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How to watch the State of the Union address live online for free—even without cable

February 4, 2020, 6:00 PM UTC

While no State of the Union is ever the same, it’s going to be hard to top the circumstances of Donald Trump’s 2020 address.

With an impeachment vote looming in the Senate, the Iowa caucus in disarray and the nation more politically divided than ever, we’re in a reality that even Hollywood would have trouble imagining. And given Trump’s fondness for going off script in speeches, that makes this year’s State of the Union even more unpredictable.

Trump will address the nation from the same House chamber he was impeached less than two months ago. Many political wags are curious if he will address the drama Tuesday night, if he will discuss his reelection or if he’ll focus squarely on his agenda for the coming year.

Hoping to watch, but won’t be in your living room? You have lots of options.

What time does the 2020 State of the Union address start?

U.S. President Donald Trump, center, arrives to deliver a State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019.
Alex Wroblewski—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Trump is scheduled to deliver the final State of the Union address of his current term on Tuesday, Feb. 4. The speech will start at 9 p.m. E.T.

Where can I watch the 2020 State of the Union?

The address will be widely covered by all major broadcast networks and cable news channels, each airing it live and having lots of analysis before and after the speech. Multiple online news sites will also stream the event, including Cheddar, Newsmax, Newsy and Yahoo!

How can I watch the State of the Union for free if I don’t have cable?

If you don’t have a cable or satellite subscription, the best way to watch any network-aired program for free on a big screen is with a good HD antenna. The 2020 State of the Union will be broadcast by ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS and Fox—meaning you’re almost certainly going to be able to find at least one channel airing it with a strong signal over the air, which costs nothing beyond the equipment prices. Be sure to test the antenna in multiple locations in your home to find the most reliable signal.

Can I stream the State of the Union live online if I don’t have a cable subscription?

You can—and you have lots of options.


You can log into to watch the address, though you will need to enter a cable service account number. If that’s problematic, the ABC News Facebook page will carry the address.


CBSN, the network’s online streaming news service, will air the speech. You can also watch on the CBS News Facebook page. And the CBS News livestream on YouTube will carry the State of the Union as well.


Free options include,, and the NBC News app, which will all simulcast the address. You can also watch it live on the Facebook page of NBC News


You can either log into to watch the address or use the Fox Now app. The Fox News YouTube channel and Fox Business Network YouTube Channel will also both stream the address.


The PBS Newshour livestream on YouTube will carry the address.


Video coverage will stream on the homepage and can be watched on the CNNGo streaming service.


Watch the address on the networks’ Website.


Coverage will be carried on the network’s streaming online service.


The network will broadcast the address live on its Website.

Sky News

Watch the speech on the U.K. news service’s online streaming service

White House

The website of the president’s residence and workplace will air a livestream on its official website.

Looking for a more complete streaming option that extends beyond the State of the Union? Here are a few more places to try:

This free service lets you watch local broadcast channels with no monthly fees or contracts. It only services part of the country, however.

Hulu with Live TV

You can try the service free for a week. Once that’s up, you’ll pay $45 per month.

YouTube TV

After a seven day trial, you can expect monthly charges of $50.

Sling TV

The lower tiered “Orange” plan on Dish Network’s Sling will run you $30 per month. A more comprehensive “Blue” plan bumps the cost to $45-per-month. You’ll have a 7-day free trial first.


Formerly known as DirecTV Now, AT&T’s streaming service will run you $65 per month and up after a 7-day free trial.

What can I expect from President Trumps speech?

Trump’s expected to focus on “the great American comeback” in this year’s State of the Union. Expect a victory lap about the economy, where he’s polling strongest with Americans. Other topics will likely include increased military spending and lowering health care costs. It’s unclear if Trump will discuss the recent Phase One agreement with China and ongoing trade disputes with other countries. But aids say this will be an “optimistic” speech.

Who is giving the Democratic response to the 2020 State of the Union?

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks at the General Motors Detroit- Hamtramck assembly plant on January 27, 2020 in Detroit, Mich.
JEFF KOWALSKY—AFP via Getty Images

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer steps into the national spotlight following Trump’s address, giving the English-language response to the State of the Union. (Rep. Veronica Escobar (D., Texas) will deliver the response in Spanish.) 

Whitmer is especially noteworthy as it signals the Democrats view Michigan as a key battleground state in the 2020 election. Whitmer became governor in 2018, defeating then-Republican state Attorney General Bill Schuette. (Trump won the state in 2016.) She previously served in the state’s Senate and House of Representatives.

More must-read stories from Fortune:

—2020 candidates’ positions, and records, on economic issues that affect women
—Bernie Sanders wants the future of the far left to be female. Is that enough?
—Michael Bloomberg’s radical plan to cut prescription drug costs
—Fortune Explains: The debt ceiling
—Millions have been purged from voter rolls—and may not even realize it

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