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Sure, Lifetime Movies may be a spin-off, but let’s be real here: The student has long since become the master. The original movies are the best thing about Lifetime. There’s a reason why Lifetime’s movies have inspired an enduring, only slightly ironic cult: They’re frequently low-budget masterpieces of hilarious excess. They’re a glimpse into an alternate universe where murder, infidelity, and identity-stealing are only slightly less common than, say, losing your keys. And on Lifetime Movies, you can enjoy an all-you-can-eat-buffet of these guilty pleasures—movies with titles like From Straight As to XXX and You May Kill the Bride. Sure, there’s other programming, from The Closer to Wife Swap to Escaping Polygamy, but the movies are where it’s at.
Whether you’re a devotee to the cult of Lifetime original movies or simply a convert-in-waiting, a live TV streaming subscription will let you enjoy the network without a cable subscription. But beware: The Lifetime Movie Club is its own bespoke $3.99-a-month subscription service that you’ll have to pay for individually if you want to maximize your access to Lifetime movies.
Here’s everything you need to know to watch Lifetime Movies online.
How to watch Lifetime Movies for free
There are a number of live TV streaming services that offer Lifetime Movies. So, how do you decide which one is right for you? Well, that depends on your budget, what other channels you just can’t live without, and what device (or devices) you plan on streaming with. We cover all of those essential issues below. No matter which service you select, you’ll be able to start with a one-week trial, allowing you to watch Lifetime Movies for free.
1) Sling TV
- Cost: $25-$40 per month (40% off first month)
- Sling TV devices: Amazon Fire TVs, Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, Roku, Xbox One, Google Chromecast, Oculus Go, and iOS and Android devices
Dish Network’s foray into over-the-internet live TV is the most popular such service in the U.S. That’s no surprise, given the low barrier to entry it offers for many of the most popular cable networks. For only $25 a month, you can sign up for a tier of Sling TV that will handily compete with any basic cable package. Sling TV offers a slightly dizzying array of options: two distinct packages (Sling Orange and Sling Blue) that you can sign up for separately or together (Sling Orange + Blue, which costs just $40 per month), and add-ons ranging from premium channels like Starz to cloud DVR storage. No matter which package you choose, you’ll get access to the Lifetime channel, but to get Lifetime Movies,
- Cost: $16 per month (after a 7-day free trial)
- Philo devices: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, iOS and Android devices
- Philo local channels
Philo began in a Harvard dorm room as a makeshift attempt to circumnavigate the Ivy League university’s lack of cable. It’s since grown into just about the best deal in live streaming television—at $16, you won’t find a lower barrier to entry anywhere. Sure, at that bargain price you’re getting a more limited channel selection, with no sports and none of the major news networks. But there are some real heavy-hitters among its over 40 networks, including AMC, BET, MTV, HGTV, Comedy Central, and, of course, Lifetime Movies. Philo also has a generous DVR policy, so your favorite shows fit on your schedule. You can read more about Philo’s DVR strengths and limitations here. You can check out a complete list of Philo’s channels right here.
- Cost: $44.99 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)
Hulu is practically an elder statesman on the streaming entertainment scene, first launching in 2007 and quickly garnering fans as one of the best places to catch up on streaming episodes of recent TV series. But over the years Hulu has expanded its offerings considerably, with a variety of subscription tiers both commercial-free and ad-supported—as well as its own Netflix-style slate of often-excellent original programming. Hulu with Live TV includes access to all of Hulu’s own original content, of course, but also allows you to watch over 60 channels live, Lifetime Movies included, with 50 hours of storage dedicated to live TV—a particularly handy feature for sports fans. You can check out a complete list of Hulu with Live TV’s channels here.
- Cost: $44.99 for the first month, $54.99 per month thereafter (after a 7-day free trial)
- FuboTV devices: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Android TV, iOS and Android devices
- FuboTV local channels: Fox, NBC, CBS (check local availability here)
FuboTV built its reputation on channels that distribute live sports. If you want a truly dizzying array of soccer options (and really, you should), FuboTV’s the best game in town, pardon the pun. But FuboTV’s not just the best place for cord-cutters to devour professional cycling; it also has loads of cable standards, with over 80 channels in its basic package. Lifetime Movies is present and accounted for, and you also get AMC, E!, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, Syfy, CNN, the Food Network, and many others. You can check out the complete FuboTV channels list here, and you can read more about FuboTV’s DVR here.
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Patrick Caldwell is a streaming entertainment reporter. He previously served as a staff music critic at the Austin American-Statesman.