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From ‘Pretty Little Liars’ to ‘Shadowhunters,’ here’s everything you need to know.
It’s no surprise that more and more television programming has taken a shine to teenagers. While plenty of channels have featured content that’s inviting for young adult audiences, Freeform is the rare gem that’s made 100 percent for them, especially young women. Thankfully, Freeform also keeps up with the times when it comes to how to watch the channel. If you’re looking to ditch expensive cable plans and find a far more convenient streaming service, we’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you need to know to watch a Freeform live stream.
What is Freeform?
Freeform was first known as the CBN Family Channel, a religious programming block owned by the Christian conservative television figure Pat Robertson, whom you may remember for saying the incredibly deadly 2017 Las Vegas shooting was caused by a lack of respect for President Donald Trump and God. A series of acquisitions over the years by Fox and ABC morphed the channel into a much more secular—but still family friendly—channel. There are a few hints of more conservative values during reruns of old programming blocks, like the Christmas film marathons, but for the most part it looks no different than a young adult bookshelf. Some of Freeform’s most popular shows include Pretty Little Liars, Shadowhunters (based on Cassandra Clare’s immensely popular Mortal Instruments series), and The Fosters.
Freeform live stream: 5 ways to watch Freeform online for free
- Cost: $40 per month (after a 7-day free trial)
- Hulu devices: Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, and iOS and Android devices
- Hulu local channels: ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, the CW (check your local availability here)
Sure, it’s only 58 channels of live streams, but there’s no discrediting Hulu’s large library of on-demand content, which is perfect for the young audience members who will want a Freeform live stream in the first place. You’ll have to choose between having commercials or paying extra for none, but you’ll get access to movies, thrillers, dramas, even anime. On the live stream front, Freeform fans will appreciate having the CW, FX, Disney, and Cartoon Network (but no Comedy Central or MTV). If there’s a sports fan in the house, Hulu has a decent lineup, including a handful of ESPN channels, Fox Sports 1 and 2, and NBC Sports. (Here’s the complete guide to Hulu Live TV channels.)
2) Sling TV
- Cost: $25-$40 per month (after a 7-day free trial)
- Sling TV devices: Amazon Fire TVs, Android Fire Stick, Apple TV, Android TV, Roku, Xbox One, Google Chromecast, Oculus Go, and iOS and Android devices
- Sling TV local channels: NBC, Fox (check your local availability here)
Sling TV is split up between two packages: Sling Blue and Sling Orange. A Freeform live stream is only available on the somewhat smaller Sling Orange, so you can get away with paying $25 a month, unless you want to combine them both for $40. Sling Orange also gets you Comedy Central, Cartoon Network, AMC, Disney, and BBC America. The sports options are basically four ESPN channels, and Sling Blue is a bigger sports package overall. Sling TV also offers a great number of add-ons, including extra sports channels, some comedy/reality, lifestyle, and film channels. You can also get a DVR for when you’re too busy to chill out. (Here’s the complete guide to Sling TV channels.)
3) YouTube TV
- Cost: $40 per month (after a 7-day free trial)
- YouTube TV devices: Google Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Xbox One, iOS and Android devices
- Local channels: NBC, CBS, Fox, ABC, the CW (enter your ZIP code here to check your availability)
YouTube TV’s benefits are relatively straightforward. The service offers a decent channel lineup with the ability to make up to six accounts for simultaneous streaming—with unlimited DVR for when everyone is too busy. You’ll get your Freeform live stream, plus BBC, the CW, Disney, and Syfy, but no Comedy Central, MTV, or VH1. If you’ve got sports fans in the house, they’ll enjoy ESPN, NBA TV, MLB Network, and Fox Sports. If your house needs a little of everything, YouTube TV might just work. (Here’s the complete guide to YouTube TV channels.)
4) DirecTV Now
- Cost: $40-$75 per month (after a 7-day free trial)
- DirecTV Now devices: Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, and Amazon Fire Stick
- Local channels: ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, the CW (enter your ZIP code here to check local availability)
If $40 doesn’t sound like a hill too steep, then DirecTV Now is easily one of the best live streaming options out there. For that entry level price in the “Live a Little” package, you’ll get your Freeform live stream, plus 71 other channels. You get almost every channel you could want (except some omissions for sports content, which become available at pricier tiers), including BBC, CW, AMC, Disney, Hallmark, MTV, VH1, and plenty more. If you absolutely have to have Game of Thrones, DirecTV Now also offers the cheapest add-on for HBO at just $5 a month. (Here’s the complete guide to DirecTV Now channels.)
- Cost: $44.99-$79.99 per month (after a 7-day free trial)
- PlayStation Vue devices: PlayStation 3 and 4, Roku, Amazon Fire, Google Chromecast, Kodi, iOS and Android devices
- Local channels: NBC, Fox, ABC, CBS (enter your ZIP code here to check your availability)
It comes at a slightly higher price point, but PlayStation Vue is still a solid streaming service. For the $44.99 entry level “Access” package, you’ll get your Freeform stream, plus 45 other channels. Those include BBC America, Disney, Discovey, AMC, FX, Oxygen, and more. There’s no MTV or CW, though, so your teen-friendly programming might be briefer than most. Sports fans will want to go one package up to the $49.99 “Core” package, which includes ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, FS1, and FS2. (Here’s the complete guide to PlayStation Vue channels.)
Freeform live stream: Other ways to watch Freeform online
Freeform allows you to watch a live stream from your laptop or desktop on its official website. Go to Freeform.go.com, click the “Watch Live TV” button on the right, and you’ll be prompted to enter your login information from one of the applicable streaming services. Every service listed above (except for Sling TV) should work.
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, the CW, 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 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.