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Published on November 6th, 2018 | by Brad Gibson

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Your definitive Apple TV guide to watching tonight’s 2018 midterm elections

How important is today’s midterm elections in America? Few experts disagree the outcome will determine the direction of government for at least the next two years and shape policy for years to come. 

What’s not up for debate is the multiple ways you can watch election result coverage on Apple TV late into the night. And we’ve got them all below. Here are your options.

Live streaming services

With more and more local network affiliates available on DirecTV Now, YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, Playstation Vue, and Fubo TV, chances are very good your local stations – and therefore local election results – will be available for you to stream through the apps of these services on Apple TV. Check out the local network affiliates chart at Streambuzz.net to see which networks are available on the streaming service you may be subscribing to through your Apple TV.

With the first polls closing at 6 pm EST in eastern Kentucky, ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox will begin coverage on their main networks through affiliates at 8 pm EST, 7 pm CST. Local stations will have time ‘windows’ at 25 minutes and 55 minutes after each hour to air local election coverage and results. During network programming, most stations will provide election results on the bottom of your TV screen.

With few or no streaming of local affiliate stations, local election coverage is non-existent on Sling TV, Philo, and AT&T’s Watch TV, but there are other options for those two services we’ll address later.

PBS – not available through live streaming services – is offering election night coverage beginning at 8 pm EST, 7 pm CST. The PBS NewsHour special will stream on the PBS Video app, available on Apple TV.

Free over-their TV via Apple TV

If you live in an area with good reception, you can get over-the-air broadcast channels affiliated with ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and PBS to watch news and election coverage. The key to watching them on your Apple TV is attaching an affordable indoor or outdoor antenna from companies like Antennas Direct, Mohu, Channel Master, and others, and then to a TV antenna-ready DVR. The DVR then can stream to multiple televisions on your Apple TV through your home WiFi. Options for Apple TV-ready DVRs include those from Tablo, and SiliconDust with its HD HomeRun solution.

News network coverage…paid & free

BBC World News, Bloomberg Television, CNN, CNN International, Fox News Channel, and MSNBC will all provide wall-to-wall coverage tonight with many of them beginning coverage at 4 pm EST, 3 pm CST. 

There are two ways to watch these networks on Apple TV…either through one of the live, paid streaming services mentioned above, or through the individual Apple TV apps (except for BBC World News which doesn’t have a streaming app) of these networks. For a complete list of what news networks are on which of the eight, most popular live streaming services, check out our streaming services matrix at this link.

If you don’t have an authorized pay TV subscription and TV provider login for CNN, CNN International, Fox News Channel, or MSNBC you’ll have a problem logging in and watching through their Apple TV apps. A legitimate provider login would be one from a cable, satellite of live streaming service you subscribe to. 

BBC World News is an excellent news network with huge resources based in the U.S. Another advantage to watching their election coverage…no commercials, despite the fact they don’t have a standalone Apple TV app. What streaming services BBC World News is on can be found on our streaming services matrix at this link.

Here are five news networks planning midterm election coverage tonight that don’t have provider login issues for you to worry about and all of whom have an Apple TV app…ABC News Live, CBSN, Bloomberg Television, SkyNews, and Newsy.

Many of them are also available through a live streaming service and some of them even through the free streaming service Pluto TV (which also has its own Apple TV app). All these channels are excellent alternatives to consider.

Free, live network coverage on YouTube

Often overlooked for live news coverage, YouTube – available through its free YouTube Apple TV app – will be streaming live midterm election coverage of various networks for free and their links are below by scrolling over the word ‘YouTube’:

  • ABC News has a live stream on YouTube starting at 4:30 pm EST.
  • CBS News has a live stream on YouTube starting at 5 pm EST.
  • PBS Newshour has a live stream on YouTube starting at 6 pm EST.
  • NBC News has a live stream on YouTube starting at 7 pm EST.
  • Fox News has a live stream on YouTube starting at 6 pm EST.
  • The Washington Post has a live stream on YouTube starting at 7 pm EST.
  • Global News (a Canadian news channel) has a live stream on YouTube broadcasting now.

As you can see, there are multiple options for watching midterm election coverage on Apple TV. Got another idea we haven’t reported? Post us a comment below and let us know!

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About the Author

Brad is co-founder and editor-in-chief of BESTAppleTV.com. He has been a technology reporter since the late 1980s having previously worked for MacUser, MacFormat, and iCreate magazines, as well as MacNN.com, MacObserver.com, MacCentral.com, MacMinute.com, and Macworld.com. He hosted and produced the MacFormat This Week podcast for three years. He was also a reporter, editor, and producer for the Associated Press and United Press International.



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