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How to watch the vice presidential debate live on CNN, MSNBC, or elsewhere for free without cable

Vice President Mike Pence will face off against Senator Kamala Harris of California, and nothing but plexiglass will come between them.

How to watch the vice presidential debate live on CNN, MSNBC, or elsewhere for free without cable
[Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images]
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The first and only live debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris of California will take place tonight at the University of Utah’s Kingsbury Hall in Salt Lake City. Both sides have agreed to additional safety measures in the wake of news last week that President Trump—and a growing number of people in his orbit—tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, expect to see farther distance and two shields of plexiglass between Pence and Harris tonight.

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The 2020 VP debate is scheduled to begin tonight (Wednesday, October 7) at 9 p.m. ET and will air on most major broadcast and cable networks, in addition to streaming live on many social media platforms. Cord cutters who want to watch the debate for free on a TV, computer, smartphone have many, many, many choices. Here are a few easy ones:

Watch free on a YouTube live stream

Just like it did with the presidential debate, Google’s YouTube has created a playlist that features live streams from a number of networks, including ABC News, C-SPAN, CBS News, Fox News, and PBS NewsHour (video embedded below). Find it here.

Stream on a cable or broadcast TV website

You can watch the debate live on the websites of most cable and broadcast TV networks, in addition to their mobile apps. You typically need a pay-TV login to access some of these, but networks often lift their paywalls for big political events like this one. Try visiting one of the websites (CNN.com or MSNBC.com, for example) and clicking the Live TV option.

Stream on a stand-alone service

If you’re already subscribed to a live-TV streaming service, you can find the VP debate on most of them, including Hulu With Live TV, SlingTV, YouTube TV, and FuboTV. Also, the free nonprofit streaming service Locast is a great place to stream broadcast networks in some markets. Finally, the Roku Channel also has a list of places where you can stream the debate for free on its service.

About the author

Christopher Zara is a senior staff news editor for Fast Company and obsessed with media, technology, business, culture, and theater. Before coming to FastCo News, he was a deputy editor at International Business Times, a theater critic for Newsweek, and managing editor of Show Business magazine

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