I have a 3rd generation Apple TV. Will it be possible to use it to watch the US presidential debates live? I would prefer to do so without using AirPlay, if possible.

I know that today's (Oct 3, 2012) debate will be streamed live via YouTube. Is the Apple TV's YouTube app capable of showing this? If so, how would I navigate to it?

If AirPlay is my only choice, how can I best go about it? I have:

  • an iPhone 4S running iOS 5 (capable of both AirPlay for videos and AirPlay Mirroring)

  • a Mac running OS X 10.7 (capable of AirPlay for videos, but not AirPlay mirroring)


As the link you posted has several Pre-event streams scheduled, you can try things out before hand. I haven't seen a public announcement by either Google or Apple saying to tune in on your Apple TV, so you might plan on a second manner of streaming.

I'll likely use AirPlay mirroring to get the content onto my large screen via Apple TV.

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  • The pre-show live stream is available on YouTube's mobile site, but not their Apple-provided nor YouTube-provided apps for iPhone, nor the YouTube Apple TV app. – daxelrod Oct 4 '12 at 0:09

The best bet right now seems to be AirPlay via the CNN iPhone App, which seems to provide higher quality than the other things I've tried.

GigaOM has a long list of debate streams. Here's what I've discovered about each one that might have promise:


  • CNN: AirPlay via iPhone app. Appears to have the best video quality.

  • YouTube: AirPlay via the mobile site in iPhone's Safari appears to work! (Confirmed with pre-show live stream). Cannot find stream in any ove AppleTV app, Apple-provided iPhone app, nor YouTube-provided iPhone app.

Might work

  • Ustream: AirPlay via the mobie site in iPhone's Safari was working, is currently unavailable. Unable to find stream in iPhone app

Likely not possible

  • ABC News: no indication the iPhone app will have a live stream; the article claims it will be available via the iPad app.
  • C-SPAN: website stream requires Flash, mobile site doesn't show stream
  • Hulu Plus: AppleTV app gives no indication they will have the stream.
  • The Wall Street Journal: AppleTV WSJ Live app says WSJ Live is unavailable.

Not tried yet

  • Politico
  • Univision
  • Aereo
  • Ponderoo

You'll find the YouTube icon on the Apple TVs home screen. Just click it. If its available you'll find it.

  • I've edited my question to use the future tense to attempt to clarify that I'm trying to determine in advance whether they'll be available via the YouTube app when they start later tonight. – daxelrod Oct 3 '12 at 23:32
  • AFAIK YouTube on the ATV plays all content. I don't know if it is being streamed however. – 5arx Oct 3 '12 at 23:34
  • Just checked your link - looks like your ATV can do it directly. – 5arx Oct 3 '12 at 23:35

There is a Wall Street journal app on Apple TV live streaming the debates

  • 1
    Is it actually working for you? When I try to launch it, I get an error message that WSJ Live is unavailable. – daxelrod Oct 4 '12 at 1:01

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