Consolidated Communications Cable Offers Extra Channels Free for a Limited Time

Author: Kirstin Toms - MarCom/Wednesday, April 8, 2020/Categories: TV & Streaming TV

Whether you’re trying to keep little kids busy and entertained while you work remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, or you want some engaging shows to watch while you unwind, many cable channels are offering free trials of their programming.

That means even if you only have a basic cable subscription through Consolidated Communications, you may be able to tune in to some great new shows or even movies you didn’t get to see in theaters.

At the bottom of this article, you’ll find an alphabetical list of all the channels. We’ve also broken it down for easy reference by highlighting some of the best channels in a variety of categories. Plus, see our team’s recommendations for some of the top shows to catch on cable TV.

Watch while you can because many of these channels will only be available to basic subscribers through April or the end of May at the latest. After that, you may have to upgrade your package to continue watching your favorites.

Children’s Programming

Among the top kids’ channels now available for free as part of your Consolidated Communications basic cable subscription, you’ll find Disney Channel, Disney Jr., Disney XD, Nick Jr., and Universal Kids.

You’ll find something for all ages on the three Disney channels, from action-packed cartoons like “Star Wars Rebels” and “Big Hero 6: The Series” to family game shows and plenty of Mickey Mouse for the littles.

Universal Kids is a relatively new kids’ television channel. Launched in 2017, the channel features exciting live-action programming like “American Ninja Warrior Junior,” “Get Out of My Room” (a home improvement show just for kids), and cartoons you won’t find anywhere else, like “Where’s Waldo?” and more. 

History & Educational Channels

Looking to turn your self-isolation into an educational experience? Or perhaps to just park the kids in front of the TV and make it part of their homeschooling curriculum? A host of educational channels offered free right now can help.

History buffs will love the Smithsonian channel to explore everything from prehistoric animals in the series “When Whales Walked: Journeys in Deep Time” to modern history. The new series “Black in Space: Breaking the Color Barrier” offers a unique opportunity to explore a little-known chapter of the Cold War and our world’s history of space flight.

Kids and adults stuck at home may love the “Aerial America” series, which takes you soaring above the skies of picturesque locations from Connecticut to California. We may not be able to relax on the beaches of Hawaii right now, but you can explore the islands from the comfort of your living room.

Animal lovers may want to tune in to Nat Geo Wild to see the great battles of the wild on shows like “Ultimate Predators” or “Attack of the Big Cats.”

Discovery Life, Discovery Family, the American Heroes Channel, and the Science Channel are other premium educational offerings that are free this month.

Travel and Adventure Channels

The quarantine may be especially hard for those of us with wanderlust in our veins. Get a head start planning your next trip, find ideas for places you want to visit, or just satisfy your travel craving by exploring exciting and unfamiliar places from the comfort of your couch. Destination America, Great American Country (GAC), and Travel Channel all provide exclusive programming focused on exciting destinations.

For those who like their travel with a twist of the supernatural, Destination America offers haunting shows like “Haunted Case Files” and “Paranormal Lockdown.” If house-hunting shows are more your style, tune into “Tiny Luxury” or “Log Cabin Living.”

Travel Channel also serves up a host of paranormal adventure shows, including “Ghost Adventures” and “Kindred Spirits.” Now is also your chance to catch up on older shows you may have missed, like “Hotel Impossible” or “The Layover with Anthony Bourdain.”

Do-it-yourself Channels

Are you using your self-isolation time to tackle some hard-core home improvement projects? You don’t have to do it alone with DIY now offered free through your cable provider. Tune in to the hit show “Restored” and watch old homes become new again.  You can also try out a few new recipes courtesy of The Cooking Channel. Satisfy your sweet tooth with “Sugar Showdown” or “Cake Hunters,” or fire up the grill for “Burgers, Brew, & ‘Que.” 

Sports & Outdoor Channels

Baseball season is on hold indefinitely. Social distancing makes it impossible to hike, fish, or gather with anyone outside your immediate family. But at least your cable network is providing channels like ESPN, Sportsman Channel, and Outdoor Channel for free with basic cable. You can enjoy replays of the best games of all time on ESPN and explore the great outdoors vicariously on shows like the long-running “Bowhunter TV.”

