It’s almost New Year’s Eve, which means it’s time to mix up a fabulous champagne cocktail and get your noisemakers ready. Whether you’re planning to pull out all the stops for your quarantine New Year’s Eve party (only with members of your immediate household, of course) or are cuddling up on the couch to watch a classic movie on Netflix (no shame!), it’s tradition to watch the New Year’s Eve ball drop in Times Square at midnight.
Obviously, the ball drop will look different this year. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, it’s simply unsafe to have people gather in Times Square to watch the event. However — despite there being no crowds — there will be some live action in Times Square, and the ball will descend as usual. “One thing that will never change is the ticking of time and the arrival of a New Year at midnight on December 31st,” said Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance, in a press release. “But this year there will be significantly new and enhanced virtual, visual and digital offerings to complement whatever limited live entertainment or experiences — still in development — will take place in Times Square.”
Fortunately, that means it’ll be even easier to watch the event from afar. If you have cable, you can tune in to one of the major broadcasts on ABC, FOX, NBC, or CNN. If you’ve cut the cord, you can still watch a commercial-free webcast on social media or on Times Square’s official website, TimesSquareNYC.org. With so many options, you should be able to stream the 2021 festivities on a range of devices, including Apple TV, Roku TV, Android TV, and Amazon Fire TV. You can also stream the 2021 New Year’s Eve ball drop on your laptop and connect it to your television using an HDMI cable or Apple AirPlay.
What channel is the New Year’s Eve ball drop on?
If you’d like to watch the ball drop on your television, there are many ways to do so.
- Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2021: The 49th year of this ball drop broadcast is co-hosted by Lucy Hale, Billy Porter, and Ciara, with musical performances expected to be announced shortly. It airs on ABC at 8 p.m. ET; it can also be viewed on ABC Live on most devices.
- New Year’s Eve Live with Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen: For the fourth year in a row, Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen will count down the seconds to 2021 with performances and appearances by Christina Aguilere, 50 Cent, Shania Twain, and Keith Urban. It airs on CNN at 8 p.m. ET; it can also be viewed on CNNgo on most devices.
- NBC’s New Year’s Eve 2021: Carson Daly hosts this NYE broadcast, which airs on NBC from 10 to 11 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. ET; it can also be viewed on the NBC app on most devices.
- New Year’s Eve with Steve Harvey: Live from Times Square, Steve Harvey hosts his ball drop special on FOX from 8 to 10 p.m. and 11 to 12:30 a.m.; it can also be viewed on FOX Now on most devices.
How to stream the 2021 New Year’s Eve Times Square ball drop online for free:
Have no fear if you don’t have cable. You can watch a commercial-free webcast of the 2021 Times Square NYE ball drop on Times Square’s official website, TimesSquareNYC.org.
On the move? You can mobile stream the New Year’s Eve ball drop at TimesSquareNYC.org, NewYearsEve.nyc, and TimesSquareBall.net.
You can also watch the event on social media at Facebook.com/TimesSquareNYC and Twitter.com/TimesSquareNYC.
Are there other ways to watch the New Year’s Eve ball drop without cable?
Of course! You can also watch the ball drop on Hulu + Live TV ($55 a month if you’ve already got Hulu), YouTube TV ($65 a month), or fuboTV ($60 a month), to name a few subscription services.
Whatever you do, be sure to get started with your setup early so you don’t miss the final countdown to 2021.