Thursday, 22 April 2010

Leaders Debate: how to watch it for free

How annoying that tonights Leaders Debate is being hosted by the pay TV titan but you don’t need to pay any money to watch tonight’s political shenanigans. Though Sky subscribers will get the dubious pleasure of seeing the three leaders in HD, the debate is actually being screened in lots of other places.

Here’s five free ways to watch the Leaders Debate and see Cameron, Clegg and Brown battle it for round 2:

1 Freeview
The live feed will be carried on several channels. If you’ve got Freeview, you’ll be able to choose between Sky News, the BBC News Channel and BBC Parliament. Those channels are also included in the standard Virgin Media and Talk Talk TV packages.

2 iPhone app
The free Sky News iPhone app gives you free live streaming via WiFi or 3G, so if you’re away from your living room you can still peer at the politicians. iPhone TV Catchup will do the same thing for both Sky News and the BBC News Channel. If you can’t watch the debate, you could also grab the LBC 97.3 app which will give you the live debate audio, again over WiFi or 3G.

3 Online/radio 4
Sky News also streams for free online. If you prefer the BBC, you can watch the BBC News Channel live through iPlayer. Both channels are also available for free through TV Catchup. The Daily Telegraph website will also be streaming the Leaders Debate. If you don’t fancy actually looking at their faces, you can also listen to the debate live on Radio 4 via iPlayer or via the LBC website.

4 Watch on your Xbox 360
If you’re an Xbox Live Gold account holder you can access Sky News for free from your Xbox 360 without needing to stump up any cash for Sky Player. You’ll just need to tear yourself away from the games for the duration of the Sky Leaders Debate.

5 Catch up later
If you’re busy when the Leaders Debate is on, you can catch up with it later. The BBC will be broadcasting the entire debate as live after Newsnight. If you don’t want to have to stay up into the wee hours (BBC 2’s replay will start at 11.20pm), you’ll be able to catch-up with the Leaders Debate via iPlayer and the Sky News website.

The Leaders Debate starts at 8.00pm tonight.

Of course there is not much choice on offer between the leaders, as Caroline Lucas is being excluded from participating. I think she would have a big impact if allowed to join.

She has said:
There they were, three men in dark suits, and the most obvious difference between them being the colour of their ties!

Wish I'd been able to be in the debates as well. People are being shortchanged if they're led to believe that there aren't real alternatives out there.

I was saddened to notice that not one of the other leaders mentioned the environment once - nor alternative approaches to the economic crisis.

Greens are standing on a manifesto of not only safeguarding the environment, but also fighting for fairness.

The choice between safeguarding the environment and the economy is a false one - a massive investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy will create hundreds of thousands of new jobs as well as reducung emissions,

Our policies will ensure a move towards a sustainable society, whilst leaving 87 per cent of the population significantly better off.

I would be an independent and fresh voice to speak out for residents wishes - not whipped by my party, but able to fight for what people truly want - jobs, housing, better transport, lower taxes for those on lower wages, regulation of bankers bonuses and a serious commitment to tackling climate change.

Caroline is debating with the other parties in Reading on Tuesday the 27th, tickets from or call 03700 100 870

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