How to Watch the 2016 Presidential Debates Online

I don’t think that anyone would argue that this seasons’ US elections are the most television-worthy yet. It’s no surprise, then, that with election season in full swing Americans are scrambling to find ways to watch the 2016 presidential debates online.

Not that they’re hard to find. With candidates like Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and scandals like the 30,000 erased emails and that recording, the debates are being broadcasted on just about every channel available.

Don’t miss out on any of the drama – past or present. Check out’s short guide to watching the 2016 presidential debates online below.

Schedule for the 2016 Presidential Debates

This autumn’s primary debates schedule and locations are listed below, with each originally airing at 9:00 PM EST.

American Networks Airing the Debates

If you’re based in the US and want to watch the 2016 presidential debates on the TV, you’ve got no shortage of options to choose from. While just about station out there is covering the debates (in addition to pre- and post-debate coverage!), there are a couple that are airing them without commercials.
Chief among them:

  • ABC
  • CNN
  • NBC
  • CBS
  • Fox
  • Fox News

Where to Watch the Debates Online

2016 presidential debates
If you’d prefer to watch the 2016 presidential debates online, you can watch them just about anywhere.

No, seriously.

The debates are live streaming on the top four social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and, of course, YouTube. There are also a number of websites that live stream the debates, frequently with additional commentary. The most in-demand are:

Watching the 2016 Presidential Debates Using a VPN

With the 2016 presidential debates being so widely broadcasted both on TV and online (to the point of being practically unavoidable), you may wonder why anyone would want to watch them using a VPN. There are a couple of reasons for the inclusion of this section in our guide.

Firstly, some of the channels that are live streaming the debates are subject to geo-restrictions. This is bad news if there’s a website that you’re dead-set on hearing the commentary of, but you’re located outside of the US. But fret not: You can use a VPN to geo-spoof your location to appear as if it’s inside the US, thereby unblocking the channel.

Secondly, if you are in a country whose Internet is heavily censored to the point that even websites like YouTube are inaccessible – such as China – you can use a VPN to bypass the censors and watch the debates in real-time.

If you’re in either of these scenarios, you can find the perfect VPN for you by using’s handy comparison tool.

Concluding Remarks

The 2016 presidential debates are by far the most entertaining and engrossing that both America and the world at large have witnessed in years. Millions of people around the globe are looking to live-stream the debates, not wanting to miss out on a minute of the drama that comes from Clinton and Trump going head to head. I hope that this handy guide from helps find the perfect viewing solution for you!

Katrina Canadian writer currently living in Hungary. Avid lover of travel, technology, politics, fashion, and French music.

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