How to Stream the Oscars – or NOT


Just a few thoughts as one of the most watched broadcasts of the year – the Academy Awards – is about to go live.

It seems like years ago when I first posted how ABC would not stream the real ceremony, but instead stream something else called Red Carpet. Well not much has changed. Today there is limited streaming ability. Here is what we see in San Diego:

The ABC live stream is not available in your area. We are working to add more cities and TV providers.
View current markets or be notified about availability:

Besides live streaming, the ability to view on demand, with pause/start is also very limited. That’s too bad because the Oscars would be the ideal program to view on demand. Let’s say you’re having a party and some of your guests will arrive 15 minutes late so you’d like to pause the start time. Well unless you have the traditional cable/DVR arrangement, you are out of luck with many modern streaming options, e.g. Sling, Vue, DirecTV Now etc.


I’m sure we’ll hear from Meryl tonight.

Perhaps the Oscars, like the Super Bowl, is best appreciated as a live event. If something dramatic happens, no good posting it on twitter 15 minutes later.

Streaming has evolved to become simply an alternative cable chord to the home. Meanwhile “linear TV” (live with commercials) has become almost unbearable. It is likely that  these highly valued commercials play a part in the lack of a universal streaming option.

Another factor might be trying to delay the total disintermediation of Cable. When you can get anything you want, on demand, via the internet, your local cable provider becomes purely an ISP.Cable is convenient, and right now, streaming the Oscars show, is somewhat less than convenient.

But because of the waning popularity  of “linear TV” I doubt this attempt to limit streaming will last. Let’s see what happens in 2018.

For those looking for one, here is a bootleg stream that seems to work


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11 Responses to How to Stream the Oscars – or NOT

  1. Len Mullen says:

    I choose to NOT stream the Academy Awards (despite having access via my antenna). I suspect this does not surprise you much. I wanted to comment on this…

    ‘Meanwhile “linear TV” (live with commercials) has become almost unbearable.’

    I could not agree less with this sentiment. Or maybe I misunderstand. Right now, I have DirecTV Now (in the Free ATV demo/prepay). Before that, I had Vue (demo). We still watch OTA >80% of the time. My wife has never watched either streaming service. Clearly, linear tv, live with commercials, is bearable for us.

    To be fair, a lot of our watching is not actually linear. We record a lot of shows. TiVo has a pretty good commercial skip. I do routinely turn the television on and just watch. Still bearable.

  2. Greg says:

    This was an impromptu post based on my experience with VUE. They have ABC available only as an ABC app and no option to pause the broadcast. I specifically just wanted the ability to pause it for 15 minutes.

    Regarding linear TV, there was a cable excec recently who made the comment about linear tv being so loaded up with 16+ minutes of commercials. His thought was that OTT would replace it.

    Linear TV it he most unbearable during channel surfing. I don’t mind hunting for a program on Netfix or Amazon. I do not have the patience to flip channels on broadcast hoping to find some content vs finding commercials. Do you?

  3. Len Mullen says:

    That’s kind of funny. Had I been in the audience, I might have asked what percentage of OTT was infomercials. Check our your Vue guide first thing in the morning — 20% of the PROGRAMS are infomercials. I assume the 16 minutes is per hour. Very few OTT channels are ad free these days. If you hate commercials, your best option is to go OTA with an ad skipping TiVo.

    I find channel surfing on OTA much more enjoyable than OTT. Of course, that is because I have a good DVR on every television. The TiVo guide is particularly friendly — showing what is on now on the left and going forward in the right. Select a program to see a description. With Vue and DTV Now, you get very little information in the guide. You can see that Friends is on TBS for six hours, but have to drill down to find out which episodes. The one thing I hate about the Apple TV is navigating the guide with the touch pad. Surfing is OK, but slow as each channel grabs an image and description from cyberspace.

    The more things change, the more they stay the same. After two months of DTV Now — with no local channels, btw, I have had my fill of Tiny Houses. radio simulcasts. the Kardashians, infomercials, cable news, pickers and pawn shops, blacked out sports, aliens, zombies, and spooks. When I tune in, I find myself stopping on TBS, Sundance, logo, fx, and fxx — watching binges of the same shows broadcast on meTV, MyTV, the CW, and LAFF. The movies are all from FX, so no nudity or profanity.

    As for Netflix, I may return for a couple months each winter, but I have no shortage of programming.

    • Greg says:

      I should give Tivo + OTA a try. How much do you pay for the Tivo subscription?

      • Len Mullen says:

        You should. I don’t. My first three TiVos were $299.99 w/Lifetime. The last one was a refurb at $199.99 w/Lifetime.

      • Len Mullen says:

        Get two — they’re small!

        TiVo Roamio OTA 1 TB DVR – With No Monthly Service Fees – Digital Video Recorder and Streaming Media Player – Compatible only with HDTV Antennas (does not work with cable)

        List Price: $399.99
        Price: $305.40 & FREE Shipping. Details
        You Save: $94.59 (24%)

        • Who in their right mind would chose the $14.99/m subscription option?

          • Len Mullen says:

            The old deal on the R/OTA was $49.99+$14.99/mo.
            ($305.40 – $50) / $14.99 = 17 months. If you wanted to try OTA and a TiVo, this is an option. You could also use this deal to keep you in business while you wait for a deal to replace a broken DVR.

            I would not. I think $300 is a great deal on a Roamio/OTA. I think $300 for a 1t TiVo is a better deal. I think $200 for a refurb is the best deal of all (so far). I tried really hard to make sure you got a shot at the deal. That will give us something to chat about.

  4. Len Mullen says:

    BTW, I thought Kimmel’s tribute to Streep was dead on (even if he didn’t).

    • Greg says:

      I didn’t see it but I suppose he sarcastically called her over- rated. It’s funny that all of Hollywood’s TRUMP barbs was over-shadowed by the horrendous error at the end.

      • Len Mullen says:

        That’s twice with the incorrect nominee. I don’t even understand how this can happen. I didn’t see it either. When our ABC affiliate started doing the Kimmel clips in the middle of the local news, I changed channels.

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