All of the Ways You Can Watch the SOTU Address on TV and Online

Mon Jan 11, 2016 15:26:05PM
President Obama delivering the 2011 State of the Union AddressBy: Chuck Kennedy

The annual State of the Union Address is one of the rare occasions where all major broadcasters air the same speech both on television and online. The four major networks will be showing it live, as will many cable news outlets. If you don't have a television then you need not worry because dozens of organizations large and small will be offering news and plenty of coverage from journalists, commentators, and partisans trying to convince you their side is right.

If you are someone who likes to avoid the partisan warfare and is seeking the most apolitical coverage of the event then C-SPAN is your place to tune in to. The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is another route you can take, but they do tend to have an equal number of partisans they will interview before and after the speech. However, they do tend to have less fire-throwing partisans than the cable news outlets bring on to their stations. If you're someone who prefers nonpartisan coverage on the radio then tuning in to your local NPR station would be your best.

Next in line would be the "Big Four." CBS, NBC, ABC, and Fox all interrupt their regular broadcasting to show the speech. You may also log onto any of their websites to watch the speech online. Most of these channels only interrupt their regular broadcasting shortly before the speech and offer a limited amount of commentary before or after the speech and rebuttal. Most of their commentary is conducted between the end of the Presidents speech and the rebuttal done by the opposite party. Some, but not all, will also air additional rebuttals by smaller parties.

After that you have the wild world of cable television where you have a channel for any and every type of partisan leaning you may have. CNN has a reputation for trying to be as equal as possible in their coverage. Their coverage of the even typically starts one or two hours before the speech and will last well past the rebuttals. They also live stream their coverage, if that is the route you wish to take.

Fox News and MSNBC offer more partisan coverage with Fox News leaning to the right and MSNBC leaning to the left. If you are a partisan and want to watch the speeches and get political coverage that you typically agree with then these would be the best two channels and live stream stations for you.

Then there is the dozens of other TV and Online stations that offer their own coverage. Over 75 broadcasters, television channels, and websites will air the address live. Below is a top ten list to help you narrow down your options if you don't want to watch it on any of the above suggestions. airs the speech live via the official White House page. airs the speech both on their television station and online. They offer more in-depth and less politically motivated coverage than you may get on Fox News or MSNBC. and Al Jazeera America air the speech both on their television stations and online. If you are someone who prefers what international community is thinking then these would be the channels to tune in to. airs the speech on their video streaming service the Wednesday morning after the speech and will make it available for three days.

These are just a handful of the more than 75 ways you can watch the State of the Union Address. It doesn't matter if you want apolitical or partisan coverage. It just depends on which station or website you want to watch it on.

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