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5 Ways to Watch the Presidential Debates for Free

5 Ways to Watch the Presidential Debates for Free

It’s hard to believe that a new president is about to be voted in. What’s even harder to believe is that it’s time for the debates that will undoubtedly decide which nominee will become that president. The first debate happens on Monday, September 26, with the remaining two in October.

If you’re a cord cutter you’re probably already considering your strategy if you want to watch the debates. The good news is that since they are going to be on every local channel and most cable news networks, you’ll have plenty of options. It should go without saying that you can watch on your TV using a digital antenna, but if you want to watch the debates online there are ways you can do that for free, as well.

1. Watch on Sling TV

Sling TV normally costs about $20 a month, but you can utilize the free trial and this will give you time to watch at least one of the debates this way for free. If you’re watching the debate with Sling TV, the best channel option you’ll have is CNN.

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The upside here is that Sling TV works on most streaming devices, which means you can watch whenever and wherever you want. After you watch the debate, you can cancel your trial with the click of a button. You can learn all about Sling TV here.

2. PlayStation Vue

PlayStation Vue is similar to Sling TV, but you will have more debate channels to choose from. Packages begin at $30 and go up from there, but like Sling TV, you get a free trial, which will allow you to watch at least one debate for free.

Eligible debate channels include CNN, FOX News, and MSNBC. If you live in select cities like New York and Chicago, you can also watch the debate on local channels. The downside here is that Vue can’t be used outside of the home due to mobile restrictions.

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3. CBS All Access

If CBS is your favorite network, you can watch the debate on CBS using CBS All Access. This streaming service offers strictly CBS content. Packages begin at $5.99 a month, but you get the first week free. You can watch CBS All Access on most devices.

80% of the country is able to watch CBS All Access in live streaming, but if you can’t, they have an on-demand library so the debate would become available shortly after it airs. Like with the other methods, you can cancel online, so it’s a quick and easy process.

4. Watch the Debate on Facebook

All three of the presidential debates and the lone VP debate will be available on Facebook thanks to ABC News.

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Along with the debate, there will be a before and after commentary and it won’t cost a cent to watch. The correspondents who will be handling the debate coverage include LZ Granderson, Amna Nawaz, Matthew Dowd, and Dan Harris.

5. Don’t Forget About Twitter

Another good, free option is to watch the debates on Twitter. Like Facebook, they all will be aired courtesy of Bloomberg News.

There will be before and after debate coverage, along with the entire debate being shown for free. The benefit here is that you don’t have to do anything special. If you’ve got an account, all you need to do is sign on. Want to watch on your TV? Twitter now has an app for that too.

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Remember the debates are on:

  • September 26, 2016: Hofstra University in Hampstead, NY
  • October 9, 2016: Washington University in St. Louis, MO
  • October 19, 2016: The University of Nevada in Las Vegas, NV

There are other free ways that you’ll be able to watch the debates online – these are just the best ones. Enjoy the debates and may the best candidate win (let’s not get into who that might be right now…)

More by this author

Chris Brantner

Chris Brantner is a writer specializing in technology and personal finance.

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Last Updated on May 14, 2019

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

  1. Zoho Notebook
    If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
  2. Evernote
    The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
  3. Net Notes
    If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
  4. i-Lighter
    You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
  5. Clipmarks
    For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
  6. UberNote
    If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
  7. iLeonardo
    iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
  8. Zotero
    Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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