessible for a period of 90 days before being removed.

You also get the ability to watch on unlimited devices at the same time — a great thing for large, diverse households. It currently supports Amazon Fire TV, Android mobile, Apple TV, Chromecast, iOS devices, Roku, Samsung smart TVs, and most web browsers.

For more information, see our DIRECTV STREAM review.

Get DIRECTV STREAM Free for 5 Days



Another option for BNC content is BNC GO. It launched on Sep 13, 2021, and what it makes available appears to be generally different from what is being broadcast on the Black News Channel at that time. In order to secure access to BNC GO, you need to utilize a device such as Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Vizio, Pluto, Samsung, or Tubi.

BNC GO provides access to a 24/7 stream with 18 daily hours of original content.


You have some other options if you are looking for alternatives to the Black News Channel.

Some channels that focus on a predominantly Black viewing audience are Allblk, Aspire, BET, Black Family Channel, Bounce TV, Cleo TV, Revolt, and TV One.

Conversely, those looking for a news focus can head towards channels such as ABC, CBS, or NBC for their sporadic news coverage or CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC for 24/7 news coverage.

Superpower Your Live TV Streaming With a VPN

You can’t beat a VPN for privacy, security, and access. We have used them for years as an important part of our streaming toolkit and we recommend ExpressVPN. Other brands worth checking out include Hotspot Shield and CyberGhost.

i See our VPN Buyer’s Guide for complete information on how to choose the best VPN for your needs.

Wrapping Up

Viewers desiring news coverage that is focused on issues that are important to Black viewers and Black-focused vantage points of news that is already covered extensively elsewhere should consider watching the Black News Channel. DIRECTV STREAM provides access to it through its Entertainment plan ($79.99/mo).

Get DIRECTV STREAM Free for 5 Days


What happened to BNC?

On Friday, March 25th, 2022, Black News Channel discontinued live programming. This came after a number of rounds of layoffs over past months. Shad Khan pulled funding and laid off the remaining workforce of 230. Thus far, the channel remains live airing content from its archives.

How do I watch “cable” channels without cable?

The following guides explain how to watch the most popular channels:

Ditch “Big Cable” Now – 3 Simple Steps to Cut the Cord

  1. Pick the right streaming service
  2. Get the content you deserve with the best VPN.
  3. Supercharge your internet provider

That’s it — you’ll save money, take back control, and enjoy TV more!

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