Web Video’s One-Day Obama Stimulus: How to Watch the Inauguration Live Online

Published on January 19, 2009
by Peter Kafka

Why is every media outlet in the world showing Barack Obama’s inauguration live on the Web on Tuesday?

Because they can, of course. And because the presidency-to-be has already provided a short-term boost for media companies who’ve been able to feed the public’s appetite for all things Obama. The New York Times, for example, says it generated $2.3 million in much-needed extra revenue via the sale of its commemorative election day edition and other paraphernalia.

So it will be nearly impossible to boot up your browser on Tuesday and not end up watching a live stream of the pomp and circumstance; the actual swearing-in ceremony is scheduled for noon Eastern Standard Time.

But just in case your online venue of choice gets the hiccups, here’s a list of sites that promise to provide coverage; I’ve also embedded a stream from Hulu (which is using the Fox broadcast’s feed) at the bottom of this post if you’d prefer to stay right here.

I’m sure I’ve probably missed several dozen options: If you’ve got a site you want to add to the list, do so in comments below or contact me at or via the blind tip box here.

Presidential Inauguration Committee (Microsoft-haters beware: This stream will require the company’s Silverlight player)

Joint Congressional Committee

New York Times

Washington Post

ABC News

CNN (features obligatory Facebook tie-in)


CBS News


Fox News

Joost (Joost would like to point out that unlike some of the options listed here, its feed will be available forĀ  international audiences).

Current TV (features obligatory Twitter tie-in)

Livestation (requires download; player allows viewers to flip between coverage from Al Jazeera, C-Span, BBC, euronews, France 24, Russia Today).

One major video outlet that apparently won’t be streaming the event live: The biggest–Google’s (GOOG) YouTube. But YouTube’s Inauguration Channel is serving up plenty of video during the run-up.

And if you couldn’t score tickets to the Huffington Post’s pre-inaugural ball Monday night with the likes of Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg and, um, Ashton Kutcher, don’t fret: The news aggregator promises to provide both live video and live blogging of the event.

Return to: Web Video’s One-Day Obama Stimulus: How to Watch the Inauguration Live Online