How to watch the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards

And one good reason to.
And one good reason to.
Image: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni
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The MTV Video Music Awards will take place on Sunday, Aug. 28, at Madison Square Garden at 9 pm EST.

Why would I want to watch this?

There are plenty of reasons to watch the VMAs: fashion schadenfreude (The carpet starts at 7pm!), pop star feuds, Kanye making it awkward, and most importantly, the chance that Beyoncé—the night’s most-nominated artist—is planning a surprise performance. It’s also likely that we’ll see tributes to David Bowie and Prince.

Who else will be there?

Confirmed performers include Future, Rihanna, Arianna Grande, Nicki Minaj, The Chainsmokers, Nick Jonas, and—wait for it—Britney Spears. MTV also reportedly gave Kanye West four minutes to do whatever he wants onstage. God help us.

And hey, sports fans! Michael Phelps and the Final Five will be there presenting awards as well.

How do I watch it?

The easiest way to watch—no surprise—is on good, old-fashioned MTV.

Yeah, right! I don’t have cable.

Right, me neither. As much as MTV still needs to reach those of us who’ve cut the cord, they’re not making it easy. If you subscribe to a service such as SlingTV or PlayStation Vue, you can watch MTV there.

What if I have an Apple TV?

You can watch it on the MTV app, but you’re still going to need a cable login. You could even do that on your phone, but I wouldn’t suggest it.

But I don’t have a cable login!

Aren’t you a millennial? Use your parents’! No, just kidding (kind of). You might not even be old enough to be a millennial—in which case MTV still wants you, but isn’t making it any easier for you to watch this event without a cable subscription.

MTV representatives say will have streams from backstage and talent reaction cameras. Paired with Twitter and Snapchat, you could probably piece together a sort of weird, Cubist digital pastiche of the action. (And DJ Khaled will have your back on Snapchat.) But I sort of unwittingly did that last year, and it wasn’t very satisfying.

So if you’re dying to see Beyoncé and don’t have cable, just offer to bring beer or dinner to a friend who does.

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: The evidence to support the rumor that Beyoncé is planning a surprise performance at the MTV Video Music Awards