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CW (or “The CW,” as it likes to call itself) has a little bit of everything: news, dramas, comedies, kids shows, and even live sports. It's a fantastic cable channel — or, it would be, if it was actually a mere “cable channel” at all. The truth of the matter is that you can watch The CW without cable, and it's remarkably easy to do so. Below, we'll show you how to watch the service without cable, including tips for watching its livestreams online legally — and even one way to watch it for free, forever. Too good to be true? Not in this case! Read on.
Here is our favorite way to stream CW:
Below, we're going to run through all of the different ways that you can watch The CW without cable. But it's worth noting that the items below all fall under one of two categories: live TV streaming services and free over-the-air TV.
Free over-the-air TV gets its own section further below, so we'll hold off on discussing that for now. But the rest of the items on our list will all be live TV streaming services, sometimes known as “skinny bundles.” The “skinny bundle” nickname comes from the slimmed-down channel packages that these services often offer.
Some of these live TV streaming services make great ways to watch The CW without cable. Read on to learn more about them, along with free over-the-air TV offerings.
Stream CW for free with Hulu
Hulu + Live TV offers lots of local channels in select markets — including The CW! In order to watch it without cable on this service, you'll have to be lucky enough to live in a participating market. When Hulu + Live TV first added The CW, it was only available in eight markets. It’s more widely available now, but it’s still not in every area. That said, the service has a lot to offer whether you're in The CW-streaming area or not. You can take a closer look at Hulu + Live TV by reading our review here, or you could just try it out for yourself by taking advantage of their weeklong free trial.
Yes, you read that right: free TV! Remember those antennas and over-the-air broadcasts from the old days? Well, they never really went away, and a few key channels are available over the air in a lot of populated areas. How big of an antenna you'll need to pick up The CW will depend on how far away your local broadcast towers are, but a quick look at some helpful online tools should answer that question. Then it's just a matter of setting up your antenna and remembering to scan for channels using your TV's menus. For more information on how to use free over-the-air TV to watch The CW without cable (and watch a whole lot of other channels without cable, too), check out our antenna-related posts here on CordCutting.com.
Since these services are delivered over the internet, they also make it remarkably easy to watch live TV on almost any device you choose. Your smartphone, tablet, computer, or big-screen TV: you name it, you can stream it there. Check out the chart below to see your platform and device options for streaming The CW online without cable.
The CW has a show for every taste. If you want a musical comedy that also manages to make some serious points about mental health, there’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.” If you want superhero action as only the service can do it, there’s “Black Lightning,” “Batwoman,” and more. But what should you watch when you’re not streaming The CW without cable? Keep reading to find out!
The CW’s superhero shows are focused on DC Comics, and plenty of people love that. But if you want to take a look at what’s going on in Marvel’s television universe, then Disney Plus is the place to be. The service is throwing piles of money at their Marvel lineup, as 2021 alone brings us shows like “WandaVision,” “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” and “Loki.” If that’s not enough, Disney Plus also has pretty much every movie that takes place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, excluding the Tom Holland “Spider-Man” films and “The Incredible Hulk.” Our complete Disney Plus review can give you more details.
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