National Geographic is one of the iconic “cable” channels. But it is no longer necessary to get a cable or even satellite subscription to watch it. Read on to learn all your choices.
In a hurry? National Geographic comes with the base plans of most of the top streaming services. So all you need to do is decide what else you want in your streaming service. Here are our favorites:
- FuboTV: With 100+ channels, it offers something for everyone. FuboTV allows you to try out its service free for 7 days.
- Sling TV: Probably the best streaming service in terms of customization with a super low price. Save 50% on your first month of Sling TV.
- DIRECTV STREAM: Provides everything you expect from cable with many options. A 5-day free trial is now available for DIRECTV STREAM.
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Table Of Contents
National Geographic is nature at its finest. With this channel, you can feel like you are on a safari without leaving your living room.
Although many people pay gobs of money to cable or satellite providers to watch Nat Geo as part of expensive bundles, there are other ways to view the documentaries that you can’t give up.
What Is National Geographic?
In the beginning, National Geographic, formerly known as National Geographic Channel, was owned by Fox Cable Networks and National Geographic Television and Film. It launched on January 7, 2001.
It has developed into a flagship channel that delivers documentaries and other non-fiction shows — mostly revolving around nature. Also, certain shows encompass topics of history and culture.
Since that time, it has branched out to include various sister networks, including Nat Geo Wild. In 2017, the Walt Disney Company bought a majority share in Nat Geo.
Throughout its years on air, National Geographic has made a lasting impact with its programming. Although this is not a channel famous for celebrity-centered sitcoms, it has attracted some big names in the industry.
For example, in 2016, Morgan Freeman hosted The Story of God. This fascinating documentary series drew great praise for the exploration of different religions and cultures.
Also, Rob Lowe brought extremely high ratings for his narration of The 90s: The Last Great Decade. In fact, 1.10 million viewers turned in to watch the show.
The key to the success of National Geographic is its non-fiction programs that range from the ordinary to the bizarre. Whether you want to see the weirdest of the wild or useful information in action, the lineup is sure to please.
- Brain Games: Who isn’t in awe of the analyzation of human cognitive abilities in real time? The series takes a unique approach to presenting the audience with various scenarios in order to explain how the human brain functions.
- Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted: You can join this famous chef as he explores some of the most remote locations on the globe. Along the way, you get an inside look at various cultures and unforgettable culinary discoveries.
- Life Below Zero: It’s bad enough when wolves and bears are your neighbors. However, it gets worse when the temperature drops to -60 degrees, and you must battle for your basic necessities. Follow resilient Alaskans who thrive in this environment.
- Locked Up Abroad: There is something fascinating about watching convicted criminals getting along behind bars. This program follows stories of people who’ve been arrested while spending time overseas.
- Trafficked with Mariana van Zeller: Documentary series that follows the flow of illicit good around the globe.
- Wicked Tuna: This is one of the longest running series on National Geographic. It is a reality TV show that follows commercial tuna fisherman in Gloucester, Massachusetts. You join their adventures as they hunt for Atlantic bluefin tuna. It is so popular, you may wish to catch Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks, which is its sister series.
National Geographic Wild
Nat Geo Wild first launched in Hong Kong in January 2006. Eventually, it expanded across the world and became the first bilingual wildlife service. Programming is very similar to the wildlife and natural history shows on National Geographic.
Here are some of its popular shows:
- Cesar’s Way: This is the newest series from Cesar Millan, the well-known “Dog Whisperer.” Very similar to his past show, Milan works with dog owners who need help with pet relationships.
- The Incredible Dr Pol: Being a veterinarian is serious business. Dr Pol proves this as he treats all types of animals from big to small. Follow along as he performs emergency treatments and life-saving tasks.
- Secrets of the Zoo: Back for another season, this series gives unprecedented access to the one of the world’s biggest and most popular zoos. Enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
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Stream National Geographic
Thanks to current technology, National Geographic can be streamed through a number of services. You can ditch your long-term cable and satellite contracts. Choose one of the established streaming services that best fits your needs.
