How to Watch the Presidential Election Results Online
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Huzzah! This monstrosity of an election process is finally coming to an end! By tomorrow morning, America will finally know if its next leader will be Comrade McGrabby or Email O'Pantsuit. Maybe! (It's a hell of a toboggan ride, isn't it?!)
If you are in search of a silver lining to cling to in all this, perhaps you take comfort that this election may mark a turning point for the cable companies' stranglehold on live TV. At the beginning of this prolonged invasive cavity search of a constitutional process, Big Cable felt justified placing paywalls in front of party debates (i.e. public affairs programming that should be free to all). But in the face of withering criticism, they eventually changed their tune.
Fast forward to tonight and all Americans -- regardless of cable company entanglement -- will be able to watch election results coverage live in the manner they see fit. America is great again!
You'll still have the ability to watch the broadcast or cable news networks in all the usual OTA ways. But if you want to stream it online -- be it through your PC, phone, tablet or streaming device -- you'll have a myriad of options. Here are just a few platforms featuring coverage from established news teams that we can confirm as of writing:
While Twitter cements its reputation as the social network that can't be bought, it's made a genuine push into live video recently. The thought-cough emporium has streamed all of this year's presidential debates via a partnership with Bloomberg, but for election night it will offer live coverage alongside BuzzFeed.
I can say that I have watched Twitter's streams of some NFL games and of the recent debates from my phone and they've been decent. Election night coverage begins at 6 p.m. ET, the Wall Street Journal says; you'll likely get a prompt at the time of your timeline to start watching, as Twitter does with its other live events.
CNN will not require a pay TV login on election night. Watch for free on CNN.com, and its iOS and Android apps, from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. ET, at which point the network will gather all its election pundits on a small boat and send them out to sea (or something). From 9 a.m.-6 p.m. ET, meanwhile, CNN will also host hourly Facebook Live broadcasts on CNN and CNN Politics.
One of the brands that has been the most agressive in regards to the new digital paradigm has been CBS. The network has created a fairly decent 24-hour digital news channel, CBSN, which is available via the web as well as various OTT streaming platforms (e.g. gaming consoles, Roku, Apple TV, etc). It's all ad supported; no paywalls necessary. CBSN re-runs a lot of CBS News programming, but also offers some original coverage as well. They are a reliable go-to source for cord cutters seeking national news coverage.
- A number of media outlets will be broadcasting via Facebook Live on Election night, including ABC News, which got some practice during the debates.
- In addition to its YouTube stream, PBS's NewsHour's live stream will also be available via its Facebook and Ustream accounts.
- Bloomberg TV's coverage will also be available directly on its website or through its official Roku app.
- The New York Times is dropping its paywall until Nov. 9; it will also live streamelection coverage on its Facebook page starting at 4:30 p.m. ET.
- The Washington Post will also drop its paywall on Election Day, and start live coverage on Facebook beginning at 7 p.m. ET.
- Starting at 2 p.m. ET, Reuters TV will offer live election coverage. The stream will also be available on Reuters' OTT apps for Roku and Apple TV, as well as on the mobile apps on Android and iOS.
- And one last bit of good news (?), if things go really wrong, you won't even need a TV or device to watch coverage -- it'll probably be happening outside your window. Godspeed, America. Sigh.