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How to watch the South Carolina Democratic debate live tonight without cable

It's the last debate before Super Tuesday, and you can stream it live on YouTube, Twitter, CBS and BET.

Matt Elliott Senior Editor
Matt Elliott is a senior editor at CNET with a focus on laptops and streaming services. Matt has more than 20 years of experience testing and reviewing laptops. He has worked for CNET in New York and San Francisco and now lives in New Hampshire. When he's not writing about laptops, Matt likes to play and watch sports. He loves to play tennis and hates the number of streaming services he has to subscribe to in order to watch the various sports he wants to watch.
Expertise Laptops | Desktops | All-in-one PCs | Streaming devices | Streaming platforms
Matt Elliott
3 min read

After duking it out on stage in Nevada and seeing Sen. Bernie Sanders win the state handily, seven Democratic presidential hopefuls head to South Carolina for the 10th Democratic primary debate. Former Vice President Joe Biden has bet big on South Carolina and needs a strong debate performance to make his case to voters ahead of the state's primary on Saturday. Biden and Sanders sit atop the latest polls for the state but billionaire Tom Steyer isn't far behind. After missing the cut in Nevada, Steyer qualified for the South Carolina debate at the last minute on the strength of a CBS News/YouGov poll

Complete coverage of the Democratic debate from CBS News

Meanwhile the other billionaire in the democratic race, Michael Bloomberg, drew fire from each of the other five candidates during his debate debut in Las Vegas and struggled to parry their attacks. Will Bloomberg fare better in his second effort? 

Sen. Elizabeth Warren will look to keep the momentum going from Las Vegas, where she went on the offensive and had her strongest debate performance to date. Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar will try to carve out support from moderate voters in the last debate to be held before the all-important vote on Super Tuesday.

The South Carolina debate will take place in Charleston on Tuesday, Feb. 25 from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. ET (5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. PT) and will be broadcast live on CBS, BET, YouTube and Twitter. (Disclosure: CNET is a division of ViacomCBS.) Here's how to watch for free, even if you don't have cable.

Watch this: Live TV streaming services for cord cutters: How to choose the best one for you

Which candidates are in the debate?

Seven candidates have qualified for the debate:

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden
  • Former Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg
  • Former Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont
  • Businessman Tom Steyer
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts
Democratic Primary Debate

Bloomberg, Warren, Sanders, Biden, Buttigieg and Klobuchar on the Las Vegas stage during the last debate. They'll be joined in Charleston, South Carolina by billionaire Tom Steyer.

Getty Images

Who is hosting and moderating the debate?

The debate is hosted by CBS News and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute in Charleston. Here are your moderators:

  • Norah O'Donnell, CBS Evening News anchor and managing editor 
  • Gayle King, CBS This Morning co-host 
  • Margaret Brennan, Face the Nation moderator and senior foreign affairs correspondent
  • Major Garrett, chief Washington correspondent 
  • Bill Whitaker, 60 Minutes correspondent

How can I watch or stream the debate for free?

The debate starts at 8 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on CBS and BET. You'll be able to stream it on the CBS News website, the CBS News app and on Twitter at @CBSNews. As with the previous debates, you can watch for free without authentication, which means you won't have to sign in at all, just start streaming.

CBS News will also make the livestream available on its YouTube Channel, embedded above.

Any other ways to livestream the debate?

Cord cutters who subscribe to a live TV streaming service can also watch the debate. All five major services, listed below, offer CBS or BET or both. The catch is that not every service carries every local network, so check each one using the links below to make sure it carries CBS in your area.

Sling TV

Sling TV does not include CBS, but its $30-a-month Blue plan includes BET. Sling's packages are discounted by $10 for the first month. Enter your address here to see which local channels are available where you live.

Read our Sling TV review.

YouTube TV

YouTube TV costs $50 a month and includes CBS, but not BET. Plug in your ZIP code on its welcome page to see which local networks are available in your area.

Read our YouTube TV review.

Hulu with Live TV

Hulu with Live TV costs $55 a month and includes CBS, but not BET. Click the "View channels in your area" link on its welcome page to see which local channels are offered in your ZIP code.

Read our Hulu with Live TV review.


FuboTV costs $55 a month and includes CBS and BET. Click here to see which local channels you get.

Read our FuboTV review.


AT&T TV Now's basic $65-a-month Plus package includes CBS and BET. You can use its channel lookup tool to see which local channels are available where you live.

Read our AT&T TV Now review.

All of the live TV streaming services above offer a free trial, allow you to cancel anytime, and require a solid internet connection. Looking for more information? Check out our massive streaming services guide.