Although FuboTV is geared to the sports enthusiast, its 110+ base channel lineup includes a broad range of channels. For $69.99 per month, you get National Geographic as well as FX, HGTV, and the Disney Channel. If you want Nat Geo Wild, you need to upgrade with the Fubo Extra add-on ($7.99/mo), which gives you 46 more channels. Try FuboTV free for 7 days.
All FuboTV plans come with 750 hours of cloud DVR and simultaneous streaming on up to ten devices. Our FuboTV review has complete information.
All DIRECTV STREAM plans include National Geographic and they start at $69.99/mo. If you want Nat Geo Wild, you need to upgrade to the Ultimate Plan for $104.99/mo. It includes 130+ channels including an unmatched selection of regional sports networks and 8 Starz channels. Get DIRECTV STREAM free for 5 days.
DIRECTV STREAM comes with unlimited cloud DVR as long as you sign-up online and streaming on up to 20 devices at home and 3 on the road. Read our review for more.
Sling Blue comes with 40+ live TV channels (including National Geographic) for just $35/mo. If you want Nat Geo Wild, you need to upgrade with the Heartland Extra for $6/mo. It adds a total of 13 channels including Outdoor Channel and Sportsman Channel.
The base plan comes with 50 hours of cloud DVR and streaming on up to three devices at the same time. See our Sling TV review for details.
Hulu + Live TV
Hulu + Live TV is originally just that: the outstanding Hulu on-demand service plus 85+ live TV channels. Then they added Disney+. It’s an amazing deal for for $69.99 per month. This includes both National Geographic and Nat Geo Wild. You also get all your local channels and a broad selection of sports, news, family, and entertainment channels.
Vidgo offers a lot: well over 100 channels including ABC and Fox in select areas. And it offers a great selection of sports channels and family-friendly content including National Geographic and Nat Geo Wild. And it comes for a modest price of $59.95/mo.
One downside of Vidgo is that it does not offer a cloud DVR. But you can watch on up to three devices at once. Check out our Vidgo review.
To experience 85+ top channels, including National Geographic and Nat Geo Wild, YouTube TV is worth a try. This service costs $64.99 per month for the base plan and offers a number of add-ons. See our YouTube TV review for more.
You can also watch National Geographic shows and documentaries on-demand from a number of sources.
- Disney+: It is’nt just for the kids. You gain access to unlimited entertainment, including Nat Geo for $7.99 per month or $79.99 per year. Note that the service is included with Hulu + Live TV.
- Hulu: For $6.99 per month, you can enjoy Nat Geo through Hulu’s on-demand service. However, a better deal is to purchase the Hulu Bundle, which includes Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN+ for only $13.99 per month.
- Amazon Prime: Offers a variety of Nat Geo and Nat Geo Wild episodes. Certain shows are included for free with a Prime membership. Others will cost approximately $1.99 per full episode or $9.99 for entire seasons. See our Amazon Prime review.
Devices to Live Stream National Geographic
You can watch National Geographic on a lot more than just TVs these days. The streaming services above support the wide variety of devices in use today.
Let’s start with TV devices. All the services support Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and Roku. Mobile devices running Android and iOS are also universally supported. So are all the major web browsers. Finally, you can cast from web browsers and mobile devices to TVs using Chromecast.
Except for DIRECTV STREAM, the services support Android TV devices. And except for Vidgo, they Samsung smart TVs. Hulu, Fubo, and Sling all support LG and VIZIO smart TVs and Xbox One gaming systems. Hulu supports the PlayStation.
Our streaming reviews contain complete lists of supported devices.
TV Everywhere allows you to use your TV provider (including all of the live TV streaming services) to watch National Geographic using the Nat Geo TV app.
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If you loved the original magazine version, this channel brings the best of the wild and historical stories to life. With the help of a streaming service, you can get in on the action without cable.
Although Hulu + Live TV is a top option, you can weigh the choices for yourself. Become an explorer! You can go deeper and push boundaries that only National Geographic can deliver!
Entertainment Channels to Watch Online without Cable
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Other Family and Kids Channels
Here are our list for watching related channels:
Ditch “Big Cable” Now — 3 Simple Steps to Cutting the Cord
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