Oscars: How to watch, nominations, date and start time

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The 93rd Academy Awards airs Sunday, April 25 on ABC. Like most awards shows, the ceremony felt the impact of the pandemic: The Academy delayed the ceremony by two months and extended the eligibility window to accomodate films released in 2020 through to February 2021. Another tweak allowed films that originally had a theatrical release, but which were forced to release straight to digital platforms, to be eligible for Oscars. A positive is, thanks to the delay, you can stream almost all of the films right now.

What else? The ceremony will be spread out over two locations this year: Los Angeles Union Station and the Dolby Theater. Following in the footsteps of the Grammys, only nominees, their guest and presenters have been given the green light to attend. The Academy announced on Thursday that nominees who don’t attend won’t have the option to Zoom in (the Golden Globes experienced a few embarrassing technical difficulties). Will there be a host? The Oscars went hostless last year and it makes even more sense to do the same this time around.


Frances McDormand stars in best picture nominee Nomadland.

Cortesía de TIFF

Here’s everything you need to know to watch the 2021 Oscars awards show.

Date and start time

Based on last year’s programming, these are the expected start times:

US: The Oscars start at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 25.

UK: The Oscars start at 1 a.m. GMT on Monday, April 26.

Australia: The Oscars start at 10 a.m. AEST on Monday, April 26.

Who’s hosting?

Possibly no one. The hostless trend began in 2019 when Kevin Hart stepped down from hosting duties amid criticism of his past insensitive tweets. The 2020 show went without a host and the 2021 show will likely do the same, though no official announcement has been made yet.

Who are the nominees?

David Fincher’s Mank leads this year’s Oscar nominations with 10. It faces stiff competition in the best picture category from awards darling Nomadland, directed by Chloé Zhao. Both she and Emerald Fennell, who’s behind the haunting revenge thriller Promising Young Woman, are nominated for best director, making this the first time two women have been nominated in the category in the same year. It’s exciting stuff. Check out the full list of nominations here.

Who’s presenting?

If the show does go without a host, there’ll be a long list of presenters. We’ll update this post once they’ve been announced.

Is there a red carpet?

It won’t be the traditional red carpet event with flashy arrivals this year, but we might see a few interesting face-mask-and-outfit-coordinated combos if the Grammys are anything to go by. Based on last year’s programming, you’ll be able to watch the red carpet on the ABC site or app from 5:30 p.m. ET, the Academy’s official Twitter from 6:30 p.m. ET, or the E networkavailable on many live TV streaming services, from 5 p.m. ET.

How to watch the Oscars without cable

The Oscars will air on ABC in the US. To stream online, there are a couple of options:

  • ABC is streaming the live broadcast of the Oscars on the ABC website, but only to specific cities and only after you sign in with a participating pay TV provider — typically a cable company, satellite provider or livestreaming service.
  • Another option is Locast, which streams local broadcasters, including ABC, in certain large US cities, for free. And of course, you could always use an antenna to try to pick up the ABC station in your area (DVR optional).
  • If you subscribe to a live TV streaming service that carries ABC in your city, you can use it to watch the Oscars too. AT&T TV, Hulu with Live TV and YouTube TV all carry ABC in most US cities. All of them offer a seven-day free trial, so you can sign up now and cancel after the ceremony if you want. Note that Sling TV, Fubo TV, AT&T and Philo don’t carry ABC at all.

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AT&T TV’s basic, $70-a-month package includes ABC. You can use its channel lookup tool to see if you get a live feed of Fox and the other local networks in your ZIP code.

Read full review.

YouTube TV costs $65 a month and includes ABC. Plug in your ZIP code on its channel lineup page to see what live, local networks are available where you live.

  • Australia: While it hasn’t been confirmed yet, we’re expecting the Oscars to air on Seven like last year.
  • UK: You can watch the Oscars using a Sky Cinema Pass with Now TV (a seven-day free trial is offered).


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