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New Year’s Eve live stream: How to watch the ball drop and Times Square performances online

New Year’s Eve live stream: How to watch the ball drop and Times Square performances online
[Photo: Anthony Quintano/Wikimedia Commons]

Since practically no one will miss 2018, New Year’s Eve celebrations are probably going to be extra spectacular this year. According to New York City officials, Times Square–the center of it all–could see almost 2 million visitors, while more conservative (read: realistic) estimates put the number at closer to 100,000.

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Either way, a lot of people will be packed into Midtown Manhattan this evening to watch the star-studded musical performances and ceremonial dropping of the ball. Snoop Dogg, Sting, and Christina Aguilera are among those scheduled to perform. On a more serious note, this year’s countdown will be led by the Committee to Protect Journalists in a special tribute to press freedom.

You can find the full NYE lineup and schedule here.

Of course, if you actually live in New York City (or if you’re lucky enough to count a few cranky New Yorkers among your Instagram friends), you already know not to be anywhere near Times Square on New Year’s Eve. For most of us, seeing the ball drop on a screen from the comfort of our tiny apartments is exciting enough. For cord cutters, that means finding the proper TV streaming outlet.

First, the easy way to stream: The Times Square District Management Association is offering a live stream of the ball drop and performances directly on its website. The webcast begins this afternoon (Monday, December 31), at 5 p.m. ET. You can find the webcast here or via the embedded video below:

Additionally, NBC, ABC, Fox, CNN, and Fox News all plan to offer their own brand of fun New Year’s Eve coverage this evening. If you want to live stream some of that coverage on your phone, computer, or smart TV, you have plenty of options. Here’s the quick rundown of the scheduled programming via Billboard:

  • ABC: Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest (8 p.m. to 2 a.m. ET).
  • NBC: New Year’s Eve with Chrissy Teigen and Leslie Jones (starts at 10 p.m. ET)
  • Fox: New Year’s Eve with Steve Harvey (starts at 10 p.m. ET)
  • CNN: New Year’s Eve with Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen (starts at 8 p.m.)
  • Fox News: All-American New Year with Lisa “Kennedy” Montgomery and Pete Hegseth

Websites and mobile apps: The easiest way to stream this coverage is to visit the networks’ websites or download their mobile apps, but typically you’ll need a login from a cable or satellite TV company to stream their coverage that way.

Live TV streaming services: If you don’t have access to pay-TV credentials, you can stream these networks through a standalone TV streaming service. The most popular ones are Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, Hulu with Live TV, FuboTV, and YouTube TV.

Not all the networks are offered on each of these services, so be sure to check first before signing up. The best part is, some of these services are offering a free trial for at least a week, which means you don’t have to pay until next year.

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