If you’re not familiar with Kodi, you should be. As an all-purpose media player, Kodi is second to none. It offers users the ability to stream, download and access content from one convenient place. More than that, it’s both free and open source, so it’s constantly adapting and becoming more versatile.
Of all the amenities Kodi provides, one of the biggest selling points is the fact that it lets users stream live TV without having to commit to a particular cable provider. In fact, it makes cutting the cord even easier since users can instantly program Kodi to stream virtually any TV channel around the world.
Of course, none of this would be possible without the abundance of Kodi add-ons that are currently flooding the internet. Please be advised that we at TechRadar do not condone or endorse piracy, so this list will only feature official (and legal) live streaming add-ons.
So, without further ado, check the list below for our top live streaming add-ons.
(Note that unless otherwise specified, every add-on in this article can be found in the Kodi repository by opening Kodi and going to Add-ons > Downloads > Video add-ons.)
How to watch live TV on Kodi: The best Kodi live TV add-ons
This official streaming channel features live streams from the top US broadcasters, including NBC, ABC, CBS, and more. Note that you can stream up to seven networks with a free subscription, but you need to pay $20 (£14) to unlock all 21 available channels.
At its core, PS Vue was made to be a convenient cable replacement. Offering more than 50 live TV channels, you’ll need a subscription in order to use this add-on. Prices start around $40 (£28) a month, with different viewing options depending on the exact subscription.
Essentially, this is the Kodi version of the BBC’s popular iPlayer platform. A subscription is required, but once you’re logged in, you can stream live UK TV and radio. You’ll need to use an IP in the UK, but users outside the country can stream with a VPN (read more about this below).
Similar to iPlayer, the ITV add-on (which you’ll find here) lets you live stream ITV broadcasts. You can take advantage of tons of live shows while also gaining full access to ITV’s hearty repository. Again, you’ll either need to be in the UK or use a VPN to access this add-on.
A versatile add-on that offers both live streams as well as a deep repository of on-demand content, Pluto.TV requires users to create an account, but the service is free to use. It also has a large selection of news broadcasts.
As part of the Syfy network, Comet TV is a dedicated Kodi add-on for all things science fiction. It offers its own set of live streams, as well as a robust repository of older on-demand series and films.
Providing both live US cable news streams as well as regional state-by-state broadcasts, NewsON is the one and only Kodi add-on you’ll need to stream live news. As an all-purpose news aggregator, it’s simply the best.
Broadcasting daily from the New York Stock Exchange, Cheddar is a live streaming add-on that’s geared specifically toward millennials. With no subscription required, you can access all the latest breaking tech and financial news, as well as a large repository of older broadcasts.
The best Kodi live sports add-ons
Looking to get your sports fix? Yup, Kodi can help with that too. Again, keep in mind that this list only includes official add-ons, so most will require a subscription.
That said, the great thing about Kodi is that it caters to every audience around the world, so whatever your sport of choice, from baseball to football, you’re sure to find an add-on that streams it.
For roughly $20 (£14) a month, this add-on features tons of live sports streams, including boxing, hockey, and more. That said, DAZN usually offers a one-month free trial, so you can sign up, try it out, and see if you like it. Bear in mind that this add-on is currently only available in Germany, Canada, Austria, Switzerland and Japan. Fortunately, you can still use a VPN to spoof your location and stream, as we’ll discuss later.
This handy sports add-on gives you access to the wide world of ESPN sports, all from the comfort of your streaming device. You’ll need an ESPN subscription to use it, but once you’ve logged in you’ll notice a sizeable backlog of recaps, highlights, and more.
NBC Sports Live Extra
Essentially the Kodi version of the streaming service, you can sync your NBC Sports account to your Kodi device to live stream everything from racing to boxing and more. Note that you’ll need to sign up first.
- See also: How to watch movies on Kodi
As one of the few Canada-based sports add-ons, Sportsnet Now gives users full access to live Canadian sports broadcasts. You’ll need to use a Canadian IP address to stream, so a VPN may be helpful for people who are outside Canada.
You’ll need a subscription to stream, but once you sign up you’ll have access to every baseball event in the US. Like the NBA and NFL add-ons, you can watch old highlights and other clips for free with the MLB.com add-on. NBA League Pass and NFL Game Pass are also available in the Kodi repository.
Why you should use a VPN with Kodi
Whether you use Kodi as a cable replacement, a gaming machine, or simply a music service, it’s important that you use a VPN. Not only will you be able to access more streams, but you’ll also be able to instantly secure your entire online network. This means you can use Kodi without worrying about your information being tracked or recorded.
A VPN can also help you bypass any throttling in the event that your ISP is purposely – whether it notifies you or not – slowing your network down. While a VPN won’t usually increase your streaming speeds, it can help restore them to their baseline.
When choosing a VPN, it’s important to factor in three main criteria: anonymity, privacy, and plenty of server options. In our experience, ExpressVPN offers the best overall bang for your buck. As our highest rated VPN service, it’s a clear winner. And because the firm’s apps use the OpenVPN protocol by default, it’s the perfect VPN for streaming.
- See also: The best VPN service providers of 2018