Blog Post

Where to Watch Obama’s Inauguration Online

Stay on Top of Enterprise Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!

When Barack Obama becomes the 44th U.S. President next week, millions of people will be watching. But inaugurations, by law, happen at noon ET on Jan. 20, and that means they’re often on weekdays, when most of the country is at work. So, what’s a civic-minded day-jobber to do? Watch the ceremony online, of course! — something that’s only recently become technically feasible for a widespread audience.

So, next Tuesday, bring your headphones to work and head over to your news outlet of choice’s web site. See the video above for what to expect; here are coverage plans and links:

C-SPAN will have the most extensive live web coverage. It’s using Mogulus to webcast a multichannel grid of inauguration activities from Saturday through Tuesday — everything from events with the families of the President-elect and Vice President-elect to Bush departing the White House to the many inaugural balls.

Another interesting only-on-the-web way to watch is through P2P app Livestation, where you can switch between a variety of international perspectives on the inauguration, including Al Jazeera English, the BBC World News, C-SPAN, euronews, and France 24. Info here.

CBS News will be streaming its broadcast coverage from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET, along with the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric at 6:30 p.m, Couric’s one-hour inauguration special at 9 p.m., and her CNET webcast, including responses to viewer questions submitted throughout the day, at 10 p.m. Go to

ABC News will provide online coverage anchored by Sam Donaldson and Rick Klein from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET on It will embed coverage of Obama taking the oath of office directly on its homepage from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET.

MSNBC will live stream inauguration coverage on its home page and, and it will be embeddable onto your own site or blog.

Fox News will show its “The Strategy Room” webcast “throughout the day,” according on, and it will be hosting a discussion of the day’s events on its Facebook page.

CNN will be streaming the Inauguration on CNN Live, and it will incorporate Facebook status updates from users logged onto Facebook Connect at It will also feature an on-camera anchor live at the Facebook offices to report on trends and anecdotes from users’ inauguration-related activities.

The Associated Press
will provide a webcast to its 2,000-plus affiliates starting at 7 a.m. ET with anchored coverage from 10 a.m. on its Online Video Network syndication service, including live camera feeds from the parade and various landmarks in D.C.

USA Today and the rest of Gannett’s newspapers are using Mogulus to live stream on their sites, but we don’t have their specific plans yet. See

The New York Times will stream Obama’s speech and swearing-in on its home page.

The Hispanic-focused outlet Terra will show both Spanish and English webcasts of the proceedings.

Joost will be live-streaming CBS’ feed for its users. We’ll add the link when we get it.

Update: Hulu will also be streaming coverage, using Fox Broadcast’s stream from 12-2 p.m. ET. The site’s player is embedded above. Bonus: the inauguration will be available on-demand after it ends.

If you’re out and about and want to keep tabs via live stream on your phone, you’ll have to be a subscriber to Verizon (s VZ) V Cast, AT&T (s T) Mobile TV or MobiTV. MobiTV told the New York Times it’s gearing up to support a surge of viewers next Tuesday.

Or hey, if you can’t bear the isolation of your cubicle, how about playing hooky to watch the inauguration with a bunch of other people? If you’re not near the jumbotrons in Times Square, try checking out MSNBC’s promotion with Screenvision; you can watch the inauguration in 27 movie theaters for free. Apply for tickets here.

Update: The resources keep pouring in. Here are some more. Let us know if we’ve missed any in the comments.

The official folks at the Presidential Inaugural Committee are streaming their own version of the day’s events. See Chris’ story on how they’re using the Microsoft video platform Silverlight here.

Current will stream the inauguration overlaid with a real-time compilation of users’ Twitter comments. More info here.

Ustream is carrying an inauguration feed, and is aiding select users in viewing on their iPhones. Here’s the stream location, and the blog post about iPhone access is here.

Kyte: Extra host A.J. Calloway will be broadcasting from inauguration parties with a Kyte-enabled phone here.

Update: You can check out a quick review of how these streaming services are performing here.

Update: Now that the live-streaming is over, you can check out our list of where to find Obama’s inauguration on-demand.

100 Responses to “Where to Watch Obama’s Inauguration Online”

  1. all those in china should witness the inaugural ceremony of the democratic countries of the world and should have access every news of the world. Censorship, the famous tactic to keep the people blinded of the worldly affairs. My dear chinese friends, please open your eyes and learn the reality.
    If not, you will be ruined finally by your own government which is at the hand of few party workers.
    Free Tibet

  2. Thanks to Kate at Joost for passing along that start time! At lyvegyde, we have done our best to find out start times and in some cases, we have had to provide our best estimate. I agree with Andrew – it is very difficult to find start times for a lot of these webcasts! Why is it that these news agencies often don’t advertise what seems like a very crucial piece of information? Anyways, we will be updating lyvegyde ( throughout the day tomorrow in case we find any times or links that change. We will do our best!! We’re really looking forward to tomorrow!

  3. Thanks to Lyvegyde:

    “Coverage of the inauguration on Joost via euronews will begin at 17.00 CET or 11:00 am EST.”

    Since 0.00% of the above news agencies published an actual inauguration time, it’s great to see readers coming to the rescue!

  4. Not sure who’d have the time to put something like this together, but it would be great to get a crowdsourced rating of the different services. Given that they’ll all be broadcasting the same event, everyone would have a good baseline to compare the services quality and ease of use. I know a lot of it has to do with the back-end services (Reality Digital, etc.), but it still might help cut through the clutter the next time an event like this rolls around.

  5. C-SPAN in particular is very good at archiving events very quickly after they are over. My guess is that they will archive separate sections (swearing-in, inaugural address, parade, etc.) individually as they happen. We will also provide links on lyvegyde ( to archives as soon as we can find them.

  6. Denise – I found this schedule ( which seems pretty thorough. Unfortunately, the news channels do not seem to publish specific times in advance for exactly what they will be covering. Some of the channels that will be streaming live also don’t even make it very clear what time they will start their coverage. CNN Live and C-SPAN in particular will probably be following the schedule from above pretty closely. I hope that this helps!

  7. who has the day event time schedule…ie 8:00am preview, 9:00 am interview, 10:00am etc…I am showing my history class the inaugural ceremonies all day and need to know the times of events…thanks

  8. My guess is that most websites won’t have archives from the beginning until the event is over. Hopefully, organizations will archive the different segments as they happen – swearing-in, augural address, etc…

  9. Brein, in case my last comment was stuck in moderation, try the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies website. It says that their live webcast will include closed captioning (even though it does not say when their coverage will begin).

  10. Kate, thanks for your comment. I will add the Joost coverage to lyvegyde. I didn’t see a start time on the Joost website – do you know what time the coverage will begin?

    Laura, to avoid any trouble, it is probably best to ask your IT department. Hopefully they will understand that everyone will want to watch the inauguration, hopefully they will even encourage it!

  11. My brother and I created a website called lyvegyde ( to gather links to live, online events and webcasts.

    We are also collecting links to inauguration day webcasts and we’ll be updating our site as we find more details. We are really looking forward to all of the webcasts on the 20th!