The most talked-about night in movies is almost here. Whether you're a huge cinema buff, a sucker for an inspiration speech, or just love the red carpet fashions, you're not going to want to miss the 90th Academy Awards. If you want to live stream the 2018 Oscars, you're in luck — cord cutters have a few options for catching the event as it airs.
For people who already have televisions with service, the ceremony airs live on ABC on March 4, 8 p.m. ET and 5 p.m. PT. According to The Hollywood Reporter this is a full half hour before when the broadcast usually begins, so better make sure all your friends you watch with are on the same page. Also, if you want the full experience — red carpet interviews, fabulous gowns, and speculation on the night's winners — the pre-show begins at 6:30 p.m. ET and 3:30 p.m. PT. This year's pre-show might be particularly worth watching if, like at the 2018 Golden Globes and Grammys the guests arrive showing their support for Time's Up or the #MeToo movement.
Also, it's generally a good idea to have the broadcast on and ready to go at the start of the show so that you don't miss the opening monologue. Jimmy Kimmel is again on hosting duties and the late-night host has not been holding back lately when it comes to political jokes or speaking his truth.
For cord-cutters there are a couple of options for how to stream the event for free, though the methods won't work for everyone. People who otherwise have a cable or satellite subscription, or have a parent/partner/friend who doesn't mind sharing their subscription log in, can sign in through their provider to watch at abc.com/watch-live or on the ABC App on your computer, smart phone, tablet or devices such as Roku, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire TV. However, according to the official ABC Oscars website, this option will only be available to viewers in select markets — check the website for full details on availability.
Another option for watching if you have a television but no cable, is to use an indoor HDTV antenna. It's a one time purchase that will give you access to local broadcast networks, which should include an ABC affiliate. While it can be a hassle to research which option is best for you, there are several models that Wirecutter suggests that are at a very affordable price (under $40). Once you have it, you'll be watching the Oscars and regularly scheduled network TV shows for free for a long time — no need to pay for a subscription streaming service again to catch many of your favorite primetime series.
If neither of those options will work for you though, there are a couple of streaming services that will be airing the Oscars live, and you might be able to score a free trial if you're not already a subscriber. Hulu Live TV (normally $39.99) will be airing it, and offers a free one week trial. Likewise, ABC is available through certain markets on Sling TV's Orange package (normally $20), which also offers the first seven days for free. Other services offering similar deals with access to the Oscars include DirectTV Now, PlayStation Vue, and YouTube TV.
If all else fails, I recommend you invite yourself to a buddy's house to watch the event. While you can always catch the highlights the next day, you have to be watching live to understand the craziness of a moment like last year's Best Winner snafu, when La La Land was announced the winner instead of the actual winner, Moonlight, and the mistake was rectified live on stage (so awkward). Plus, do you really want to miss the award show where actors and directors give some phenomenal speeches? It's going to be a doozy.