19 French Tv Channels You Can Watch Online Even If You Live Abroad

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.

Affiliate disclosure

This article contains affiliate links for Proton VPN. This means I will receive a commission if you purchase Proton VPN after clicking on a link in this article. There is no additional cost for you and this helps me keep the content of the blog free. Merci for your support.

7 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.

 

Euronews
Euronews

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.

France24
France24

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).

TV5Monde
TV5 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.

Arte
Arte

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.

RTBF
RTBF

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.

BFMTV
BFM 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.

LCP
LCP

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.

Eurosport
Eurosport

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.

pluzz
France TV (formerly Pluzz)

France TV 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.

TF1
TF1

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.

M6
M6

M6 is another popular TV channel.

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

France 2
France2

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.

France3
France 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.

France4
France 4

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

France 5
France5

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 O
France 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-Télé
i-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.

Gulli
Gulli

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 recommend ProtonVPN, it’s fast and reliable and allows you to easily watch French TV online.

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.

Over to you

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

90 thoughts on “19 French Tv Channels You Can Watch Online Even If You Live Abroad”

  1. sometimes even though you use a vpn some website still block you from watching, because it only accept some selected ISP like ( Orange, Sfr, Bouygues Telecom … ) regardless the ip.

    Reply
  2. Hello Ben
    Thanks for such details!
    My interest is to find live OR streaming programs of Opera, like from Paris or Aix du Provence (festival).
    An example is today’s (July 9th) telecast of Puccini’s TOSCA from Aix.
    I have found articles via google saying it is on CulturalBox (streaming) at sometime following live on FranceTV.
    Is there a Guide (grid) showing the current content on some or many of the channels in your listing? for FranceTV (multiple, side by side)?
    Realize will likely need a VPN so thanks for your recommendation (and disclosure)!

    Reply
  3. it seems to me that the French are NOT televising the French Open. they just show best of the day. Is there any French Chanel that plays all matches?

    Reply
  4. I speak some French and my wife is fluent. We would like to get TV5 and other channels without cable TV. First, is this possible? If so, how to we go about doing so?
    Thank you, Mati & David

    Reply
  5. Hi Benjamin,

    Could You please, let me know, If any tv channel for kids (nick jr, disney, nickelodeon – of course in french) is available through a purchased vpn?

    Thanks a lot
    Soohie

    Reply
  6. I have gotten a lot out of “7 Jours Sur La Planète” over the years, on TV5 Monde. The website says it’s airing at 10h30 on Saturdays altho’ it’s not on our cable system’s schedule at the moment. The subtitles are in French, not English, which I find helpful when listening to news ‘readers’ who race through their scripts at 1.5 times the spoken rate.

    Reply
    • I found this helpful too but I’ve been unable to get since 07/07/2018. Do you know if TV5Monde have stopped this helpful broadcast ?

      Reply
      • Thanks for the link, it’s great especially as you say, with the wonderful French subtitles. It’s the receptive side of French that I have trouble with and they seem to speak too fast for me so this is excellent for me to try to pick up what they’re saying. I could even slow the video down if I wish 😀

        Reply
  7. I use VPNexpress to watch French channels and now M6 is getting smarter and it s blocking me even with the vpn on, I called and nothing could make it work.. !! do you know any other vpn that will let me watch M6?
    merci

    Reply
  8. There is a popular Norwegian show called Skam and recently versions in French, Italian and German came out. You can watch in online with subtitles on dailymotion or the original without subtitles on france tv slash. I highly recommend it!

    Reply
  9. Hello there
    I liked your article. I am starting to learn French but finding some difficulty in pronouncing the words and as you said tv helps. Can you please recommend some dramas or series in french that are fun and easy to get

    Reply
  10. Thanks for sharing this article with us, it’ll help alot.
    Here in China everything need VPN but we’ll try to watch them especially the disney it really helps for learning French.

    Reply
  11. Good article, if only to provide a single resource for all the links. But I’m struggling with HMA – it is nowhere near quick enough to stream video.

    Reply
    • I haven’t used HMA in a while so I can’t comment on the speed but you could try a few different servers if you haven’t. This usually does the trick for me when i use a VPN.

