watch French TV

Watching French TV is one of the best ways to learn vocabulary and improve your understanding of the French language and culture.

The only problem is that finding French TV channels you can watch online  can be challenging, most of all if you don’t live in France.

That’s why I’ve done all of the hard work for you and created a list of the best French TV channels you can watch online. You’ll also find some Canadian and Belgian TV channels.

In some cases, you may need to install a VPN to avoid geographical restrictions though. That’s something I show you how to do at the end of this article.

5 French TV channels you can watch from abroad

French tv

These are French, Canadian and Belgian TV channels you can watch live online from anywhere in the world.

There are also many channels that are blocked from abroad. I’ll explain you how to easily watch those from abroad anyway in the second part of this article.

FilmOnFilmOn

FilmOn allows you to watch several French TV channels online from abroad.

You can either have limited free access to the channels with advertisement, or opt in for the paid subscription and watch without any ads.

Here are TV channels available:

  • BFM TV
  • France Ô
  • France 3 Rhônes-Alpes
  • France 3 Alpes
  • RTS Un
  • RTS Deux
  • BFM Business
  • Air TV
  • France 2
  • France 3

EuronewsEuronews

Euronews is a European TV channel on which you can watch programs about news, culture, technology and many other interesting topics.

The language is pretty formal, but each video comes with a transcript you can download, which makes Euronews one of the very best French TV channels to improve your French.

France24France24

This a TV channel specifically created for people living outside of France. It’s mission is to cover world news from a French perspective.

It’s also one of the rare TV channels on this list to be available in several languages (French, English, Arabic).

TV5MondeTV5 Monde

TV5Monde is a French language television network with channels available in most regions of the world such as:

  • TV5 Canada
  • TV5MONDE Europe
  • TV5MONDE Pacifique
  • TV5MONDE États-Unis

You can easily watch it live on the official website.

ArteArte

This TV channel offers programs both in French and in German.

Most of these programs are about culture, but Arte also broadcasts popular TV shows such as Breaking Bad.

If you speak German this is a great occasion to practice your French and you can easily watch the German version of the program if you didn’t understand something.

RTBFRTBF

If you’re interested in the Belgian variety of French and in Belgium in general, you’ll be happy to know you can watch the different channels from RTBF online from anywhere in the world.

As one of the main Belgian TV company, RTBF owns several TV channels and a large variety of programmes you can watch live online.

BFMTVBFM TV

BFM TV is a French TV channel dedicated to news and weather forecasts.

It’s also the most-watched French news TV channel and can be watched online from anywhere in the world.

LCPLCP

La Chaîne parlementaire is a TV channel broadcasting activity from the National Assembly and Senate of France.

You can watch it online from anywhere in the world.

8 French TV channels you can’t watch from abroad without a VPN

French TV online

These are TV channels you normally can’t watch unless you live in France.

I say normally, because you can easily avoid geographical restrictions by installing a VPN software. That’s something I explain in more detail at the end of this article.

EurosportEurosport

Eurosport is a European TV channel dedicated to sports.

It’s available in 54 countries and 20 languages which makes it particularly useful if you don’t understand something.

pluzzPluzz

Pluzz allows you to watch French public TV channels online in real time or a few hours after they aired.

You can watch all kinds of programs, including French TV channels for kid, which is a great start if you are a beginner in French and don’t understand more serious topics.

TF1TF1

TF1 is one of the main French TV channels and offers a broad varieties of popular French and American TV shows such as Arrow (one of my favorite shows); Grey’s Anatomy and The Mentalist.

M6M6

M6 is another popular TV channel.

It broadcasts news, shows and series such as the hilarious French series Kaamelott.

France 2France2

As the biggest public French Tv channel, France2 offers a large variety of shows including news and culture, but also TV series and movies.

Unfortunately, like most publish French TV channels, you can’t watch it from abroad without a VPN.

France3France 3

France3 is a public French channel with a focus on educational and cultural content.

It’s also a regional TV channel which means the content depends on the region.

France4France 4

This is public channel targeting a younger audience with lots of entertaining content (movies, TV series, music etc).

France 5France5

France5’s mission is to share knowledge which is why you’ll find lots of documentaries and educational content on this channel.

It’s quite similar to Arte in that regard.

France OFrance Ô

France Ô  is the French TV channel of overseas departments such as Guadeloupe and Martinique.

You can watch it live online if you use a VPN or live in France.

i-Téléi-Télé

i-Télé is a French TV channel dedicated to news.

It’s usually one of the fastest channels to report news as they happen.

GulliGulli

Gulli is a TV channel broadcasting cartoons and TV shows for children including some international shows like Adventure Time.

You can watch it online using Play TV or watch most shows after they were aired using the official website.

Play TV

Play TV is an online streaming website you can use to watch a broad selection of French TV channels online including:

  • TF1
  • France 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
  • Canal +
  • LCI
  • Gulli

Unfortunately, you’ll also need a VPN to access it if you don’t live in France (see below).

How to easily watch French TV from abroad and avoid geographical restrictions in one click

If you try to watch French TV channels online from abroad, you’re likely to encounter this irritating message.

French TV from abroad

That’s because most French channels can only be watched from France.

In theory at least.

Luckily, you can easily access any website and avoid geographical restrictions using a VPN.

When you use a VPN, your connection goes through a distant server.

For example, if you are in San Francisco, you can use a VPN server located in Paris.

Then, all the websites will think you are in Paris, and you will have access to all the TV channels you couldn’t access before.

The bad news is that a good VPN (one that will be fast enough to watch videos and won’t show ads when you browse the web) costs money.

The good news is that it won’t cost you more than your daily cup of coffee.

I use Hide My Ass VPN, it’s fast and reliable and allows me to easily choose the country I would like to be in.

Very practical when you want to access TV channels and websites with geographical restrictions.

All you have to do is sign up for an account, install the software and choose the location you want. Once this done, you can watch all French TV channels which are normally restricted to people located in France.

Disclaimer: I earn a commission if you purchase Hide My Ass through a link on French Together.

Over to you

Do you watch French TV? What’s your favorite program? Answer in the comments below this article!

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Published by Benjamin Houy

Bonjour ! Je suis Benjamin Houy, the creator of French Together and author of the Amazon bestseller How to Learn French in a Year. I help English speakers learn French naturally so they can quickly have their first conversation in French. I learned English and German on my own and am now learning Russian.