How to watch the 2023 Academy Awards for free—and without cable

March 12, 2023, 9:00 PM UTC
The 95th Academy Awards ceremony take place on March 12.
Stefani Reynolds—AFP/Getty Images

Will Smith won’t be in the audience for tonight’s Academy Awards ceremony, but it’s a safe bet that much of the talk surrounding the Oscars will have him in mind.

Following last year’s shocking turn by the actor, the awards ceremony recaptured much of the attention that has been ebbing away in recent years. Combine that with the biggest box office hit in years (Top Gun: Maverick), and a dark horse indie hit Everything Everywhere All at Once, and this year’s Oscars could be the most-watched in a long while.

Leading the pack will be Everything Everywhere, which garnered 11 nominations this year, the most of any film. All Quiet on the Western Front and The Banshees of Inisherin tied for second, with nine nods each. Elvis and The Fabelmans followed, with eight and seven, respectively.

This will be the 95th year the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has honored the best films and performances. Whether you’re pulling for a favorite film or just want to debate the fashions of the evening, it’s typically one of the biggest television events of the year.

Here’s all you need to know about this year’s event.

When do the Oscars take place?

The 95th Academy Awards ceremony will be held Sunday, March 12 at 8:00 p.m. ET

Where can I watch the 2023 Academy Awards?

ABC has the exclusive broadcast rights to this year’s Oscars, as it has for the past two years. Expect other networks to provide Red Carpet coverage outside of the Dolby Theater as well, though.

What time does red carpet coverage of the 2023 Academy Awards begin?

The Academy Awards are the Super Bowl of film—and like that event, the pre-game starts long, long before the broadcast.

ABC began airing its “On the Red Carpet Live! Countdown to the Oscars” pre-show at 12:00 p.m. ET.

The larger “Oscars Red Carpet Show” airs on ABC at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Separately, “E!’s Brunch at the Oscars” pre-show started at 2:00 p.m. ET. And at 4:00 p.m. ET, E! will switch to live Red Carpet arrivals on “E! Live from the Red Carpet”.

Wait a minute, is there a red carpet?

Good eye! The carpet that stars will arrive on this year isn’t actually red for a change. It’s more of a champagne or beige color. Host Jimmy Kimmel joked, when the carpet debuted, “People have been asking, ‘Is there going to be any trouble this year? Is there going to be any violence this year?’ And we certainly hope not. But if there is, I think the decision to go with a champagne carpet rather than a red carpet shows how confident we are that no blood will be shed.”

How will the 2023 Academy Awards be different?

Red carpet aside, the most obvious difference will be in the presentation for Best Actress. Normally, Will Smith would be the one handing that out, but after last year, he has been banned from all events hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for 10 years. The Academy has yet to announce who will present that award this year.

Organizers have promised some “great legacy surprises” as well. And, for the first time, seat fillers will be actual members of the Academy (who weren’t able to score tickets to the show in its lottery system).

Well, for one thing, they’re not being held in a train station this year. (To promote social distancing in 2021, the show was held in Los Angeles’ Union Station). They’ll also have a host once again. And the show should be shorter, due to the elimination of eight categories from the live broadcast, including film editing and original score.

How can I watch the Academy Awards for free if I don’t have cable?

If you don’t have a cable or satellite subscription, the best way to watch any network program for free on a big screen is with a good HD antenna. The 2023 Oscars will be broadcast by ABC—meaning you can watch everything over the air, which costs nothing beyond the equipment prices. Be sure to test the antenna in multiple locations in your home to find the most reliable signal.

How can I stream the Academy Awards live online if I don’t have a cable subscription?

There are loads of online options to watch the Oscars, some completely free and others with free trial periods. If you’re not near a TV, you can log into ABC.com to watch the show. Don’t have a cable subscription (which you’ll need to watch the official stream online)? Here are a few other options that work just as well.

Hulu with Live TV

The free trial on this service is no longer offered. It will cost you $70 per month.

YouTubeTV

After up to a two-week trial, you can expect monthly charges of $65.

Sling TV

Dish Network’s Sling increased its prices in 2022. The lower-tiered “Orange” plan will now run you $40 per month. Adding the more comprehensive “Blue” plan bumps the cost to $55 per month. (A $5 per month increase for each.) The seven-day free trial has disappeared along with the price increase, but the cord-cutting service is offering 50% off of the first month’s bill.

DirecTV Stream

Formerly known as DirecTV Now, AT&T TVNow and AT&T TV, this oft-renamed streaming service will run you $70 per month and up after the free trial option.

Fubo TV

While it’s typically sports-focused, this cord-cutting service carries broadcast networks in most markets. There’s a seven-day free trial, followed by monthly charges of $70–$100, depending on the channels you choose.

Disney+

Disney’s bundle of Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ no longer has a free trial, so you’ll have to pay $13.99 per month for all three combined (or $19.99 per month for no ads on Hulu). Including Live TV in the bundle bumps the price to $70 per month ($76 with no ads).

Who’s hosting the 2023 Academy Awards?

Jimmy Kimmel, who last hosted the show in 2018 (and, before that, in 2017) will be this year’s master of ceremonies. He’s among a group of five who have hosted the show three times (which includes Steve Martin and Jerry Lewis). Billy Crystal, if you’re curious, hosted nine times. Bob Hope holds the record for most frequent host, with 19 ceremonies under his belt.

Where can I watch this year’s Best Picture nominees?

All Quiet on the Western Front

Where to watch: Netflix.

Avatar: The Way of Water

Where to watch: Currently in theaters, the James Cameron film will see its home digital release on March 28. It’s expected on Disney+ later this year.

The Banshees of Inisherin

Where to watch: You can stream the black comedy on HBO Max. It can also be rented or purchased on Amazon Prime Video, iTunes and Google Play.

Elvis

Where to watch: You can stream Baz Luhrmann’s biopic of the king on HBO Max. It can also be rented or purchased on Amazon Prime Video, iTunes and Google Play.

Everything Everywhere All at Once

Where to watch: The multi-genre film is currently airing on Showtime.

The Fabelmans

Where to watch: Rent or purchase on Amazon Prime Video, iTunes and Google Play. It’s also still in some theaters.

Tár

Where to watch: Peacock. You can also rent or purchase the film on Amazon Prime Video, iTunes and Google Play.

Top Gun: Maverick

Where to watch: Currently streaming on Paramount+ and MGM+ (formerly known as Epix). You can also rent or purchase the film on Amazon Prime Video, iTunes and Google Play.

Triangle of Sadness

Where to watch: Stream this Woody Harrelson satire on Hulu or rent or purchase it on Amazon Prime Video, iTunes and Google Play.

Women Talking

Where to watch: You can also rent or purchase the nominee (which also got a nod for best-adapted screenplay) on Amazon Prime Video, iTunes and Google Play.

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