Streaming platforms offer a buffet of choices for avid award show enthusiasts like you because, let's face it, the awards are addictive! In the US alone, 18.8 million viewers tuned in to watch the Oscars Awards in 2023.
But amidst a sea of streaming choices, which one will place you right amidst the glitz and the glamour? I'm here to guide you through each streaming option, offering insights and tips to ensure you don't miss a second of the action.
» It's not just for award shows: Here are more reasons to switch to live TV.
Our Best Awards Show Streaming Platforms at a Glance
- Sling TV - Best for streaming the Oscars overall
- Hulu + Live TV - Best for live and on-demand streaming
- DirecTV Stream - Best for simultaneous streaming on multiple devices
- Paramount+ - Best for exclusive access to select award shows beyond the Oscars
- fuboTV - Best for enhanced cloud DVR features
1. Sling TV
Starting price - From $0/month for "Freestream" plan
Free trial - None
Sling TV offers tailored plans for viewers eager to experience the glamour of the Oscars. Among its offerings are three distinct plans—The Freestream plan, Sling Orange, and Sling Blue. Priced at $40 a month, with an enticing initial offer of $20, Sling Blue is the ideal choice for Oscars enthusiasts. It caters specifically to award shows and lifestyle content, ensuring you won’t miss out on any red-carpet moments or award announcements.
The ad-supported 'Freestream' plan is an excellent entry point for those new to streaming. This plan grants instant access to live TV and on-demand content without financial commitment or sign-up hassles. It's an opportune way for first-time streamers to get a taste of live TV, including pre-Oscar shows and interviews, before fully committing.
When choosing a service to stream the Oscars, it’s essential to consider the availability of ABC, as it's traditionally the official broadcaster of the event. Sling TV’s packages, particularly Sling Blue in many regions, include access to ABC, ensuring you have a front-row seat to the Oscars. Additionally, Sling TV offers flexibility with no long-term contracts, making it an appealing option for those who prefer streaming only during the award season.
Why We Chose Sling TV to Watch the Oscars
- Multi-device streaming
- Cloud DVR storage to record award shows
- International programming options
» Looking for something similar? Try these Sling TV alternatives.
2. Hulu + Live TV
Starting price - From $76.99/month
Free trial - 30 days only on the basic plans without live TV
Hulu + Live TV emerges as a strong contender for streaming the Oscars, boasting comprehensive coverage with essential local channels like ABC, the traditional broadcaster of the Oscars.
Regarding channel variety, Hulu + Live TV outshines its competitors like Sling TV, offering a broader range of channels, which is crucial for those who appreciate a diverse viewing experience. While it hosts channels like MTV and VH1, known for airing other popular award shows such as the MTV Music Video Awards, its strength lies in providing a platform where the Oscars can be enjoyed in their entirety.
For viewers who prefer a more curated experience, Hulu + Live TV presents a unique feature. If you don't mind catching up on the Oscars a day later, Hulu + Live TV curates highlighted segments of the show. This option allows you to breeze through the event, focusing only on the most captivating moments, such as the major award announcements or standout performances. It's an excellent choice for those wishing to experience the Oscars' highlights without dedicating hours to live TV.
Why We Chose Hulu + Live TV to Watch the Academy Awards
- Comprehensive local channel coverage like ABC and NBC channels
- Live and on-demand content
- Pause and resume playback feature
3. DirecTV Stream
Starting price - From $74.99/month
Free trial - Five days
DirecTV Stream is a prime choice for Oscar aficionados seeking a live TV streaming experience. Much like Hulu + Live TV, it ensures access to vital local channels such as ABC, which is essential for broadcasting the Oscars live. This feature guarantees viewers won't miss out on any aspect of the night, from the glitzy red carpet arrivals to the eagerly anticipated award announcements.
With packages ranging from $70 to $100 a month, DirecTV Stream offers live viewing and the added convenience of recording. This is particularly beneficial for Oscar enthusiasts who might be unable to watch the event live. The recording feature allows you to replay the entire ceremony at your leisure, ensuring you can experience every moment of Hollywood's biggest night, even if you can't be in front of the TV when it happens.
