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How to Stream ION Television Channel Online Without Cable

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ION Television, or ION, is known for reruns of popular procedural and action shows such as Private Eyes, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and Chicago PD. It’s also the home of WNBA on Friday Nights. Read on to find out how you can stream this channel online or get it over the air for free without a cable subscription.

In a hurry? There are a few options for streaming ION. Here are our top picks:

  • Fubo: With 150+ channels, it offers something for everyone. Fubo allows you to try out its service with a free trial.
  • DIRECTV STREAM: Makes it easy to switch from cable to streaming with their 75+ channel Entertainment plan and options for much more. A 5-day free trial is now available for DIRECTV STREAM.
  • Frndly TV: Get 40+ channels for as little as $6.99/mo!

If you can’t watch your favorite movies and shows because of your location, try ExpressVPN to get access to the content you deserve.

Unfortunately, we don’t know a streaming service in that offers this TV channel/sport. But if you’ve already paid for the right service, and just can’t watch because of your location, there is an easy way to get the sports, movies, and TV you deserve. You need a VPN, like one of the following.


1. ExpressVPN: Established VPN provider in 105 countries. Smart DNS, a built-in ad-blocker, and unlimited bandwidth. Try it with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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3. Private Internet Access: The only no-logs VPN with a location for every US state. Get 82% off + 2 months free.

If you’re overwhelmed and not sure where to begin, you’ll find all the answers in our full VPN guide.

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How to Watch ION

Most people stream ION but it is also available in many areas for free over-the-air.

Live TV Streaming Services

ION is available on both the paid streaming services like Fubo as well as free-ad-supported streaming television (FAST) services such as Pluto TV. All of these services also include many other favorite channels streamed right to your TV, phone, tablet, or other compatible devices.


fubotv logo

Fubo is a great choice for those who want sports along with a large dose of entertainment. ION is available in the base Pro plan which offers 150+ channels for $79.99/mo. The plan also includes ION Plus, ION Mystery, GRIT, Oxygen, Court TV and other channels. For sports fans, the plan comes with ESPN, Fox Sports, beIN Sports, Big Ten Network, CBS Sports Network, and others.

Every Fubo plan comes with unlimited cloud DVR recording and up to 10 simultaneous streaming connections. See our Fubo review for details.

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ION is included in all DIRECTV STREAM plans, starting with the base package — Entertainment — priced at $79.99/mo. It includes channels such as Paramount Network, Investigation Discovery, Lifetime, and more. If you are also into sports and need Regional Sports Networks (RSNs), then you would need to go for the Choice Package (costing :directv-choice-price:) or higher plans.

All plans come with unlimited DVR and the ability to stream simultaneously on unlimited devices at home or up to 3 devices when outside. Our DIRECTV STREAM review has complete information.

Get DIRECTV STREAM Free for 5 Days

Frndly TV

Frndly TV

Frndly TV is a pocket-friendly option for ION channel fans, with plans starting from $7.99/mo for SD video. You can choose to shell out a few more dollars for HD video, more simultaneous streaming devices, and unlimited cloud DVR storage. Apart from ION, Frndly TV also includes 40+ channels such as ION Mystery, Court TV, Justice Central TV, Crime + Investigation, and GRIT. 

The only downside of this streaming service is that it does not include any significant sports, news, and core movie channels. For more information, see our Frndly TV review.

Sign Up for a Free 7-Day Frndly TV Trial

YouTube TV

youtube tv

YouTube TV includes ION with its 100+ live channel base plan for $72.99/mo. See our YouTube TV review for more information.

Free Ad-supported Streaming Television (FAST) Services

The below services offer the channel live for free in exchange for showing extra ads. However, they do not include a DVR recording or on-demand feature. This means that if you are unable to watch your favorite episode at the time of its airing, you will not be able to catch it later. If you require DVR recording functionality, it is better to go for the premium streaming services listed above or to get the channel through an antenna and use an OTA DVR device.

  • The CW: Includes ION, ION Plus, and ION Mystery along with Total Crime, Grit XTRA, Laff More, and other channels. It does not require sign-in. The service is not to be confused with The CW channel, both of which are from the same company.
  • Plex: Includes all three ION channels, Crime 360, True Crime, Court TV, NBC News Now, and more.
  • Pluto TV: Includes ION, Oxygen, Court TV, and more.
  • The Roku Channel: Includes all three ION channels along with Court TV, Grit XTRA, Court TV, and more.
  • Tubi: Includes all three ION channels, FilmRise True Crime, VICE, Court TV, and more.
  • Xumo Play: Includes all three ION channels. Displays a high number of ads every time the channel is loaded.

