It’s New Year’s Eve 2018, and that means it’s time to pop open the Champagne (or Prosecco) and… find a New Year’s Eve countdown from the cozy comfort of your own home. With so many ways to watch the New Year’s countdown and ball drop for free, it’s tempting to stay in and enjoy the festivities. And with so many free trials for streaming services, we wouldn’t blame you one bit if you ditch the cold for a night in with your favorite snacks, beverages, and yes, your preferred channel and countdown co-hosts.
Whether you watch the ball drop on ABC’s long-running New Year’s Rockin’ Eve or CNN’s annual New Year’s Eve Live—or something else entirely—there are plenty of streaming services with free trials to get your new year started with style. Here’s how to live stream the 2019 New Year’s Eve countdown and ball drop for free.
With DirectTV Now, you can watch watch Ryan Seacrest host the 2018 New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with a free one-week trial, plus any number of other ball drop celebrations streaming live from New York’s Times Square. After the trial period ends, the service costs $40 per month for a package of at least 65 live channels that may just hold your attention well after that New Year’s resolution list runs out.
Be sure to check here to see whether the channel(s) you want are available in your location.
Hulu with Live TV
Like many other streaming services including DirectTV Now, Hulu with Live TV offers a week of free streaming before you have to pay for your programming needs. After the free trial ends, Hulu charges $39.99 a month for access to more than 50 live channels, plus unlimited streaming from its deep library of programs, which are always nice to have a few clicks away if you tire of the Times Square confetti extravaganza.
If you want to watch duos covering the ball drop, whether it’s CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen, or Carson Daly and Chrissy Teigen on NBC, Hulu has your countdown viewing options covered. Hulu with Live TV also includes Fox, which will broadcast this year’s New Year’s Eve countdown with co-hosts Lisa “Kennedy” Montgomery and Pete Hegseth.
Sling TV offers several package options that include various TV channels based on your local market—and depending upon which television channel you want to watch to catch the countdown, and the pricing plan best for your budget. Like other services, you can start with a free seven-day trial.
After that, it’s up to you which channels you want to prioritize. Sling Orange and Sling Blue both cost $25 a month but offer different channel packages. Sling Blue, for example, includes Fox and NBC in select markets, which might make it your New Year’s streaming pick. Sling Orange offers CNN, as well as ESPN and AMC if you want a mix of viewing options to ring in the new year. And of course, for $40 a month, you can bundle the two together and stream all of those Sling offerings without worrying that you forgot about an old favorite.
Google’s online video platform YouTube is one of the most popular destination on the Internet. It is also a destination if you want to stream live programming, thanks to the YouTube TV streaming service. Like most other streaming services that offer enough networks to satisfy your New Year’s needs, there’s a free seven-day trial available, after which YouTube TV costs $40 a month and offers more than 60 networks.
You can check here to see which networks YouTube TV provides in your ZIP code (and how much it might cost to add on additional packages for later in the year, such as an NBA League Pass).
If there’s a PlayStation already under your TV, PlayStation Vue may be a good option for you. The live streaming television service offers a five-day free trial, and packages start at $44.99 a month. As with other streaming services, if you want to keep a PS Vue subscription going after the ball drops, check here to see which channels are offered in your market.