DirecTV Stream's popularity is evident, as it neared an impressive subscriber count of 11.85 million towards the end of 2023. This popularity can be attributed to its robust service offerings. When considering DirecTV Stream for the Oscars, it’s important to highlight its wide array of packages catering to diverse preferences and budgets.
Why We Chose DirecTV Stream to Watch Award Shows
- Stream on multiple devices simultaneously
- High-quality streaming for exceptional picture and sound
- Seamless integration with existing equipment
» Ready to go from cable TV to streaming? Here's how to make a smooth transition.
Starting price - From $5.99/month
Free trial - Seven days
Paramount+ is a unique streaming choice, particularly for award show addicts.
As a sister company to CBS, it broadcasts high-profile events like the Grammys, Tonys, Kids Choice Awards, MTV Movie & TV Awards, and MTV VMAs. Although Paramount+ does not directly broadcast the Oscars, which are traditionally aired on ABC, it offers a range of related content that can enhance the Oscars viewing experience.
From my personal experience with the premium subscription of Paramount+, the streaming quality is noteworthy. Watching the Tony Awards on Paramount+ was a pleasant experience, with clear visuals and stable streaming. This level of quality is essential for viewers who appreciate a seamless and immersive viewing experience, even if it's for related content around the Oscars.
While Paramount+ may not be the primary choice for watching the Oscars live, it is a complementary platform for avid award show fans. It provides access to a variety of exclusive content, interviews, and behind-the-scenes footage from other major award shows, which can be appealing to those who enjoy the broader award season atmosphere.
Why We Chose Paramount+ to Watch Award Shows
- Original award show content for deeper insights behind the scenes
- Curated award show collections, grouping similar award shows together
- Ad-free streaming option
Starting price - From $74.99/month
Free trial - Seven days
fuboTV, while renowned for its sports content, also emerges as a hidden treasure for those looking to immerse themselves in the glitz and glamour of the Oscars. Its plans comprehensively include local channels such as ABC, the official broadcaster of the Academy Awards. This ensures that subscribers have live access to the Oscars, capturing every moment from the star-studded red carpet to the much-anticipated award presentations.
Apart from the Oscars, fuboTV boasts an eclectic channel lineup featuring networks like MTV, VH1, and E!. These channels provide coverage of a variety of award shows, including major events like the MTV Video Music Awards and other exciting, lesser-known ceremonies. This diverse range makes fuboTV a versatile platform for award show enthusiasts who wish to explore beyond the Oscars.
A standout feature of fuboTV is its cloud-based DVR. This technology is a game-changer for Oscar viewers, allowing the recording of the ceremony and enabling watching at one's convenience. Whether it’s to skip over the segments that are less engaging or to fit a busy schedule, the DVR feature ensures that you don't miss out on the key Oscar moments.
Why We Chose fuboTV to Stream the Oscars
- Sports-centric award show coverage
- Skip through commercials during recorded award shows
- A dedicated guide that highlights upcoming shows
How to Choose a Streaming Platform for Award Shows
When it comes to picking the right streaming platform for award shows, several factors come into play, influencing the overall viewing experience.
Firstly, ensure the service provides access to your desired shows, such as the Oscars, Emmys, Grammys, or Golden Globes. If live viewing is important to you, check for live-streaming capabilities to catch real-time action. Be aware of geographic restrictions, especially for access to local channels broadcasting these events, and confirm availability, particularly for international viewers.
Additionally, evaluate the cost, subscription plans, and the availability of free trials to avoid overspending. Some services offer free trials, potentially allowing you to enjoy the event at no cost.
Finally, consider accessibility features like closed captions, which are especially beneficial for those who are hard of hearing or prefer lower volume levels.
Alternative Viewing Options
Academy Award addicts may want to stream the Oscars from the comfort of their couches and possibly on the go. By using apps on your mobile phones, you can access a variety of content and streams. Here are some ways to stream the event on your mobile device:
- Official Oscars App: Download the Oscars app for exclusive content and live streaming.
- Streaming Services Apps: Use mobile apps offered by Hulu, fuboTV, or DirecTV Stream if you are a subscriber.
