Here at HackCollege, we understand that you probably don’t have cable. We know this because none of us do, either. Normally, Netflix and Hulu do well to cover all your TV needs, but if you’re a politically-minded college student, this presents you with a problem: how to watch tonight’s Presidential Debates.

Thankfully, for the first time in history, the debates are now being shown live and in their entirety online. Here’s where you can watch tonight’s debates at 9PM, EST.


As the largest video streaming site on the planet, YouTube will be the go-to choice for a lot of students looking to watch the debates, and it’s bandwidth has been well-tested to ensure that you won’t experience any hiccups during the coverage. YouTube is partnered with a variety of news sites to offer differing analysis and perspectives on the debates, including ABC News, the New York Times, Univision and al-Jazeera.

Sunlight Foundation

The Sunlight Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization dedicated to providing openness, accoutnability, and transparency in government, and will be hosting a livestream of the debates along with up to the minute fact checking of all claims made by both candidates. For the independent voter, this alternative form of viewing will likely prove to be more factual in its coverage than most of the 24 hour news channels on cable.


As the world’s first 24 hour news channel, CNN is hoping to get an edge on the web market for the debates by showing a live coverage of the debates online as well as on TV. CNN’s offering the ability to quickly share segments of the debates on social networking sites this year, and will likely be providing analysis of the claims heard after the candidates have concluded.


If you’re looking for a stripped-down version of the debates, free of any pundits offering in their two-cents on how the candidates performed, the best choice is C-SPAN. The government-funded news service will lack the bells and whistles seen in other coverage of the debates, but will likely not see nearly as much traffic as CNN or the Sunlight Foundation, meaning you’ll likely have a slightly easier time watching.