VMAs 2021: How to watch the MTV Video Music Awards live without cable

MTV’s annual awards show is returning to the Barclays Center on Sunday, and cord-cutters can watch it live.

VMAs 2021: How to watch the MTV Video Music Awards live without cable
[PHOTO: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for RCA]

Awards season steps into high gear this weekend with MTV’s 2021 Video Music Awards, which will attempt to regain a sense of normalcy after taking a COVID-19 departure from the traditional format in 2020. The VMAs are returning to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center and will be hosted by Doja Cat. Justin Bieber leads with the most nominations, followed by Billie Eilish, BTS, Lil Nas X, and Olivia Rodrigo. (You can check out the full list here.)


Where and when to watch the VMAs

Like last year, the VMAs will be simulcast on a number of cable networks owned by MTV parent company ViacomCBS, in addition to the broadcast CW Network. The ceremony and performances are set to begin on Sunday (September 12) at 8 p.m. ET. The following networks will air the event live:

  • MTV
  • CMT
  • Comedy Central
  • Logo
  • MTV2
  • Nickelodeon
  • Paramount Network
  • Pop
  • TV Land
  • VH1
  • CW

How to watch the VMAs without cable

If you don’t have a subscription to a traditional cable network or an over-the-air antenna that can pick up the CW, you’ll need a streaming service that includes ViacomCBS cable networks as part of a bundle. (It doesn’t look like the VMAs will air live on Paramount Plus, the streaming service owned by ViacomCBS, although reports are conflicting. We’ve reached out to the company to confirm and will update this post if we hear back.)

The following streaming services offer one or more of the networks airing the VMAs in their bundles. If you sign up for one of these services, make sure you get a package that includes a channel from the above list. Good luck!


About the author

Christopher Zara is a senior 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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