How to Watch the Presidential Debates

The next presidential debates takes place in 2024

You can watch the Presidential debates for free if you have an antenna or a cable subscription. Cord-cutters can watch the debate live streams from a computer, tablet, smartphone, or television with a compatible streaming device and any service that offers live TV.

How to Stream the Presidential Debates on Network News Websites and Apps

Each debate will be broadcast live on ABC, CBS, C-SPAN, FOX, and NBC, as well as cable news channels including CNN, Fox News, Fox Business Network, and MSNBC.

Most news websites work in the same way when it comes to live streams. Visit the official website for the channel you want to watch, and look for a Live option at the top of the screen or in a dropdown menu. That's usually all you need to do. Some websites let you pause content and add closed captioning.

In any TV news apps, it's as simple as launching the app on the day of the debate and looking for the live stream.

In both scenarios, you'll need to confirm your cable or satellite credentials before watching.

Stream the Debate on YouTube or Twitter

You can also catch the live stream for free from any major news network, YouTube and Twitter. One way to find debate live stream on YouTube is to search for "youtube debate september 29," for example. You can also go to YouTube.com and click Live on the left rail. The debate should show up under Featured Live Streams.

To watch the debate on Twitter, go to twitter.com/Twitter on the day of the event.

Other Ways to Live Stream the Debates

In addition to the official network news websites, you can also live-stream your local channels and the debates through several popular streaming services.

Most of these services have a free trial, so make sure to sign up a little early. Then check if the service carries the channels you need.

AT&T TV NOW

AT&T TV Now, previously known as DirecTV Now, offers many channels, including ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, and many others in most areas.

HULU+ LIVE TV

Hulu + Live TV offers local ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC channels in most areas, and also carries cable channels like ESPN and more. It has a 30-day free trial.

YOUTUBE TV

YouTube TV is Google's live television streaming service. It offers ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, and more in most areas, and has a free trial.

SLING TV

Sling TV offers NBC and Fox, but only in a limited number of markets. It has a free trial, though.

Use a VPN to Watch the Debates Online

Lots of television streaming services are region-locked, which makes it difficult or impossible to use these services if you live outside the United States. Consider using a virtual private network (VPN) to get around these restrictions.

Don't have a VPN? Check out our list of the best VPNs to find a great one.

Not all VPNs can get around region locks. Even if you use one that does, some streaming services require that your billing address match your physical location. That method isn't foolproof, but it's still worth a try.