No one expected the CW network to take the world by storm, but it did. It rose like a phoenix from the ashes of the WB and UPN networks, and has become a powerhouse in the television market since launching in 2006. The network primarily draws a young audience, under the age of 35, but their shows attract large, dedicated followings, like the 11 years-and-counting popularity of Supernatural.
The big news for the network, which is also home to many DC Comic universe serial dramas including Flash and Arrow, is that CBS’s Supergirl will be switching channels and joining her superhero family on the CW next fall.
So if you want to know how to watch CW online without cable, let’s start at the beginning.
Watch CW Without Cable TV via DIRECTV NOW
DIRECTV NOW presents a good way to get the CW stream in select markets, without having to pay for cable TV. For $35 a month, users can subscribe to DIRECTV NOW to get more than 60 popular TV networks to watch live. You can use it on your streaming device, smartphone, computer, tablet, etc. from anywhere that you have an internet connection.
Please note that the CW streaming is currently being rolled out. It’s best to check channel availability during the signup process with DIRECTV NOW to confirm that you’ll be able to watch. Read our DIRECTV NOW review to learn more.
DIRECTV NOW’s free 7-day trial is a fantastic way to watch CW online free for a week!
Watch CW Online with fuboTV
fuboTV is a new streaming service that offers over 60 channels to watch LIVE, without the need for a cable subscription. It offers excellent value at just $35 a month, and better yet, it’s offered without a contract! This is a great way to stream the CW live without cable TV.
The CW live stream is offered on fuboTV in select areas, alongside CBSSN, FS1, NBCSN, FOX News, FX, and even CBS, NBC and FOX in some areas. fuboTV is mostly meant for sports fans, but there are also a lot of general channels to enjoy. The service works on most devices, from streaming players like Apple TV and Roku to your favorite mobile devices.
Stream CW Shows with Hulu
Hulu and Hulu Plus are among the top choices for those looking to cut the cord. The service offers hit CW shows just 8 days after they air, or the next day if you’re a Hulu Plus subscriber. They always offer the 5 most recent episodes available. Right now you can watch:
- The Flash
- Vampire Diaries
- The 100
- Jane the Virgin
- Whose Line is it Anyway
And that is just the tip of the iceberg. While Hulu doesn’t offer a CW live stream, the on-demand nature is attractive for those who want to watch their favorite programming on their own schedule.
Hulu has a huge library of current and past hit TV shows not only from CW but also FOX, NBC, and ABC as well as some exclusive content and shows previously only available with satellite or cable. It can be accessed on practically every device at home or on the go.
You get all of this for only $7.99 per month with limited commercial breaks. Or, if you prefer to eliminate the distraction of commercials all together, you can go add-free for just $11.99. It’s a great deal so check it out for yourself with a free 7-day trial and watch CW online with Hulu.
Watch CW Streaming Online
Like many other networks, CW offers a stand-alone app available across many devices for your viewing pleasure. However, unlike some of the other players, it doesn’t require a pay TV login to enjoy the content. There is a small selection of their hit show episodes streaming completely for free. This won’t work for the CW live stream, but if you just want to watch some on-demand shows it’s an option.
This won’t be a complete CW replacement, but it is nice to know that the network is supportive of their fans and willing to share their content.
Watch a CW Live Stream Over the Air
While the CW doesn’t evoke the same mental image as the big broadcast networks like FOX and CBS, it is an over the air channel. That means you can access it with a new version of some old technology. Use a new digital antenna to pick up CW streaming right to your TV, live as it airs. This will depend on your reception and the networks available in your area.
You can also pair a digital antenna with a over-the-air DVR. With this added device you can record programming to watch later or stream it on a connect device any time when you’re away from home. Check out the top DVRs to see which is better for you.
Buy CW Favorites Online
Finally, there is one more way to watch CW online. If none of these options work for you, you can always buy individual episodes or complete seasons of your favorite shows online. Instant video services like those from Amazon, Vudu, or iTunes offer the option to buy CW shows so you can own them and watch whenever and wherever you like.
Do keep in mind that this will be more expensive overall than a subscription to a service like Hulu, but you do own the content. Buying a complete season will save you a little money.