When are the Oscars 2021? Dates, preview, and how to watch online from anywhere

when are the oscars
(Image credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

The 2021 Hollywood awards season reaches its glitziest, swankiest, and most prestigious point with the Oscars later this Spring. Held in Los Angeles and more formally known as the Academy Awards, we're here to explain everything you need to know about this year's ceremony. When are the Oscars? We answer that question and tell you loads more in our guide below - including how to watch an Oscars live stream when the time comes

When are the Oscars 2021?

Date: Sunday, April 25

Time: 8pm ET / 5pm PT

TV channel: ABC (US) / CTV (Canada) / Sky Cinema (UK)

Live stream: get ABC with a FREE FuboTV trial (US) / Sky Go (UK)

Watch anywhere: try the top VPN around 100% risk-free 

Because of the chaos wrought by Covid-19, this year's Oscars ceremony is taking place two months later than it normally would, getting bumped back to April. It's still the big one, though, and its iconic golden statuette is the prize A-listers around the world covet most.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has also reacted by temporarily relaxing its famously rigid eligibility criteria, which Netflix and the Academy have clashed over in the past.

It's likely that more than a few smirks would have broken out at Netflix HQ when AMPAS announced that the 2021 Oscars would include films that debuted on streaming and VOD services without first appearing in cinemas for seven days.

The alternative would have been uninspiring to say the least, with cinemas worldwide having been closed for much of the past year, and streaming services picking up many of the biggest releases instead. 

Netflix and other streamers haven't enjoyed the greatest of success in Oscars past, but they're expected to dominate this year's awards show. That means you'll be able to binge-watch your way through most of the various Oscar-winning films right at home the moment the final statuette has been claimed!

Think you've run out of great films and TV shows to watch? You'll almost certainly discover something new at the Oscars, which you can watch on TV or live stream around the world.

How to watch the Oscars 2021: live stream and TV channels

As usual, ABC will be broadcasting the 2021 Oscars in the US. ABC has an online platform that you can live the stream the show on, after logging in with your cable provider details.

Alternatively, you can get ABC without the commitment (or cost) of cable by using an OTT streaming service. 

Of the many options, FuboTV stands out as one of the few to offer ABC as part of its lineup - priced from $64.99 a month, it's a complete cable replacement service and you can try a FREE FuboTV trial first to see if it meets your needs.

The Oscars is also available to view internationally. Check the list below for your local station.

When are the 2021 Oscars? Time and date

The 93rd Oscars awards will take place on Sunday, April 25, with the ceremony getting underway at 8pm ET / 5pm PT / 7pm CT.

That means European viewers will have to stay up late to catch the glitz and glamour, with the start time set for 1am BST in the UK or 2am CEST for viewers in most of mainland Europe. While that might mean a sleepy morning for the UK and Europe, Australian viewers will need to take the whole afternoon off, with a 12pm AEST start on Monday, April 26

Who is the Oscars host in 2021?

A host for the 2021 Oscars hasn't yet been revealed, and it's possible that there won't be one at all based on the last couple of years. 

The Academy Awards hasn't had a host since comedian Jimmy Kimmel took the reins in 2018, and the results have been... mixed. 

The 2018 show was the first Academy Awards in nearly 30 years to take place without an MC after its intended anchor, Kevin Hart, dropped out amid a scandal over homophobic tweets he'd posted. 

After that, a rotating cast of stars steered the ship in 2019 presenting different awards, and the show attracted a much bigger TV audience than the previous year's edition. 

However, the 92nd Academy Awards in 2020 followed the same format and attracted the Oscars' smallest TV audience ever - so it's anyone's guess what will happen this year.

when are the oscars 2021

(Image credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Where are the Oscars taking place this year?

AMPAS is yet to confirm the format of the 2021 Oscars, but it had hoped that by pushing the show back from its usual late-February slot, it would be possible to hold it as a normal, in-person event.

However, the world - and the US in particular - is still very much in the grip of Covid-19, which means the ceremony may have to become a largely virtual event instead, with nominees and winners tuning in and accepting their awards remotely, as they did at a slightly glitchy Golden Globes in February.

While it seems highly unlikely that the stars will be in full force at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles - which has been the Oscars' traditional home since 2001 - it's possible that the 3,400-capacity venue could host at least some socially-distanced A-listers.

How to watch the Oscars online: live stream the 2021 awards without cable

If you're watching from the US itself, you could simply tune into ABC's coverage, which will be available on TV or via the ABC website if you've got it through your cable package - and as a national broadcaster, it should come with even the most basic ones. 

If you've cut the cord, however, you can watch the Oscars 2021 without cable by heading straight for a FREE FuboTV trial, with the OTT streaming service offering ABC as part of its lineup.

How to watch the Oscars from anywhere


There's even an easy way to tune in to your local Oscars coverage if you're abroad. While most streaming services are tied to specific regions and therefore block access from other countries, a simple piece of software called a VPN will help you get around these digital borders - an annoying phenomenon known in geek-speak as 'geo-blocking'.

Of the many ones available, our reviewers currently have ExpressVPN installed as the world's best option for most streamers - and you can try it 100% risk-free for 30 days with this special offer.

Why the Oscars matters to streaming services - and who  could win big this year

Netflix picked up its first Oscars nomination in 2014 for The Square, which was in the running for Best Documentary Feature, but it would be three more years before it bagged its maiden Academy Award (The White Helmets, Best Documentary Short Subject, 2017). Seven further Oscars have followed.

AMPAS is waiting until March 15 to announce the 2021 Oscars nominations, but with cinemas having been closed for much of the duration of the pandemic, streaming services are expected to take centre-stage at the show. For more on the like Oscars nominees, check out our Oscars predictions guide.

Netflix was the big winner at the most recent Golden Globes, and titles from Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, Disney+ and Hulu also featured heavily. Expect more of the same at the Oscars.

That's great news for everyone, as it means you can tune into many of the best films of the year already!

Oscars 2020 winners

  • Best Picture - Parasite
  • Best Director - Bong Joon-ho, Parasite
  • Best Actor - Joaquin Phoenix as Joker, Joker 
  • Best Actress - Renée Zellweger as as Judy Garland, Judy
  • Best Supporting Actor - Brad Pitt as Cliff Booth, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
  • Best Supporting Actress - Laura Dern as Nora Fanshaw, Marriage Story
Aatif Sulleyman

Aatif is a freelance copywriter and journalist based in the UK. He’s written about technology, science and politics for publications including Gizmodo, The Independent, Trusted Reviews and Newsweek, but focuses on streaming at Future, an arrangement that combines two of his greatest passions: sport and penny-pinching.