Movie Channels

You can make every night family movie night with movie channels like Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, STARZ, Showtime, HBO, and Cinemax available free for a limited time. Embrace the comedic relief of “Shazam!,” a DC Comics movie described as “big, but with superheroes.” If you’re in the mood for deeper feels, check out “A Star is Born,” the 2018 hit starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. Both of these films are on HBO this month. You’ll also find ’90s classics like “Armageddon” or “Fight Club” for a trip down memory lane.

First-run Movies Available Now

While we’re on the topic of movies, the pandemic pushed several first-run flicks out of theaters before their time. You can now enjoy these great films On Demand. You’ll pay $20 for the rental, but that’s still way less than you would have spent taking your family to the movies. These prices are set by the movie studios, hoping to recoup a fraction of the revenue they’ve lost from a spring movie season that turned into a complete dud.

In a different time, these movies may have topped a few charts. So, break out the microwave popcorn, pour yourself a cold soft drink in a ridiculously oversized cup, and relax at home with these movies.


This movie earned four stars on Rotten Tomatoes and would have enjoyed a longer run in theaters if not for the pandemic. Based on Jane Austen’s comedy of the same name, the movie features the rich and restless Emma Woodhouse as a meddling socialite. If you love Victorian fiction and could use a laugh, grab it now.

“The Hunt”

Part horror, part thriller, and all excitement, “The Hunt” follows the adventures of 12 strangers fighting for their lives while elite humans hunt them for sport. Like “The Hunger Games” but darker and with grown-ups, “The Hunt” offers another way to escape from our current reality into…well, something even worse.

“The Invisible Man”

This haunting thriller stars Elisabeth Moss as Cecilia, who is being hunted by a killer no one else can see. Is it her abusive ex who supposedly died? She thinks so. As dark as this movie is, the exciting plot twists will immerse you in a world different than our own. If you’d like a temporary escape from your problems, it may be worth a view.

“I Still Believe”

If you’ve had enough with all the dark thrillers. “I Still Believe” is the latest from Lions Gate Entertainment and the follow-up to the uplifting hit Christian film “I Can Only Imagine.” “I Still Believe” is the moving and inspirational story of Christian music star Jeremy Camp. You may cry, but you’ll come out of the movie with a renewed sense of hope for the future.

“Trolls World Tour”

Reward the kids for finishing their homeschool lessons by splurging on “Trolls World Tour” —  now coming to your living room! The sequel to the 2016 hit from Universal and Dreamworks, “Trolls World Tour” was slated for release in theaters April 10, but the studio decided to send it straight to homes with On Demand instead. Play both movies back-to-back for a "Trolls" marathon — if you can stand that much cuteness.

Get Ready to Watch

Are you looking forward to all the great programming you can enjoy free this spring? Self-isolation doesn’t have to be boring when there’s a whole world of programming available to explore. Visit to find available channels and channel numbers.  

Network and Premium Channels Offered Free in April and May

AMC — 4/30

American Heroes Channel — 5/31

AXS TV — 5/31

BBC American — 4/30

BBC World News — 4/30

Cinemax 4/17 through 4/20

CNBC — 4/20

CNN — 4/30

Cooking Channel — 5/31

Destination America — 5/31

Discovery en Espanol — 5/31

Discovery Family — 5/31

Discovery Life — 5/31

Disney Channel — 4/27

Disney Jr. — 4/27

Disney XD — 4/27

DIY — 5/31

ESPN — 4/27

FOX News — 4/18

FXM — 4/27

GAC (Great American Country) — 5/31

GSN — 4/30

Hallmark Channel — 5/13

Hallmark Movies & Mysteries — 5/13

HBO — 4/17 through 4/20

HDNET Movies — 5/31

IFC — 4/30

MSNBC — 4/20

Nat Geo Wild — 4/27

NFL Red Zone – 4/22

Nick Jr. — 5/25

OAN — 5/20

Outdoor Channel — 4/30

OWN — 5/31

Oxygen — 4/20

Science — 5/31

Showtime — 4/1 through 4/30

Smithsonian — 5/25

Sportsman Channel — 4/30

STARZ — 4/1 through 4/8

Sundance — 4/30

Travel — 5/31

Universal Kids — 4/20

Universo — 4/20

WeTV - 4/30

*Dates listed are the free view end dates.

All channels are not available in all markets. Please check your channel lineup at for availability and channel number.

Premium Movies Now Available On Demand

“Emma” — Now Playing

“The Hunt” — Now Playing

“The Invisible Man” — Now Playing

“I Still Believe” — Now Playing

“Trolls World Tour” — Available 4/10


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