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How to watch the Oscars in the US and around the world

Jennifer Lawrence Oscars
Reuters/Adrees Latif
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The 88th Academy Awards air tonight on ABC in the United States at 8:30pm eastern time. While ratings have fluctuated in recent years, it’s still, usually, the most-watched American entertainment program of the year. In 2015, 37 million people watched the TV broadcast in the US. Increasingly, it has become an international affair as well—even though the majority of the nominees are white Americans.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably planning to watch the show. Here are some story lines to watch:

  • Will Leonardo DiCaprio finally win his first Oscar, for The Revenant?
  • Will The RevenantSpotlightThe Big Short, or an underdog (Mad Max?) win best picture?

The Red Carpet begins at 7pm ET. The ceremony itself doesn’t start until 8:30pm. Here’s how to watch:

In the US

If you have cable TV, then you can watch on ABC. You can also stream the show on or the Watch ABC app, but only if you live in one of these cities: Chicago, Fresno, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Raleigh-Durham, or San Francisco. Sorry everyone else! You’ll be prompted to enter your cable TV account information before you can stream.

As always, if you don’t have cable, you can use an HD antenna to get ABC for free, over the air. Here are some good ones.

And just in time for the Oscars, Sling TV—Dish Network’s internet TV service—now includes ABC as a $5 add-on to the $20-per-month base package. But, again, there’s a caveat: It’s currently only available to subscribers in those same cities where the ABC livestream can be accessed.

Everywhere else

The Hollywood Reporter has a great list of the TV channels that will broadcast the show around the world. Here are just a few notables:

  • United Kingdom: Sky Movies
  • Canada: CTV
  • Most of Latin America: TNT Latin America
  • India:  Star India
  • Australia: Nine network

You could also try watching on the Periscope app (using Perisearch to find a stream)—but know that those broadcasts are likely to be taken down quickly. As a last resort, you could Google “free Oscars stream,” or something along those lines, and find, yes, a free Oscars stream! It should go without saying, though, that those streams are unreliable and illegal.

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