- ABC App: Stream live on the ABC app if you have cable or satellite login credentials.
Social Media Coverage
Based on a 2020 study, 40% of US Oscars viewers flock to Facebook and almost 30% to Twitter to follow the Academy Awards on social media. Social media platforms provide real-time updates and exclusive behind-the-scenes content. Here’s a comprehensive list of which accounts and hashtags to follow for complete Oscars coverage:
- @TheAcademy for official updates
- @enews E! News account for everything-entertainment related
- #Oscars, #Oscars2024, or #Oscars96 for trending discussions
- @TheAcademy for livestreams, photos and stories
- #Oscars for community posts
- The Academy’s Official Page for live segments and updates
Key Moments to Watch for in This Year's Oscars
Red Carpet Fashion
Drawing from the dazzling fashion trends of the 2024 Golden Globes and Emmys, we can anticipate a diverse and vibrant array of styles gracing the Oscars red carpet.
Expect to see a continuation of rich, bold colors and luxurious textures reminiscent of the wine hues and olive oil greens that dominated the Emmys. Architectural influences are likely to make a strong showing. With sustainability in mind, celebrities may opt for vintage statement pieces. The high-shine glamour of sequins and shiny fabrics is also expected to continue its prominence.
We might also see an adventurous twist in men's fashion, with unique and attention-grabbing suits, as hinted by the bold choices of Timothée Chalamet and Pedro Pascal.
This year’s leaning for boldness promises a red carpet that will be a spectacular fashion showcase.
Jimmy Kimmel’s Comeback
Unlike Jo Koy bombing as the Golden Globes host this year, we expect that things will even out on the funny front with Jimmy Kimmel’s return to the Academy Awards stage. It’s his fourth time hosting the Oscars, so we’re sure the banter will remain lighthearted, possibly sticking to the safer side.
This year’s Oscars nominees are already brewing serious debates surrounding this year's trends and box-office battles like Barbenheimer.
Predictions for the 96th Academy Awards Nominations
A diverse array of films and talent are poised to make their mark at the 96th Academy Awards. These are my top three picks for the main categories:
- “American Fiction”
- “Anatomy of a Fall”
- Christopher Nolan for "Oppenheimer" leads the industry predictions
- Jonathan Glazer for "The Zone of Interest"
- Yorgos Lanthimos for "Poor Things"
Best Actor in a Leading Role
- Paul Giamatti for "The Holdovers"
- Bradley Cooper for "Maestro"
- Colman Domingo for "Rustin"
Best Actress in a Leading Role
Lily Gladstone in "Killers of the Flower Moon" is favored, winning the Golden Globes for Best Actress in a Drama and becoming the first indigenous woman to do so in Golden Globes history. Lily is followed by Sandra Hüller in "Anatomy of a Fall" or Carey Mulligan in "Maestro."
Actor in a Supporting Role
- Robert Downey Jr. in "Oppenheimer" is predicted to clinch
- Ryan Gosling in “Barbie”
- Robert DeNiro in “Killers of the Flower Moon”
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
- Da’Vine Joy Randolph in "The Holdovers”
- Sandra Hüller in “The Zone of Interest”
- Jodie Foster in “Nyad”
Best Original Screenplay
- "Anatomy of a Fall"
- “Past Lives”
Best Adapted Screenplay
- “Killers of the Flower Moon”
- “Poor Things”
Lights, Camera, Stream: Get Your Front-Row Seat
As we gear up for the 96th Academy Awards on March 10, 2024, finding the best streaming options available may guarantee you can experience every moment of Hollywood's biggest night.
From Sling TV's versatility and affordability to Hulu + Live TV's comprehensive coverage, DirecTV Stream's multi-device capability, Paramount+'s exclusive content, and fuboTV's unique features like cloud-based DVR, each platform offers its unique charm to elevate your Oscars experience.
Whether you're a die-hard film enthusiast, a fashion aficionado eagerly anticipating the red carpet, or someone who enjoys the thrill of live award shows from the comfort of your home, these streaming services ensure you won't miss a beat.
» Which one, which one? Your guide to choosing the right streaming platform.