How to watch ‘Riverdale’ online for free

Small towns always have secrets. This is especially true for Riverdale, the hottest teen drama going. That’s right kids: Archie Comics characters aren’t just for baby boomers who still read “the funnies.” Riverdale follows the daily lives of Archie, Betty, Veronica, and even Jughead, as they uncover the seedy underbelly of their town. It’s a little John Hughes and a little Beverly Hills 90210 with the backdrop of a town that screams Americana.

Season 3 of Riverdale is already underway, with a drug outbreak causing chaos in town. The contagion is so bad, the governor has quarantined Riverdale off from the state as our heroes unmask some Earth-shattering secrets behind the scenes.

Here’s everything you need to know to watch Riverdale online for free.

riverdale cast YouTube

Riverdale cast

  • KJ Apa as Archie Andrews
  • Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper
  • Camila Mendes as Veronica Lodge
  • Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones
  • Marisol Nichols as Hermione Lodge
  • Madelaine Petsch as Cheryl Blossom
  • Ashleigh Murray as Josie McCoy
  • Mädchen Amick as Alice Cooper
  • Luke Perry as Fred Andrews
  • Mark Consuelos as Hiram Lodge
  • Casey Cott as Kevin Keller
  • Skeet Ulrich as F. P. Jones
  • Charles Melton as Reggie Mantle
  • Vanessa Morgan as Toni Topaz

What channel is Riverdale on? What time is Riverdale on?

Season 3 of Riverdale premiered on the CW on Oct. 10, 2018. Like most programs, Riverdale took a break over holidays. Riverdale returns with new episodes starting Wednesday, Jan. 16, at 8pm ET/PT.

How to watch Riverdale online for free

All the big name live TV streaming services let you try out their services for one week, allowing you to watch Riverdale for free. There are variations among them, though, especially when it comes to the local channels offered. Depending on which service you choose, the availability of the CW in your area might vary. The links below will offer a quick primer on what channels you’ll get with each service.

1) Hulu with Live TV

watch Riverdale online free on Hulu Live TV Hulu

Hulu with Live TV

Hulu with Live TV not only gives you access to on-demand content, but you’ll also be able to stream live TV, including local networks. If you miss Riverdale when it airs, no worries: It will be available on-demand along with countless movies, classic programs, and of course, original series available exclusively on Hulu. You’ll also get access to almost 60 channels, including Lifetime, ESPN, USA,  and plenty more. (Here’s the complete list of Hulu Live TV channels.)



2) FuboTV

If you’re a sports fanatic, FuboTV is a streaming service built just for you. There are packages tailor-made for fans of basketball, international soccer, golf, and even rock climbing. For the rest of the family, there’s a suite of great channels including Food Network,  IFC, TBS, Cartoon Network, and more. The CW may be available in your market, so be sure to check before subscribing. (Here’s the complete FuboTV channels list.)


3) YouTube TV

The original destination for videos online has rolled out a streaming package of its own. YouTube TV offers a streaming suite of more than 60 popular cable networks, including local channels. Among them are sports channels including ESPN and FS1, entertainment destinations like FXX and TBS, and even a handful of Spanish language channels like Telemundo and NBC Universo. One YouTube TV subscription lets you add up to six accounts, each with unlimited cloud DVR. (You can find the full list of YouTube TV channels here.)


4) DirecTV Now

watch Riverdale online free on DirecTV Now DirecTV

DirecTV Now Live a Little Package

DirecTV Now is DirecTV’s answer to online streaming. If you simply must have the most channels, DirecTV Now offers upwards of 125 channels in its most expensive package. Of course, its basic $40-a-month Live a Little plan will get you access to NBC, where you can get your Riverdale fix. (You can find the full list of DirecTV Now channels here.)


How to catch up on Riverdale episodes

If you’re looking for a place to catch up on older Riverdale episodes, there are a couple of solutions.

1) Netflix

  • Cost: $7.99-13.99/month (after a free month)
  • Devices: Amazon Fire Stick, Fire TV, Fire tablets, and Fire phone; Roku, Google TV, TiVo, PlayStation 3 and 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Wii

While it’s a season behind, you can watch seasons 1 and 2 on Netflix. You’ll want to catch up on older episodes before diving into season 3.

3) The CW

You can catch up on select recent episodes of Riverdale on the CW website. You don’t need credentials or an account to watch the most recent episodes, but each new episode expires after a couple of weeks, so you’ll want to act quickly.

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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Jaime Carrillo

Jaime Carrillo

Jaime Carillo is a writer for Pure Nintendo and a plucky YouTube cook. He specializes in writing about console gaming and kitchen gadgets. It comes naturally, considering he's either wielding a massive cleaver or Switch Pro controller at any given point. When he's not cruising through a drive-thru at 2am, he's baking shokupan or whipping up a big pot of Japanese curry. He enjoys retro gaming, geopolitics, and Vic Berger videos.