      Reply
  12. Le film français.,J’aime regarder. Mon favori is: “La Silence de la Mer” en Youtube.com C’est un histoire bel, mais aussi très triste. (Récent découverte).

    Reply
  13. Hi,

    Can I have a 30 day trial or something on VPN to try “before you buy”. I m looking for only french channel to expose my baby to the french language beside me only speaking to him.

    Thanks

    Reply
  14. C’est très étrange que toutes les communautés ont un accès très simple pour voire la télé de leurs pays aux États Unis …et c’est très difficile pour les communautés française d’accéder leurs canaux hors de la France …c’est très bizarre
    Je suis libanais et les chaînes française sont disponible partout au Liban.

    Reply
  15. I’ve just purchased Hide My Ass’s one-year plan. (Initially I wanted to buy the 2-year plan at NordVPN, but every single time the purchase wasn’t successful and I got frustrated.)

    Fun fact: an ass is another name for a donkey (un âne).

    Cachez Mon Âne ! (donkey)

    Reply
    • In English, the expression would be Hide my arse. The arse is your bum (gluteus) whilst an ass is a type of equine animal cross between horse and donkey. In American (USA “english”) they say ass incorrectly meaning bottom (for gluteus) and use the word “bum” to refer to a vagrant.

      Reply
      • In the US., not sure about elsewhere, but “hide my ass” would just be a way of saying “hide me” or “hide my location” in this case. “My ass” is also generally how people refer to themselves quite often actuality, crudely though. Then again there’s an old saying in the US (showing my age here) “I’m going to hide your ass.” Or “I’m going to tan your hide” meaning “I’m going to beat your ass (beat you up)” or if your Dad ever said this to you then it would mean that you’ve been a naughty, naughty kid and he’s going to spank you, a lot.

        Reply
  16. Kodi box makes em all available as streamed do a search its a bit dodgy but at the moment its legal in the UK

    Reply
  17. I know that this is an old post, but, do you know of a way that I can buy Canal+/ Canal+ sport and watch in the US(with a VPN of course)

    Reply
  18. Where I live we have a channel package called DSTV and on it there’s TV5 monde . There I like watching ‘Tactik’. I also liked ‘Teenager’ , but that ended. This new show, ‘Bambino’ looks promising. Also if I’m at home, I sometimes watch ‘Tout le monde veut prendre sa place’

    I also watch Star Parade for the French music aspect.

    Reply
  19. Hello,

    My wife and I, reside in the US, and would like to watch French TV to practice our French listening skills.
    The technology involved (VPN etc) is not a problem. What we wanted to know is it appears most of the online streaming services (e.g. myft1, tv5monde etc) require an account login to be setup, which most likely also wants a French email address.

    Or do the streaming clients bypass the login requirements and just present the menu selection ?

    Thanks for any guidance on setting up login accounts for the online streaming TV services.

    Reply
    • Bonjour Bill

      Last time I tried, these services didn’t require a French email address, so you should be able to use it without any problem as long as you’re using a French VPN server.

      Reply
  20. I’m french, and if you wan to know the best channels : Tf1, France 2, France 3, M6, arte (for documentary), w8, w9, nrj12(telereality *arghhhh*..), 14 and guli (for kids) …
    Thanks you !

    Reply
  21. If you are stuck for using a VPN , try Zenmate on Mozilla. I live in the UK and my provider, Virgin, has blocked numerous sites for watching tv, but using Zenmate, you bypass this, also if you upgrade you can change the country, so because my Wife is French, i subscribe to the premium monthly amount and change my VPN to France. Happy Days

    Reply
    • Thanks for the recommendation Jeff. I edited your comment to delete the mention of a specific streaming website though as I’m not sure it’s entirely legal.

      Reply
  22. Unfortunately Netflix no longer supports streaming while using a VPN. So it’s not longer possible to what my favorite American shows in French; and the French content on Netflix is extremely limited.

    Reply
    • That’s truly a shame. I hope the movie industry will one day understand that geographical restrictions will only do one thing: convince people to use illegal streaming websites.

