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You'll Probably Watch the Oscars on TV, but There's Still Plenty to Livestream

Oscars material will be everywhere Sunday night.


If you plan to watch the Oscars, you’re probably going to have to watch on TV. But if you want to see other stuff about the Oscars (like what everyone is wearing), you can stream that for free from a bunch of different places.

ABC and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences have a ton of Oscars material on the livestream agenda Sunday night. But the main event is only available via livestream for people in certain cities, with certain pay TV companies. You can stream it on or on the Watch ABC mobile app, but it requires a subscription login and for you to be in some of the country’s biggest markets, like Chicago and Los Angeles and New York.

For the rest of you, TV it is.

But if you don’t care about the actual awards, and you’re cool watching “who are you wearing?”-style red carpet entrances and backstage acceptance speeches — good news! ABC is streaming lots of this material at, and a special “director’s cut” version of events will stream for free on AOL, Yahoo, ABC news and Comcast Xfinity.

For the second straight year, Facebook will also stream Oscars material. This year, the company is partnering with AMPAS to stream smartphone video from the red carpet and backstage. Last year, it partnered with ABC on similar material.

Facebook cares a lot about the Oscars because it cares a lot about live video and live conversations. Facebook desperately wants its users talking about live events on its platform; The Oscars is one of the biggest events of the year.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg has prioritized the company’s livestreaming feature over other video projects. On Facebook’s last earnings call, executives started to sound a lot like executives from another social site up the road: Twitter, which has made live events its calling card over the past decade and appears to be boxed out of the livestreaming fun from a partnership standpoint.

Facebook’s deal is unpaid, according to a source, meaning Facebook isn’t paying cash for the streaming video. Last year, though, it gave ABC millions of dollars worth of promotion. This year’s deal probably includes something similar.

And you can bet both sides will be watching closely to see how well the streaming goes. Facebook claims 21 million people had 58 million “interactions” during the Oscars last year, nearly double the audience that interacted around the event from 2014. That number should go up this year, given Facebook’s emphasis on livestreaming over the past six months.

And even though Twitter isn’t involved in any livestreaming partnerships, it’ll be worth paying attention to how much people talk about the Oscars on that platform Sunday night. Super Bowl chatter on Twitter this year was down from last year, and growth is slowing. Investors will be watching to see if the Oscars provide a similar dip.

If you want to see what films or stars people on Twitter are talking about, though, the company made a heat map to help you, which you can see below.

The red carpet stuff starts at 7 pm ET and the actual awards kick off at 8:30 pm ET on ABC.

This article originally appeared on