It isn’t officially the holiday season until the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. The 2020 Christmas In Rockefeller Center special airs Wednesday, December 2 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
If you don’t have cable, here’s how you can watch a live stream of the 2020 Christmas in Rockefeller tree lighting special online for free:
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You can watch a live stream of NBC (live in most markets) and 118-plus other TV channels on FuboTV, which you can use for free with a seven-day trial right here:
Once signed up for FuboTV, you can watch live on the FuboTV app, which is available on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV, or Firestick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox One, Samsung Smart TV, Android TV, iPhone, Android phone, iPad, or Android tablet. Or you can watch on your computer via the FuboTV website.
If you can’t watch live, FuboTV comes with 250 hours of cloud DVR space, as well as a 72-hour look-back feature, which allows you to watch most new shows on-demand within three days (and sometimes longer) of their conclusion, even if you don’t record them.
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You can watch a live stream of 65+ TV channels via Hulu With Live TV, which you can try out for free with a seven-day trial:
Once signed up for Hulu With Live TV, you can watch live via the Hulu app, which is available on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV, or Firestick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Samsung Smart TV, LG Smart TV, Android TV, iPhone, Android phone, iPad, or Android tablet. Or you can watch on your computer via the Hulu website.
If you can’t watch live, Hulu with Live TV comes with both its extensive on-demand library (which includes most shows after they air) and 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage (with the ability to upgrade to “Enhanced Cloud DVR,” which gives you 200 hours of DVR space and the ability to fast forward through commercials).
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You can watch a live stream of the channel you want for this show and 40-plus other TV channels via Sling TV’s “Sling Blue” bundle. You can get it for $10 for the first month (normally $35), and get Showtime, Starz and Epix included for free.
Once signed up for Sling TV, you can watch this show, which is available on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Firestick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox One, Samsung Smart TV, LG Smart TV, Android TV, airTV Mini, Oculus, Portal, iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet. Or you can watch on your computer via the Sling TV website.
If you can’t watch live, Sling TV comes included with 50 hours of cloud DVR.
Christmas in Rockefeller Center 2020 Preview
Hosted by Today Show co-anchors co-anchors Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Craig Melvin and Al Roker, the 2020 Christmas in Rockefeller Center features performances and appearances by the Radio City Rockettes, the cast of the Temptations Broadway musical Ain't Too Proud, Kelly Clarkson, Goo Goo Dolls, Earth, Wind & Fire, Brett Eldredge, Jimmy Fallon, Tori Kelly, Leslie Odom Jr., Dolly Parton, Pentatonix, Dan + Shay, Gwen Stefani and Meghan Trainor. The special duets include Eldredge/Clarkson, Fallon/Parton, and Trainor and Earth, Wind & Fire.
According to the NBC press release, the tradition of the Rockefeller Christmas tree "dates back to 1931 during the Great Depression. The first official tree-lighting ceremony occurred two years later in 1933 in front of the then eight-month-old RCA Building (the current Comcast Building). The Christmas tree gathering was enhanced in 1936 with the opening of the Rockefeller Plaza outdoor ice-skating pond. NBC-TV televised the tree lighting for the first time in 1951 on The Kate Smith Show and as part of the nationwide Howdy Doody television show from 1953-55."
This year is the 88th annual holiday special. The tree for 2020 is a Norway Spruce from Oneonta, New York. It stands 75 feet tall, 45 feet wide and weighs approximately 11 tons. More than 50,000 LED lights grace its branches and the star on top is made of Swarovski crystal.
During the special, viewers will have the opportunity to donate to Red Nose Day to support children and families who are facing hunger or food insecurity this year.
"In the U.S. alone, an estimated 1 in 4 children in the U.S., or around 18 million, have faced food insecurity in 2020 and may not know where their next meal will come from – a critical issue that has been significantly worsened by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Money raised during the broadcast will support programs providing meals to children and families as well as helping to address child hunger and long-term food insecurity both domestically and internationally," says the NBC press release.
The 2020 Christmas in Rockefeller Center celebration airs live on Wednesday, December 2 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.