      Reply
  23. Look at FilmonTV. (www.filmon.com) They broadcast 10 FranceTV stations in low definition for free. On a computer, they look great. News stations broadcast high definition (well, 480p) for free. For a nominal fee, you can get HD.

    Reply
  24. I tried HMA, and it slowed down my internet connection from 80 Mbps to .8 Mbps … is there a special way it has to be setup so it doesn’t slow it down so bad that video isn’t impossible? Right now it takes half a minute to load google!

    Reply
    • It’s definitely not supposed to do that. Did you try different locations? In my experience, this could also be due to a conflict with your antivirus. But the best way to solve that would be to contact HMA directly.

      Reply
      • I contacted them directly. They gave me a different version which allowed me to choose more server locations. I found some that weren’t as slow but watching video is still hard. Only difference is my 80Mbps connection only gets decreased to about 2 or 3 Mbps … They told me that is to be expected …

        Reply
  25. Hi Benjamin,
    I miss having TV5 Monde (we had cable in the Bistib area before we moved to another state). We are trying to use other options besides cable now. Do you know if there is a way to watch it with Hulu or Netflix or some other option?

    Reply
      • Hi Benjamin, thank you for the link. It seems to only have some shows. Can you watch everything on the channel including the movies? When I did a search for Télématin, it get a page with this message: Vidéo non disponible dans votre région du monde. If I get. VPN, will that solve the problem?

        Reply
        • They don’t seem to have movies. Only documentaries and shows.

          But having a VPN would definitely solve your problem. They don’t let you watch this show, because you are not in France. If you find a VPN with a server in France, you can watch it. Hide My Ass is pretty cool for that.

          Reply
  26. I live in the US and have a Netflix account. I am disappointed by how little French audio content they have, but it does exist. So I signed up for a proxy service so I could try out TV5 Monde. Before creating a TV5 account, I decided to check out Netflix. I’m glad I did. There are of course more French movies to choose from; and a number of US shows dubbed in French with French subtitles. These same US shows don’t offer French audio if accessing Netflix from the US.

    My biggest complaint is that the audio and subtitles appears to be translated independent of each other. So when watching the Big Bang Theory in French w/French subtitles you’ll hear and read two different ways Sheldon tells Penny “That’s my spot”.

    Reply
    • Yeah Netflix’s content changes a lot depending on the country you are in. That’s why i also use a VPN all the time.

      The subtitle problem is probably due to the fact that French sentences seem to be quite long, so it may not be possible to include whole sentences in the subtitles. I believe Yabla has content whose subtitles match the audio. And I also plan to include subtitles that are identical to the audio when I publish videos on French Together.

      Reply
  27. Thank you for the information Benjamin. I am Indonesian and currently studying in Toulouse. Though I already learn French for more than 2 years, it is still difficult for me to master this language. Need to be more patient. The difficult is that sometimes French does not always have patient to respond to someone with different accent, just like me:) ahahaa,,,Thanks anyway

    Reply
  28. Thanks for the information in this article. The thing is, I don’t understand French people when they talk. They talk too quickly. I only catch a few separate words from every sentence.
    So my question is, isn’t there a way I can watch french TV (French movies for example) with subtitles?

    Reply
  29. I was watching a TV5 Quebec videos from Australia without a VPN so it must be possible for at least some shows. Not a whole channel but I know Netflix US has all the seasons of Engrenages and Hulu has Braqo.

    Reply
  30. I watch TV5Monde. It is available from my cable company (and most dish servers, I think). It has an online website (just Google “Tv5” or “TV5monde” or “TV5 France,” etc. But I am very grateful for the information in this e-mail!

    I hope this is helpful. TV5 doesn’t always have on what I want to watch.

    Reply
    • Thanks for sharing Nita :).

      I didn’t know TV5 also existed in France. I will update the article with this information.

      Reply
      • I would like to stick to resources that don’t involve cable television, as I have gotten rid of it, keeping only my broadband access. Even if I did subscribe to cable television, I can’t watch it anywhere but home, which is limiting; NYC’s cable providers charge extra for French and other international channels.

        So please keep sharing online resources we can enjoy anywhere!

        Reply

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