Thursday, July 25, 2024

How to watch or stream the ball drop in Times Square live online free without cable

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Technically, 2024 began hours ago when people of the Line Islands, Samoa, and Tonga celebrated at midnight. But for most of America, the New Year doesn’t really begin until the Waterford crystal-encrusted ball drops in Times Square.

As popular as that tradition is, however, attending it in person can be an expensive (and stressful) affair. Why spend New Year’s Ever surrounded by drunk strangers when you can surround yourself with friends (and champagne or Prosecco)? It’s warmer. The food’s better. And there is a myriad of ways to watch the ball and its 32,256 LEDs drop—even if you’re far away from a television screen.

Looking for a way to watch remotely? Here’s how to live stream the 2023 New Year’s Eve countdown and ball drop for free.

What TV channels will air the ball drop in Times Square on New Year’s Eve?

Watching the Times Square Ball drop is actually an easy thing to do, even if you don’t have a cable subscription, since it’s aired over so many networks. Just get a good HD antenna (but be sure to test your HD antenna in multiple locations in your home to find the most reliable signal well before midnight).

Here are some of the shows that will be ringing in 2023.

Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest (ABC)

The most well-known of the New Year’s Eve broadcasts starts at 9 p.m. ET this year—and will run for 5.5 hours. Seacrest will be joined this year by new co-host singer Rita Ora. This is the 20th consecutive year Seacrest has been the master of ceremonies for the highest-rated of all New Year’s Eve programming. It will be broadcast over the air, but if you’re not near a TV, you can watch the coverage on network’s website, ABC.go.com. You will, however, need a cable subscription to watch on that platform.

New Year’s Eve Live: Nashville’s Big Bash (CBS)

Elle King and Rachel Smith host the third annual country music countdown into the New Year. This one starts the festivities the earliest, kicking off the boot scootin’ at 7:30 p.m. ET. Free options to view it include the CBS website and Paramount+.

New Year’s Eve with Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen (CNN)

The big question this year is: Will the news network’s most visible anchor and the Bravo host be allowed to drink once again? The show will begin airing at 8:00 p.m. ET. A live stream will be available on CNN.com’s homepage, or it can be viewed on CNNgo and the CNNgo apps for Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, Chromecast and Android TV. The show will broadcast from Times Square.

Where can I stream the ball drop online for free—even without a cable subscription?

Peacock

NBC’s streaming service will let you watch NBC’s programming, but this year, instead of a New Year’s Eve celebration, the network plans to air Sunday Night Football instead. You can get a seven-day free trial, followed by a $5 or $10 monthly charge. (The free version of Peacock does not include live sports.)

Paramount+

CBS’s streaming service will give you access to that network’s country music New Year’s Eve party. You can get a one-week free trial, followed by a $5 or $10 monthly charge.

Disney+

Disney’s bundle of Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ no longer has a free trial, so you’ll have to pay $13.99 per month for all three combined (or $19.99 per month for no ads on Hulu). Including Live TV in the bundle bumps the price to $70 per month ($76 with no ads).

Hulu with Live TV

The free trial on this service is no longer offered, either. It will cost you $70 per month.

YouTubeTV

After up to a two-week trial, you can expect monthly charges of $65.

Sling TV

Sling’s lower-tiered “Orange” plan runs $40 per month. Adding the more comprehensive “Blue” plan bumps the cost to $55 per month. The seven-day free trial has disappeared along with the price increase, but the cord-cutting service is offering 50% off of the first month’s bill.

DirecTV Stream

Formerly known as DirecTV Now, AT&T TVNow and AT&T TV, this oft-renamed streaming service will run you $70 per month and up after the free trial option.

Are there any webcams where I can watch the ball drop online for free?

Several, actually! The best one to watch, though, is hosted by the official Times Square website. You can access that in one of several ways.

TimesSquareNYC.org

NewYearseve.nyc

TimesSquareBall.net

You can also watch via social media on the Times Square Facebook and Twitter pages.

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