How to watch the CW online for free

Don’t wait until it’s almost time for The Flash or The 100 to find a CW live stream.

The CW has been home to some of pop culture’s longest-running dramas, but it’s also managed to evolve alongside tastes with superhero and supernatural serials. Whether you’re a Black Lightning fanboy or a Supernatural devotee, here’s everything you need to know to watch the CW online.

HOW TO WATCH THE CW
HULU WITH LIVE TV TRY NOW
FUBOTV TRY NOW
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What is the CW?

The CW is the child of the channels formerly known as the WB (long live the frog) and UPN. Founded in 2006, it made waves with general audience programs like America’s Next Top Model, Veronica Mars, and 7th Heaven. Since those days, it’s gradually leaped into science fiction and alternative drama territories, like the gothic Vampire Diaries and the monolithic Supernatural, which has one of pop culture’s strongest fan followings around. The CW has leaped headfirst into DC Comics television series like Flash, Arrow, and Supergirl.

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how to watch the cw online 2 The CW

The CW live stream: 5 ways to watch online

Only two of the major live TV streaming services guarantee you’ll have access to a CW live stream. Here’s a complete rundown of your options.

1) Hulu with Live TV

watch jane the virgin season 5 online free on Hulu with Live TV Hulu

Hulu with Live TV

Hulu with Live TV is one of the most popular ways to stream live TV because you gain access to a massive library of on-demand content including classic and current TV shows, movies, not to mention Hulu’s original programming. You’ll also have almost 60 channels to watch live, including the CW, HGTV, a full suite of ESPN channels, Cartoon Network, FX, and even deep cuts like Nat Geo Wild and Syfy. Here’s the complete list of Hulu Live TV channels.

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TRY HULU LIVE TV


2) FuboTV

FuboTV only includes a live stream of the CW in select areas, so be sure to check before subscribing. Otherwise, you can watch on-demand the next day. There are different channel packages available whether you’re looking for basketball, soccer, golf, and even outdoor sports like rock climbing. But no worries, all the great cable channels you’re after are present too, including Viceland, Bravo, TBS, and IFC. Here’s the complete FuboTV channels list.

TRY FUBOTV


3) AT&T Now

AT&T TV Now AT&T

  • Cost: $50-$135 per month (after a 7-day free trial)
  • Hulu devices: Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, iOS and Android devices
  • Local channels: NBC, CBS, Fox, ABC, the CW (enter your ZIP code here to check your availability)

There’s a good chance that you’re already looking to AT&T for your wireless needs. The second you sign up you’ll gain instant access to 45+ channels, including local channels and even free HBO on PLUS and MAX channel suites. Plus, it comes with CloudDVR which lets you record up to 20 hours of TV per month. One account works on two devices, but you can add more devices for only $5.

TRY AT&T TV NOW


4) YouTube TV

the cw live stream youtube tv channels YouTube TV

YouTube TV is on the mid-to-high price range for most folks, but it does offer a good selection of entertainment channels alongside a CW live stream. If you really dig your prime time drama, you’ll also get CBS, ABC, NBC, AMC, FX, and plenty more. After you’re done with your favorite series, you can catch up on the real world with a solid selection of news channels like Fox News, CNN, and even BBC and BBC America. There’s not really a major movie channel option, but you can always watch free movies on YouTube. (Here’s a complete guide to YouTube TV channels.)

Game-changing feature: You can add up to six accounts per household, and each one of those accounts gets unlimited cloud DVR. Even better: You can fast-forward through ads in recorded programs.

TRY YOUTUBE TV FOR FREE


4) The CW website

The CW live stream The CW

Cost: Free

For some of the CW’s biggest shows, like Supernatural, Riverdale, and The Flash, you can stream the last five episodes or so for free with ads from the official website—no sign-in required. The earliest of those five episodes expires after a few weeks, though, so don’t delay. For what it’s worth, the CW site includes a few behind-the-scenes videos, and the videos that are about to leave the service are marked accordingly. 


5) The CW app

watch cw free The CW

Cost: Free

Devices: Roku, Chromecast, Airplay, Apple TV, Xbox One, Amazon Fire TV, iOS and Android devices

Don’t think of the CW app as something that’s just for your phone. It works with nearly every major streaming device, meaning it’s easy to live stream CW shows on your big screen. The same restrictions apply as the CW’s website: The five latest episodes, only a few of the major shows, and ads. On the plus side, the app doesn’t ask for a cable provider log-in, and it’s completely free. 

New to cord-cutting? Here are our picks for the best movie streaming sites of 2018 and free live TV apps and channels. If you’re looking for a specific channel, here’s how to watch HBO, Showtime, Starz, Sundance TV, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, Willow, AMC, FX, Fox News, Freeform, MSNBC, CNN, CNBC, FS1, TBS, TNT, Tennis Channel, Golf Channel, Syfy, HGTV, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, Bravo, Lifetime, Discovery, PBS, BBC, CSPAN, NBA TV, MTV, Comedy Central, Food Network, TLC, HLN, A&E, Animal Planet, National Geographic, the Weather Channel, the History Channel, and NFL RedZone without cable, as well as free movies on YouTube. If you’re on the move, here’s how to watch Fox Sports Go and live stream NBC Sports.

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Joseph Knoop

Joseph Knoop

Joseph Knoop is a gaming writer for Daily Dot, a native Chicagoan, and a slave to all things Overwatch. He co-founded the college geek culture outlet ByteBSU, then interned at Game Informer, and now writes for a bunch websites his parents have never heard of.