UPDATED: President Obama will hold his first official State of the Union address this Wednesday starting at 9 p.m. EST/6 p.m. PST. The speech in front of a joint session of Congress is a little bit of a political ritual, but the current administration decided to give it a new twist by actually live-streaming it on the White House’s web site, as well as through a new White House app for Apple’s (s AAPL) iPhone and iPod touch.
The White House won’t be the only one streaming the event live. Obama is known to draw record-breaking crowds online. The administration’s recent health care troubles only add to the political drama, with everyone from CNN to C-SPAN will covering the event live as well.
The White House is streaming the speech at www.whitehoue.gov/live. Users will also be able to embed the stream into their own sites, and the official White House iPhone application that will carry the stream can be found on the iTunes app store (link will open in iTunes).
Facebook users will be able to watch the State of the Union speech on that site, thanks to another official White House application, this time one that combines the video feed with status updates. However, the feed wasn’t working for me when Obama welcomed the Lakers to the White House on Monday, so we’ll have to wait and see whether it will be fixed in time.
CNN is once again cooperating with Facebook to cover the State of the Union address. The network will start with its online coverage of the speech at 8 p.m. EST, and the whole speech as well as the GOP’s response will be shown next to comments from Facebook users.
C-SPAN will show the video on its site and accompany it with a transcript based on closed captions in near-real time.
YouTube will air the speech live on its Citizentube channel, with a twist: The site will stream suggestions from its users on how to improve the economy, as well as our schools, climate change and national security issues. The Citizentube coverage will come complete with commentary by General Wesley Clark, economist Nouriel Roubini, Newsweek editor Fareed Zakari and NASA climatologist Jim Hansen. YouTube is calling this “Your State of the Union,” and the whole show will start at 8 p.m. EST.
Hulu will stream the entire event online as well, complete with the ability to embed its player into third-party websites.
Ustream will carry the CBS News (s CBS) coverage of the speech, accompanied by the obligatory Ustream chat as well as its SocialStream feed with updates from Twitter, Facebook and Myspace.
MobiTV users will also be able to access video coverage from ABC News NOW, FOX News, and MSNBC.
MSNBC.com is streaming the speech at Politics.msnbc.com. The site will feature a Twitter feed, and its video player will offer keyword search and the capability to embed segments of the speech on third-party websites.