How to stream the Oscars if you don't have cable
And the Oscar goes to: Anyone but cable
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Don’t have cable? Join the club—my husband and I ditched cable last year in favor of streaming apps, and we have absolutely zero regrets. When we switched, we had some fears—like could he still watch sports without cable? Could I still watch my shows, like “The Masked Singer” and “Doctor Who,” and—pressingly—can I watch the Oscars without cable?
Thankfully, the answer to all of the above questions is yes. You can stream your favorite shows, games, and even the Oscars without needing a ridiculously expensive cable subscription.
This year, the Oscars will be on February 9 at 8 p.m. EST on ABC. So if you have cable, great—tune into ABC. Buf if you’re with me and you ditched cable, here’s how you can watch the Oscars without signing back up.
How to stream the Oscars online
Starting at 6:30 p.m. EST, you can stream the best part of the Oscars—the red carpet—on your phone, computer, or tablet. This is perfect if you’re going all out with an elaborate Oscars party this year and want to stream the event with a portable projector.
ABC will be streaming the entire broadcast on its official live Oscars 2020 stream and on the official ABC app, but there's a catch: You'll need to log-in with the credentials associated with a paid TV provider. For most people, this means a cable or satellite subscription (or stealing your mom’s log-in information).
But even if you pay for cable access, there's no guarantee that you'll be able to access ABC's online stream, since not every provider is partnered with ABC to deliver its content online. For a complete list of information, check out the official list of participating ABC providers.
Which streaming services offer the Oscars?
If you’re relying on your trusty Roku this awards season, that may be enough to get you access to this year’s Oscars. Many popular streaming services are partnered with ABC, so you can watch the Oscars just like you would any other live programming.
Here’s a quick look at streaming services that will be playing the Oscars this year:
With Sling TV, you have the option to customize your streaming package and select channels that best suit your TV-watching habits. There are three packages you can choose from: Sling Orange ($30/month), Sling Blue ($30/month), and Sling Orange & Blue ($45/month). The best part? Local channels, like ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX are included for free with every package, so you can watch the Oscars without altering your plan.
Unlike Sling TV, YouTube TV doesn’t let you customize your package—instead, you get instant access to 70+ channels and the suite of local channels included in the cost. YouTube TV is a little more expensive—it’s $50/month—but it’s compatible with nearly every streaming device and comes with a host of sports channels perfect for the fanatic (a.k.a. my husband).
Hulu + Live TV
Hulu is one of the biggest streaming giants, next to Netflix and Amazon Prime. But Hulu stands out from the pack by offering a Live TV subscription, with access to a variety of popular channels (including sports channels) and the opportunity to add on premium channels. It’s a little more expensive—it costs about $55/month—but you get access to Hulu’s expansive streaming library, too. It carries ABC, so you’re all set to switch between the Oscars and the “Bob’s Burgers” catalogue.
AT&T TV Now
Formerly known as DirecTV Now, AT&T TV Now comes with 45+ channels, including HBO and access to a host of premium networks for additional fees. This network comes with ABC so you’re able to watch the Oscars, and with its expansive movie network suite, you can watch many of the nominees leading up to the main event.
Can you watch the Oscars with an antenna?
If your TV is equipped with an over-the-air HD antenna, you're probably able to tune-in to ABC with no problem.
If you don't already own an HD antenna, you should definitely consider buying one—they typically cost less than $50, they're compatible with just about every TV on the market, and they provide free access to local network channels. If you're wondering where to start, check out our round-up of the best indoor HDTV antennas.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.