How to watch the Emmys without cable

We’ll figure this out.
We’ll figure this out.
Image: AP Photo/Dan Grossi
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The Emmy Awards will air tonight (Sept. 20) at 8pm EST honoring shows that, increasingly, are being watched by people who don’t pay for cable. But even for us cord-cutters, there’s still fun to be had with the highly awkward, semi-scripted live awards show. Andy Samberg will host, and it should be an entertaining evening, with Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, John Oliver, Ricky Gervais, Mindy Kaling, Tracee Ellis Ross, Keegan-Michael Key, and Jordan Peel among the presenters. (Also, Lady Gaga!)

It seems like it should be simple to watch this online, but I fell for that a few weeks ago, during the MTV Video Music Awards, and was subjected to several hours of sustained, Sunday night FOMO while the rest of the world witnessed Nicki Minaj throwing shade at Miley Cyrus.

So what’s a cord-cutter to do? The inelegance and breadth of the solutions reflects just how fractured the television industry has become. The Emmys will air on Fox in the US, and its tight hold on the awards show—there is no livestream, the network told TechRadar—demonstrates just how desperately networks are fighting for us to resubscribe.

But fear not! There are options short of reconnecting one’s cable, for highly advanced cord-cutters and luddites alike.

For the gearheads

If you have a Playstation 3 or 4, and live in Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, or Dallas, you can watch the show on a local Fox affiliate station, with a Sony cable alternative called Playstation Vue. Don’t have one? Me neither. Plus, paying for Playstation Vue sounds suspiciously like paying for cable.

If you have a TV, but don’t pay for cable

In the old days, there were also people who had televisions, but didn’t pay for cable. But rather than watching shows with Apple TV, Rokus, and Fire Sticks, they just used these things called antennas, which picked up free local stations.

Well, they’re still a thing, and they still do that—now they’re just digital. Hook one of these up to your TV by 6 pm EST, and you’ll catch the red carpet arrivals on Fox.

So I actually don’t have a TV

What? Me neither. I have a Roku 3 that a friend gave me, hooked up to a computer monitor, on which I have really been enjoying The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Inside Amy Schumer, both of which are nominated tonight.

But if I want to see those ladies onstage, I’ll probably mooch off a friend with a television—and bring snacks!—or head to a bar. Yahoo is also doing a livestream of red-carpet arrivals, which, for me, is the best part of the night anyway. So maybe I’ll just get a head start with my favorite, E! Live from the Red Carpet, which begins its pre-party at the civilized hour of 4:30pm.

I’m sure the sports bar downstairs would be delighted to put it on.