ABC is writing Academy Awards history Sunday night by live streaming the event through its Watch ABC apps and website starting at 5:30pm PT (8:30pm ET). Unfortunately, there’s a bit of a catch: Watch ABC is only available to pay TV subscribers of certain providers, and in certain markets. Here’s where to watch the live stream, and how it will work:
Who can watch. The live stream of the 2014 Oscars is only available to subscribers of the following TV service providers: Comcast, Cablevision, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Midcontinent Communications, Verizon FiOS, Google Fiber and AT&T U-verse. Dish and DirecTV subscribers are left out, as are Time Warner Cable subscribers.
But even a contract with the right TV provider doesn’t automatically get you access to the live stream: You also have to be in an area where Disney owns the local ABC station, which is the case in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh-Durham and Fresno. ABC affiliates in other cities do not have access to Watch ABC, so you’re left in the cold if you live in San Diego or Dallas.
On the web. Viewers who do happen to live in the right place and have a contract with the right provider can watch a live stream of the Oscars on Oscar.com, ABC.com or WATCHABC.com. To access the stream, viewers need to log in with their pay TV credentials — the username and password you use to access your TV bill online.
On iPads and iPhones. Viewers can also tune in live through the Watch ABC iOS app, which is available on the App Store, and requires authentication as well.
On Android phones and tablets. Got an Android phone or tablet? Then you can use the Watch ABC Android app, which is available on Google Play. Once again, authentication is required.
On a Kindle Fire. Owners of Amazon’s Kindle tablet can tune in via the Watch ABC app from the Amazon App Store, after authenticating.
What else is there: The Oscars Backstage show is streamed by ABC through the same sites and apps starting at 4pm PT (7pm ET), and this one doesn’t require authentication, and thus is open to any viewer, regardless or TV provider.