How to stream the Democratic and Republican National Conventions

Cord-cutters who also happen to be into politics (or just following whatever Donald Trump will say or do next) will be happy to know that a cable subscription won’t be necessary to follow the Democrats’ and Republicans’ national conventions next week. Below, I’ve listed a few ways to view streaming coverage of the conventions online. For my non-American readers, I assume the following ways won’t be region-blocked.

The Republican National Convention will run from July 18 to 21 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. The Democratic National Convention will run from July 25 to 28 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The conventions, of course, are designed to rally both parties’ constituents together, outline what the parties’ goals will be for the next four years, and officially confirm their nominees for the fall presidential election (Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump). While previous conventions have been fairly rubber-stamp affairs, this year’s GOP convention in particular should be more interesting than usual, given the level of discord among party members over Trump.

Twitter / CBS

As odd as it sounds, Twitter’s been making deals lately to stream video of various events, as one way of one-upping rival Facebook. Its recent Wimbledon streaming test-run has worked out well; now, Twitter’s made arrangements to stream the two political conventions. Providing Twitter’s actual video coverage is that most traditional of the broadcast television networks, CBS. CBS’ streaming news service CBSN will be the ones providing wall-to-wall coverage.

Besides Twitter, CBSN will also be available as usual through various streaming apps (available for Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, and mobile devices) as well as through its usual website, CBSNews.com.

PBS NewsHour / NPR

PBS’ NewsHour, their evening news program, and NPR plan to join forces to offer streaming coverage of the conventions. Along with live coverage on PBS in primetime, there’ll be streaming video coverage on PBS’ website.

For NPR streaming audio coverage, NPR’s main website or the website of your local affiliate should handle primetime convention coverage. For more local flavor, you might also try Cleveland’s NPR affiliate WCPN (for the GOP convention) or Philadelphia’s NPR affiliate WHYY (for the Democrats’ convention).

C-SPAN

C-SPAN offers gavel-to-gavel streaming audio of the convention through C-SPAN Radio (WCSP, a Washington DC radio station). C-SPAN Radio is available via its website and other streaming audio outlets, such as TuneIn. C-SPAN also offers streaming video on its website; however, that’s tied to having a cable TV subscription.

Other broadcasters

The other commercial broadcasters (ABC, NBC) and cable news networks (CNN, MSNBC) should also offer live streaming coverage, though how much and whether a cable subscription is required will vary.

Flickr photo by Steve Bott (CC BY)

(Updated 7/19/16)

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