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If you live in specific areas, ION can be watched through an antenna for free. Use the FCC’s DTV Reception Maps to check the availability of over-the-air channels in your area. If ION is available, all you need is an antenna. You can buy a compact indoor antenna starting from $20 onwards. 

Find out more details about antennas and their setup in our Antenna Buying Guide.

Devices to Stream ION

You can view the channel on nearly any device that has a screen and is connected to the internet. Here is a list of popular devices:

  • Amazon Fire TV (Stick/Cube)
  • Android mobile
  • Android TV
  • Apple TV
  • Chromecast
  • iOS (iPhone, iPad)
  • Roku
  • Samsung smart TV
  • Web browser

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What Is ION Television?

ION Television, branded as ION, was first introduced in 1998 as PAX TV. It was focused on family-friendly entertainment and aired a mix of original shows, reruns of older series, and some religious programs. Following a brief rebranding to i: Independent Television, the channel was launched in its current form as a general entertainment network in 2007. 

ION has a spinoff channel, ION Plus, that runs programming similar to ION but with a slight leaning towards drama and action. Another channel, ION Mystery (earlier called Court TV Mystery) was added to the ION mix in 2022 and focuses on mystery and procedural-crime-oriented shows. 

ION Media Networks, the channel’s parent company, was acquired by E.W. Scripps Company in 2020.


During its season, ION features two WNBA games every Friday starting at .

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Wrapping Up

If you live in an area where ION is available over the air, you can choose to watch it for free through an antenna. Alternatively, if you can put up with extra ads, you can choose to stream ION through an FAST platform like The CW.

However, if you are looking to get a streaming service that serves varied interests in movies, sports, news, and other categories, Fubo is our top choice. Fubo allows you to try out its service with a free trial.

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Where can I watch ION TV for free?

To watch ION TV for free, you can access a free-ad-supported streaming television (FAST) service such as The CW, Tubi, or Pluto TV. The CW and Tubi also carry ION Plus and ION Mystery channels. These services can be accessed without requiring any signup and are fully legal. Alternatively, you can get ION over the air through an antenna if you live in an area that receives the channel. 

Is ION TV on a streaming service?

Yes, ION is available through a premium streaming service provider such as DIRECTV STREAM, Fubo, Frndly TV, or YouTube TV. These services also include other channels and features to cater to your entertainment needs. Alternatively, if you don’t mind the extra ads, you can watch ION through a free-ad-supported streaming television (FAST) service such as The CW, Tubi, or Pluto TV.

What shows are currently airing on ION Television?

ION is currently airing reruns of popular series such as NCIS: New Orleans, NCIS: Los Angeles, Chicago P.D., Criminal Minds, FBI, Chicago Fire, and Law & Order: SVU. In some slots, the channel also airs shows from its Qubo network including Xploration Station’s Animal Science and Awesome Planet, along with the Science Max series.

In terms of sports, the channel is airing National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) 2024 matches on Saturday nights. It also shows WNBA games on Friday Nights.

How can I find the ION TV channel schedule?

ION TV’s schedule is available on the ‘Schedule’ page of the channel’s official website IONTelevision.com. Alternatively, you can find ION’s schedule on any of the streaming services that carry the channel. They include DIRECTV STREAM, Fubo, Frndly TV, YouTube TV, The CW, Tubi, and Pluto TV.

Why is ION TV off the air?

ION TV is currently on-air. If you are using an antenna to receive the channel over the air, you may want to do a rescan. This is because channel positions can change at times. Note that ION is different from ION Plus which was taken off-air from cable networks in 2021 following ION Media’s acquisition by E.W. Scripps Company. ION Plus continues to air on streaming services.

Is ION Plus TV free?

Yes, ION Plus is a free-to-air channel. It was pulled out from cable networks in 2021 after E.W. Scripps Company acquired ION Media – ION Plus channel’s parent company. ION Plus continues to be available on streaming services such as DIRECTV STREAM, Fubo, and more.

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Frank Moraes
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