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How to watch the 2020 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade live on NBC or free without cable

The parade will be smaller this year. The balloons will hopefully be just as exciting.

How to watch the 2020 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade live on NBC or free without cable
[Photo: Peter Kramer/NBC]
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It goes without saying, but the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will look a bit different this year. The normal stretch of two and a half miles has been reduced to a small area around the company’s flagship store in New York City, and—thanks to the coronavirus pandemic—there will be no live audience.

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That’s the bad news. The good news is, you’ll still get the performances, the balloons, and even Santa Claus. Expect lots of local talent, including musical numbers from the casts of Broadway shows like Hamilton, Jagged Little Pill, and Mean Girls.

For cord-cutters who want to stream the 2020 Macy’s parade live on a computer, smartphone, or TV, it’s easier than ever to do that for free. The parade will air on the NBC broadcast network, but Verizon will offer a free live stream on its YouTube page. (The video is also embedded below.)

If you want to stream it live on NBC, there are plenty of ways to do that too. I’ve rounded up some options below.

Free ways to stream or watch NBC

  • Locast: This is a free nonprofit streaming service were you can watch broadcast networks in 23 markets. Find Locast here
  • OTA antennas: If you have an over-the-air antenna, they still work for NBC.

Stand-alone streaming services

NBC is available as part of a bundle on a number of streaming services. These are not free, but you can often get a free week if you haven’t singed up before:

Check your zip code before signing up to make sure NBC is available in your area.

NBC’s website and mobile apps

If you have login credentials from a pay-TV company, you can stream NBC live on the network’s website or via its mobile apps on iOS or Android.

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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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