Democratic Convention: What Time & Channel Is the DNC on TV Tonight?

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The Democratic National Convention kicks off tonight on Monday, August 17, 2020. Here’s everything you need to know about how to watch it on TV, including what time and channel it will be on.


The Main DNC Event Starts at 9 p.m. Eastern

According to the DNC’s official website, the main program begins at 9 p.m. Eastern (8 p.m. Central/7 p.m. Mountain/6 p.m. Pacific.) The program lasts until 11 p.m. Eastern, but the two main speakers (Bernie Sanders and Michelle Obama) are scheduled to speak in the second half starting at 10 p.m. Eastern.

The entire main program is supposed to be just two hours long, but some television stations have said that they only plan to show the second half.

C-SPAN, CNN, MSNBC, and PBS are all planning to air the convention for two hours from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern tonight.

You might be interested in knowing that TV Guide’s listing actually has their coverage starting earlier than that. According to TV Guide, MSNBC’s Decision Coverage begins at 7 p.m. Eastern and then could air all night until First Look airs on MSNBC at 5 a.m. Eastern on Tuesday.

PBS News Hour’s coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern through 11 p.m.

CNN’s coverage, called America’s Choice 2020, begins at 8 p.m. Eastern and may last through 2 a.m. Eastern, followed by CNN Newsroom Live.

Other stations, like ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox News, will carry coverage starting at 10 p.m. Eastern until 11 p.m. each night, focusing on the main speakers, The New York Times reported.

You can also watch in the live stream below if that is your preference.

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To find out what channel any of these networks are on for you, click here to go to TV Guide’s listings. Then change the “Provider” (right under TV Listings) to your local provider. You’ll be able to scroll down to see what channel your preferred network is on for you.

You can also watch on AT&T U-verse (Channels 212 and 1212), AT&T DirectTV (201), Comcast Xfinity Flex or Comcast X1 (say DNC), or on the Littlestar app via PlayStation 4 or PSVR, The New York Times reported.


The Schedule

Tonight’s schedule includes the following speakers, who will speak at some point the listed time slots below. An exact start time is not available.

  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar (9-11 p.m. Eastern)
  • Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (9-11 p.m.)
  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo (9-11 p.m.)
  • Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (9-11 p.m.)
  • Rep. Jim Clyburn (9-11 p.m.)
  • Convention Chari Bennie Thompson (9-11 p.m.)
  • Rep. Gwen Moore (9-11 p.m.)
  • Sen. Doug Jones (9-11 p.m.)
  • Maggie Rogers performance (9-11 p.m.)
  • Leon Bridges performance (9-11 p.m.)
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders (10-11 p.m.)
  • Michelle Obama (10-11 p.m.)

The headliners for tonight are Obama and Sanders. Sanders had the second-highest number of delegates in the Democratic primary. When he stepped down, it was all but certain that Biden would be the Democrats’ nominee.

Obama delivered a speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention that people are still talking about today. Her quote, “When they go low, we go high” was said during that speech, and people still repeat that quote today.

The Democratic National Convention is scheduled to run in the same time slots on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. The headliners on Tuesday are former President Bill Clinton and Dr. Jill Biden. The headliners on Wednesday night are Sen. Kamala Harris and former President Barack Obama.

Thursday is the final day of the convention, culminating in a speech by Joe Biden.

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