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The 2020 U.S. presidential election may be the most important of our lifetimes. America has a huge choice to make, and the two candidates — Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden — will have a lot on the line when they face off in the next presidential debate. If you’re a cord cutter, you should make sure that you know how to stream the presidential debate online or watch the presidential debate with an antenna. We’re here to show you how.

When Is the Presidential Debate? What Channel Is the Presidential Debate On?

This year, there are three presidential debates. Donald Trump and Joe Biden will face off once in September and twice in October.

First Presidential Debate

Date: Tuesday, September 29
Start time: 9 P.M. Eastern
Moderator: Chris Wallace of Fox News

Second Presidential Debate

Date: Thursday, October 15
Start time: 9 P.M. Eastern
Moderator: Steve Scully of C-SPAN

Third Presidential Debate

Date: Thursday, October 22
Start time: 9 P.M. Eastern
Moderator: Kristen Welker of NBC

There is also one vice presidential debate, which will take place on October 7.

The presidential debates will air on TV channels as well as on streaming outlets like YouTube. These are not exclusive broadcasts, so you’ll find them on more than one channel. For example, even though Fox News’ Chris Wallace will be moderating the first debate, that doesn’t mean that only Fox News will broadcast it — the debate will also be on NBC, CNN, and other outlets.

Each debate will be on all major networks, all noteworthy cable news channels, and YouTube. That means your options include ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, CNN, C-SPAN, Fox News, MSNBC, and YouTube.

How to Watch the Presidential Debate Online and Over the Air Without Cable

Now that we know we can watch the presidential debate on ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, CNN, C-SPAN, Fox News, MSNBC, and YouTube, we just need to figure out where to find these channels and services. YouTube is easy — you can find it in the YouTube app or on YouTube.com. The rest of the options are TV channels, which we can get without cable by signing up for a live TV streaming service, or “skinny bundle.” Finally, there is free over-the-air TV, which may be able to help you get ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC (over-the-air TV won’t help you get cable networks like CNN or Fox News, though — for those, you’ll need a live TV streaming service).

Here are our top options for watching the presidential debates without cable.

Stream The Presidental Debate for Free with Hulu

Free Trial

You may know that Hulu has an on-demand streaming service that competes with the likes of Netflix. But Hulu also has a live TV streaming service called Hulu + Live TV. It’s pricier than the on-demand version of Hulu, but it comes with something special: the same live TV networks you know and love from cable and satellite. Hulu + Live TV carries major networks in select markets and also carries CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC, so you’ll have lots of ways to watch the debates.

Stream The Presidental Debate for Free with fuboTV

Free Trial

fuboTV is a “skinny bundle” live TV streaming service that offers live local feeds of the major networks in some areas. fuboTV also has Fox News. fuboTV is missing CNN, but it has plenty of other channels that will be carrying the debate.

Stream The Presidental Debate for Free with Sling TV

Free Trial

Sling TV does not include live streams of most major networks, but it still has you covered for the debates via its live streams of CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC. Sling TV lets its customers customize their bundles more than is possible with most competitors.

AT&T TV Now

AT&T TV Now is the live TV streaming service from AT&T. It makes a great way to watch the debates online, because it includes live streams of the major networks (ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC) and the top cable news networks (including CNN and Fox News).

YouTube TV

YouTube TV is Google’s live TV streaming service. It shares a brand with regular-old YouTube, but it’s something different: It’s a live TV streaming option with tons of cable channels on offer. The selection includes ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC (all in select markets), as well as CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC.

Free Over-the-Air TV

If you want a huge selection of channels and want to watch network TV channels like CNN or Fox News, you’ll have to go with a skinny bundle. But if you’re willing to settle for the channels that broadcast near you, then you should consider using a TV channel to watch the debate on ABC, CBS, Fox, or NBC (all of which broadcast over the air in some markets). Your mileage may vary, but you can’t beat the price of this option: It’s free!

YouTube

Google gives us two ways to watch the debates. YouTube TV, a live TV streaming service, is a paid option (with a free trial). Regular old YouTube, on the other hand, is free (though you can choose to pay a fee for the premium, ad-free version of YouTube). YouTube has tons of user-generated videos as well as some live streaming events. Those live streaming events include — you guessed it — the presidential debates!

Our favorite live TV streaming services work great on our favorite streaming devices, including Roku and Fire TV devices. Just download the proper app to get started!

Roku Fire TV Apple TV Android TV Chromecast iOS Android Web browser
Hulu + Live TV x x x x x x x x
fuboTV x x x x x x x x
Sling TV x x x x x x x x
AT&T TV Now x x x x x x x
YouTube TV x x x x x x x x

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