How to Watch the 2020 New Year's Eve Ball Drop

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Photo credit: Gary Hershorn - Getty Images
Photo credit: Gary Hershorn - Getty Images

From Oprah Magazine

The countdown is on!

2020 is just hours away and no matter how you plan to spend New Year’s Eve this year—be it watching the best New Year’s Eve movies, playing the hottest New Year’s Eve songs, or reveling in the merriest New Year’s Eve traditions—don’t let the ball drop on watching the ball drop.

Seeing as how the past year saw a surge in cord-cutters (that is those who forewent cable for streaming entertainment or something else) you may find yourself in a bit of a pickle come Tuesday night: How am I going to watch Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve without cable this year? No worries, we have everything you need to know to keep the night from going sour.

With so much nationally televised New Year’s Eve fodder to flip through, there’s a lot going down on the airwaves you don’t want to miss. Below, we dive into the best specials to surf from your couch, and the best ways to tune in. So no matter if you’re viewing via tablet, smartphone, or alternative screen, there is a way for you to join the party without having to either re-subscribe to cable or knock on your neighbor’s door. From streaming platforms to social media to upgraded digital antennae, you will watch that Time Square sphere in all its crystallized glory ring in the new year.

Photo credit: Neilson Barnard - Getty Images
Photo credit: Neilson Barnard - Getty Images

First, here’s a rundown of the top New Year’s Eve network specials.

NBC’s New Year’s Eve 2020
For the annual celebration on NBC, Carson Daly will host again, with America’s Got Talent former judge Julianne Hough and The Ellen DeGeneres Show DJ Stephen “Twitch” Boss as fellow correspondents. Musical performances include Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, and Brett Eldredge. Tune in: 10 p.m. ET.

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ABC’s Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve
Ryan Seacrest returns to host the bicoastal celebration from Times Square, with Pretty Little Liars’ star Lucy Hale as his sidekick. Billy Porter will take care of the Central time zone, with Ciara on Pacific time zone duty. Performances include Post Malone, the Jonas Brothers, Kelsea Ballerini, and Paula Abdul. Tune in: 8 p.m. ET.

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Fox’s New Year’s Eve with Steve Harvey
Hosted by Steve Harvey, Fox’s third annual special just released details for its big night. Co-hosts include Better Together with Maria podcast host Maria Menounos and NFL former New England Patriot Rob Gronkowski. Performances include LL Cool J, DJ Z-Trip, the Chainsmokers, Backstreet Boys, and the Village People, who—by the way—will also be vying that night for the world record for largest YMCA dance. Tune in: 8 p.m. ET.

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And now, here’s how you can watch the ball drop without cable.

Photo credit: Gary Hershorn - Getty Images
Photo credit: Gary Hershorn - Getty Images

YouTube TV
No cable, no problem. YouTube TV has more than 70 channels, including the networks listed above, for $50 a month. And there’s a free trial with a cancel-anytime promise.
Sign up here

Hulu + Live TV
Already have Hulu? Just tack on the live TV option for access to everything happening on network television and beyond. The cost is $55 a month, and you can cancel anytime here too.
Sign up here

FuboTV
With FuboTV, you get more than 100 channels, with a cloud DVR included. Packages start at about $20 a month and, like the others on this list, you can watch FuboTV on multiple screens.
Sign up here

AT&T TV Now
The big selling point for AT&T TV, which includes all the features of the above streaming platforms, is that it also provides access to the Viacom channels: Comedy Central, MTV, BET, etc. Price tags start at $65.
Sign up here

HDTV Digital Antenna
Think of this antenna as modern-age rabbit ears for your TV set. Just plug ‘em in and they latch onto networks including ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, and Fox, and stream them in high-definition quality. The cost is $28.
Buy it here

Time Square Webcast
For a commercial-free broadcast complete with performances and behind-the-scenes coverage, tune in to the Times Square webcast; mobile streaming is available online at newyearseve.nyc and timessquareball.net. You can also watch on Facebook and Twitter.

Network Apps
Should you be tuning in via your phone, computer, or tablet, you can watch ABC, NBC, and Fox live from each of their mobile apps. Some subscription fees may apply.

Now you’re set. Here’s wishing you a happy New Year and a happy new way of watching that ball drop!

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