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Oscars 2021: Start time, how to watch online

The Oscars is almost here!

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- 03:57

The Oscars is now live! After delaying the show for two months, the Academy has also changed eligibility for awards, allowing films released in 2020 through to February 2021 to enter. This time round, movies released solely on digital platforms like HBO Max are also eligible for Oscars. 

You can stream almost all of the Oscar nominated films right now.

Here's everything you need to know to watch the Oscars 2021.

Read moreHow to stream the 2021 Oscars best picture nominees | Oscars predictions: Who will win this year's big awards

oscars

The Oscars is about to start.

Mark Ralston/AFP via Getty Images

Oscars start time

The Oscars will take place over two locations this year: Los Angeles Union Station and Dolby Theater. Only nominees, their guest and presenters have been given the green light to attend. Nominees who don't attend won't be allowed to Zoom in. Plus, since the show is a televised event, guests won't have to wear a mask while the cameras are rolling.

US: The Oscars start at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 25.

UK: The Oscars start at 1 a.m. GMT on Monday, April 26.

Australia: The Oscars start at 10 a.m. AEST on Monday, April 26.

Oscar nominees

David Fincher's Mank leads this year's Oscar nominations with 10. It faces stiff competition in the best picture category from awards darling Nomadland, directed by Chloé Zhao. Both she and Emerald Fennell, who's behind the haunting revenge thriller Promising Young Woman, are nominated for best director, making this the first time two women have been nominated in the category in the same year. It's exciting stuff. Check out the full list of nominations here.

Watching the Oscars online

The Oscars will air on ABC in the US. To stream online, there are a couple of options:

  • ABC is streaming the live broadcast of the Oscars on the ABC website, but only to specific cities and only after you sign in with a participating pay TV provider -- typically a cable company, satellite provider or livestreaming service.
  • Another option is Locast, which streams local broadcasters, including ABC, in certain large US cities, for free. And of course, you could always use an antenna to try to pick up the ABC station in your area (DVR optional).
  • If you subscribe to a live TV streaming service that carries ABC in your city, you can use it to watch the Oscars too. AT&T TV, Hulu with Live TV and YouTube TV all carry ABC in most US cities. All of them offer a seven-day free trial, so you can sign up now and cancel after the ceremony if you want. Note that Sling TV, Fubo TV, AT&T and Philo don't carry ABC at all.

AT&T TV's basic, $70-a-month package includes ABC. You can use its channel lookup tool to see if you get a live feed of Fox and the other local networks in your ZIP code.

Read full review.

 

Hulu with Live TV costs $65 a month and includes ABC, but check to see which live channels Hulu offers in your area.

YouTube TV costs $65 a month and includes ABC. Plug in your ZIP code on its channel lineup page to see what live, local networks are available where you live.

  • Australia: While it hasn't been confirmed yet, we're expecting the Oscars to air on Seven like last year.
  • UK: You can watch the Oscars using a Sky Cinema Pass with Now TV (a seven-day free trial is offered).

Need more international viewing options? Try a VPN to change your IP address to access those US, UK or Australian options listed above. See the best VPNs currently recommended by CNET editors.

Oscars red carpet

It'll be a much smaller red carpet event this year, but we might see a few interesting face-mask-and-outfit-coordinated combos if the Grammys are anything to go by (although you won't see nominees wearing masks during the show). Based on last year's programming, you'll be able to watch the red carpet on the ABC site or app from 5:30 p.m. ET, the Academy's official Twitter from 6:30 p.m. ET, or the E networkavailable on many live TV streaming services, from 5 p.m. ET.

Who's hosting the Oscars?

No one! The hostless trend began in 2019 when Kevin Hart stepped down from hosting duties amid criticism of his past insensitive tweets. The 2020 show went without a host and the 2021 show will do the same.

Who's presenting the Oscars?

Angela Bassett, Halle Berry, Bong Joon-ho, Don Cheadle, Bryan Cranston, Laura Dern, Harrison Ford, Regina King, Marlee Matlin, Rita Moreno, Joaquin Phoenix, Brad Pitt, Reese Witherspoon, Renée Zellweger and Zendaya will be handing out awards.