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DISH’s Free Channel Previews: How and When To Watch

Last updated on May 31st, 2023 by George Levint

DISH's Free Channel PreviewsAside from those 30-min long string of previews at the movie theater, who doesn’t dig a free preview? With DISH, it’s a no-risk, no-cost way to get a taste of a channel…and decide if it’s worth the additional cost to add to your lineup. Most previews last for a weekend to 2 months and while active, there are almost always no restrictions – watch however and whenever you like. All of DISH’s plans come with a free 3 month preview of premium movie channels (Showtime, STARZ, etc.) and during the life of your subscription, there’ll be various promotional and seasonal previews as well. FYI, all these preview offers are part of DISH’s customer care bonuses, called “DISH Perks.” They’re not widely advertised, so make sure you stay in the know to get the most out of your subscription.

Current Previews

As of publication, these are the free previews currently available on DISH. Note that some coincide with a national marketing push for that particular channel and thus are available to all subscribers. Others are a standard part of the sign-up process (which you can opt in or out of). They’re grouped accordingly below…

Available to all customers

These free channel previews come and go throughout the year. Most aren’t available as individual channel add-ons, so you’ll either have to upgrade to the first available DISH plan that includes it or – even better – if it’s a part of a themed add-on pack, add it to your account for a month or two and see how it fits.

Free Preview dates
How to get
Discovery Family
(ch. 179)
6/1/23 – 6/30/23
AT 200 or Heartland
Magnolia Network
(ch. 111)
6/1/23 – 6/30/23
(ch. 124)
6/1/23 – 6/30/23
AT 200 or Variety Pack
Paramount Network
(ch. 241)
6/1/23 – 6/30/23
AT 120+
Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
(ch. 187)
6/1/23 – 6/30/23
AT 200 or Heartland
Lifetime Movie Network
(ch. 109)
6/1/23 – 6/30/23
AT 200 or Variety Pack
(ch. 121)
6/1/23 – 6/30/23
AT 200 or Outdoor Pack

Available at Sign-up

Mostly premium movie offers that last for 3 months, these will only get added to your account if you manually add them while ordering online (or via phone). Keep in mind that these WILL renew at the regular pricing if you don’t cancel before the 3 months are up. So, if you want to keep the channel, do nothing. If it’s not worth the extra cost, make sure to cancel early or leave yourself a reminder (it’s easy to forget, been there a few times :/).

Regular Price
8 channels free for 3 mths
7 channels free for 3 mths
DISH Movie Pack
(Epix, HDNET Movies, etc)
15 channels free for 3 mths
Dog TV
(channel for dogs)
1 channel free for 1 mth


Finally, DISH is also offering military discounts (active or retired) as well as bonuses for customers over 55+. The biggest perks are a free subscription to the 9-channel Stars and Stripes Pack and one free pay-per-view movie per month. Keep that in mind as you strategize with the previews above.

View the latest DISH Specials

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  1. Allison Wertz says:

    Is there a place I can find the upcoming previews before the 1st of each month?

    • George Levint says:

      Hi Allison — DISH typically negotiates these previews days or weeks before the start of each month so it’s usually tough to get them earlier. Every so often, they’ll have previews that span two different calendar months. Those will definitely appear in the table above during both months. Hope that helps.

  2. David Cox says:

    It’s 7:42 am 12/9/2022 and Showtime perk is not up. What up?

    • George Levint says:

      The exact time it switches on usually depends on the network (Showtime). Midnight makes the most sense but they usually wait until the afternoon, especially for weekend previews. If it’s not on by late aft, I’d buzz Dish customer service (in rare cases, they have to DVR push the update).

  3. Jennifer says:

    The guide is not working on all the the Showtime channels for the free preview. Also, I have tried to set up recordings for selected movies on the free preview channels and it says I am no longer subscribed. And even trying to watch on demand things Showtime wants to charge me. Is this supposed to be happening?

  4. Atim Atwater says:

    Where is the free previews for march

  5. Patricia Dudley says:

    Not only have I lost my local ABC channel for months here in central Fl. and I can’t afford another way to get it so have missed my news and ABC shows now the Free Previews are gone but your monthly bill went higher. Your service is poor and am considering dropping Dish and putting the money into another service to get my T.V Very disappointing.

  6. John says:

    Probably not ready yet.

  7. Scott says:

    I am not getting channel 103 anymore, where would I find the monthly free previews

  8. Genny says:

    I’m not getting channel 103 either. Weather channel is messed up too. It’s showing the same weather report for 2 days now.

  9. Nanette Price says:

    I am not getting channel 103 anymore, where would I find the monthly free previews?

  10. henry langer says:

    get yourself a hd antenna to get all your local channel and more..be sure to scan your tv channels feature to get all the benefits of this…also look into roku…etc…for many things you like…and much cheaper

  11. Gaven says:

    Free dish march previews can be found on their Facebook page

  12. Chuck says:

    Where is the “Preview channel?”

  13. Gaven says:

    Dish in my area is previewing Showtime and TMC this weekend. Maybe longer but it doesn’t say.

  14. Jon Ziegler says:

    I read the comments and didn’t see a single answer to the most asked question, what happened to the monthly line up that was on Ch 103 forever? Is it no longer available or on another Channel? I don’t use FacePlant and would think there’s an empty slot on Dish somewhere it would fit. Send me a channel number or an answer of some sort.

    • George Levint says:

      Since DISH hasn’t fully restored all their systems yet, my guess is channel 103 is still being worked on (sounds like it’ll take a few more weeks to get everything restored).

  15. Sueann Walz says:

    Please cancel the movie channels that are free for 3 months. I don’t watch movies and I don’t want these even though they are free for 3 months.

    Thank you,

    Sueann Walz

    • George Levint says:

      Hi Sueann,

      We’re not affiliated with DISH, please call their customer service at 800-333-3474 to cancel your premium movie trial.

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