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Oscars 2017: how to watch the Academy Awards online

Oscars 2017: how to watch the Academy Awards online

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It's Oscars time, everyone. Football teams have gone back into hibernation and the fools gold that is the Golden Globes has become a little more than faded memory. Tonight, it's time for the big leagues: the 89th Academy Awards, as Hollywood rolls out the red carpet to take over TV (and Twitter) with incredible outfits, heartbreaking snubs, and Cinderella story upsets in pursuit of those all-important golden statutes. 

Who's up for awards?

The musical La La Land looks to continue its run as this season’s critical darling, and leads the pack with a record-tying 14 nominations. Those include Ryan Gosling for Best Actor, Emma Stone for Best Actress, Damien Chazelle for Best Director, and an overall Best Picture nomination, among others.

Acclaimed coming-of-age-story Moonlight is up for eight nominations, including Barry Jenkins for Best Director, Mahershala Ali for Best Supporting Actor, and Naomie Harris for Best Supporting Actress. Also tied at eight nominations is science fiction thought-piece generator Arrival, with Denis Villeneuve up for Best Director.

Hacksaw Ridge, Lion, Manchester by the Sea, Fences, Hidden Figures, and Hell or High Water round up the Best Picture nominees this year, and are also tipped to make strong showings. 

When are the Oscars?

The 89th Academy Awards — colloquially known as the Oscars, starts with the red carpet coverage 7PM EST / 4PM PST at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, followed by the main event at around 8:30PM EST / 5:30PM PST. Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel will be hosting the evening’s affairs, with performances by Auli'i Cravalho and Lin-Manuel Miranda, John Legend, Sting, and Justin Timberlake. 

Over-the-air / cable

Sometimes simple is best. As has been the case since 1976, ABC has the rights to broadcast the Oscars this year, so if you've got an over-the-air antenna or pay for cable, simply find your local ABC affiliate (channel 7 in both NYC and the LA / Hollywood area), grab your popcorn, smartphone, and viewing party beverage of choice, and you're good to go! An advantage is that direct TV streams tend to be the closest to real time, so you'll probably know results faster than anyone else not in the Dolby Theater. 

Watching on your Apple TV / Chromecast / Roku / Console

After the Golden Globes streaming snafu, the Oscars are at least available to watch on internet-connected devices... in certain areas. If you live in the Chicago, Fresno, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Raleigh-Durham, or San Francisco markets, and have a participating TV provider that supports ABC's app, then you can watch the Oscars on any device that supports it (here’s some helpful iOS, Android, Roku, and Amazon links). Is that ridiculous that this is the only way to watch the Oscars online in today's modern, connected society? Yes. But at least there's something (glares strongly in the direction of the Golden Globes).

If you have DirecTV, then there's a few more markets open to you: Albuquerque, Boston, Ft. Smith / Fayetteville, Jackson (Mississippi), Kansas City, Milwaukee, Monterey-Salinas, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Pittsburgh, Portland-Auburn (Maine), Savannah, and West Palm Beach.

So, what about if you're not in those areas? Well, you’re pretty much out of luck, since over-the-top streaming services like PS Vue, Sling TV, or DirecTV Now don’t support ABC in most areas (although depending on where you live, you might get lucky.)

Watching on a computer

Same as above, really. ABC will have it available at ABC’s website if you're in the right market and have a TV provider login, otherwise your best bet is to try an internet TV option or to live vicariously through Twitter. 

Or find some friends with cable, maybe? 

Watching on a tablet or smartphone

Ditto. ABC app (iOS / Android) if you've got a login from the right geographic area. Otherwise, you’re fresh out of luck.

Watching internationally

If you’re based internationally, we’ve still got you covered. The Academy has helpfully put together a list of which networks internationally have the rights to the broadcast, so check there to find your local broadcaster.

In person

Unless you made a film that got nominated for an Oscar or are a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, you probably can't get a ticket to the biggest night in Hollywood. You're better off trying to catch it remotely using one of the methods above. 

Watch the Best Picture mixup at the Oscars