What time is Joe Biden’s Inauguration? What TV channels are broadcasting Inauguration Day 2021?
Joe Biden will become President of the United States at noon (12:00 p.m. ET) on Wednesday, January 20, (1/20/2021), which, according to the 20th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, is when the outgoing president’s term ends.
The event will not be attended by President Donald Trump or First Lady Melania Trump after a divisive election which Trump refused to concede for months after it was called and certified for Biden. Trump finally admitted he lost the election a day after a violent riot besieged the U.S. Capitol Building and disrupted the official electoral count.
Biden is expected to take the oath of office at noon, with the theme of his inauguration being “America United” — a message Biden has been focused on since his victory speech in November. The Presidential Inaugural Committee said that the theme “reflects the beginning of a new national journey that restores the soul of America, brings the country together, and creates a path to a brighter future.”
The 2021 Inauguration will look different than any in history. There will be no parades and huge crowds of supporters turning out to witness the historic event, in part due to concerns over the Coronavirus pandemic, but also due to security concerns following the Capitol riot.
Instead, expect heightened law enforcement and military presence, including 25,000 National Guard troops who have come to Washington, D.C. for security purposes.
A special primetime TV event, “Celebrating America,” hosted by Tom Hanks, will honor Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris with performances by Justin Timberlake, Jon Bon Jovi, Demi Lovato and Ant Clemons. Biden and Harris are also expected to make remarks, and the program will honor America’s pandemic heroes, like doctors, teachers and other frontline workers.
How to watch Joe Biden’s Inauguration Day on TV
TV coverage of Joe Biden’s Inauguration Day will be available on every major cable TV news networks, including CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, CNBC, BET and WGN America as well as local ABC, CBS, PBS, Telemundo and Univision channels. Some special coverage will start as early as 6:00 a.m., but the actual oath of office is not expected until noon.
Here’s a full TV schedule for Wednesday, January 20:
All times ET.
- CNN: “Inauguration of Joe Biden” (to 8:30 p.m.)
- Telemundo: “Un Nuevo Dia – Edición Especial: Biden en La Casa Blanca” (to 9:00 a.m.)
- Local CBS channels: “The Presidential Inauguration of Joseph R. Biden” (to 4:00 p.m.)
- Local ABC channels: “The Inauguration of Joseph R. Biden & Kamala D. Harris 2021″ (to 4:00 p.m.)
- Telemundo: “Noticias Telemundo Especial: Biden en la casa blanca” (to 4:00 p.m.)
- MSNBC: “The Inauguration of Joseph R. Biden, Jr.” (to 8:30 p.m.)
- Local PBS channels: “A PBS NewsHour Special” (to 5:30 p.m.)
- Univision: “Noticias Univision Presenta: Cambio de Mando” (to 5:00 p.m.)
- BET: “2021 Inauguration” (to 2:00 p.m.)
- CNBC: “The Inauguration Of Joseph Biden” (to 1:00 p.m.)
- FOX News: “Inauguration of Joseph R. Biden Jr.: 46th President” (to 5:00 p.m.)
- WGN America: “NewsNation: The Inauguration” (to 1:00 p.m.)
- Telemundo: “Especial Noticias Telemundo: Biden, Una Nueva Era” (to 10:00 p.m.)
- Univision: “Noticias Univision Presenta: Una Nueva Era” (to 8:00 p.m.)
- Local CBS channels: “One Nation: Indivisible” (to 8:30 p.m.)
- Local ABC channels: “The Inauguration of Joseph R. Biden, Jr. – An ABC News Special” (to 9:00 p.m.)
- Local NBC channels: “NBC News Special: The Inauguration Of Joseph R. Biden” (to 8:30 p.m.)
- CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, local CBS and NBC channels: “Celebrating America” (to 10:00 p.m.)
- Local ABC channels: “Celebrating America” (to 10:00 p.m.)
- MSNBC: “The Inauguration of Joseph R. Biden, Jr.” (to 11:00 p.m.)
How to live stream Inauguration Day 2021 for FREE online
To watch the cable channel coverage above, you can sign up for a free trial of fuboTV, Sling, CBS All Access, Hulu + Live TV or other cord-cutting live TV service and use it to tune into any of the Inauguration Day coverage offerings.
If you already have a cable provider, you can login with your credentials on CNN.com, FOXNews.com, MSNBC.com and the websites of other cable news networks to access free live streams of their current TV broadcast. You can also use associated news apps on mobile devices the same way.
Special free live streams of Joe Biden’s inauguration will be available on a variety of websites, including some of TV channels above. Other free sources include:
What is the Inauguration Day schedule of events?
There’s a lot of pageantry expected on Inauguration Day, even without the traditional parades and crowds. Here’s what you can expect over the course of the day. Times are currently TBD, but the oath of office is traditionally taken at noon:
Inaugural Ceremonies: President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris will be sworn in on the West front of the U.S. Capitol building at approximately noon. Biden will deliver an inaugural address.
Pass in Review: Next, Biden, Harris, First Lady Jill Biden and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff will perform the traditional Pass in Review of members of the military.
Wreath Laying at Arlington National Cemetery: Then, the first and second families will visit Arlington National Cemetery to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. They will be joined by Barack and Michelle Obama, George and Laura Bush, and Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Presidential Escort: Finally, Biden will receive a Presidential Escort from 15th Street to the White House with every branch of the military represented in the escort.
Celebrating America TV special (8:30 p.m.): The festivities will return with the Celebrating America TV special later in the evening.
Who is performing at Joe Biden’s Inauguration?
The National Anthem will be performed by Lady Gaga. Jennifer Lopez is also expected to give a musical performance. Other ceremonial participants include:
- Rev. Leo O’Donovan reading the invocation
- Andrea Hall, a firefighter from Georgia, leading the Pledge of Allegiance
- Amanda Gorman, the first national youth poet laureate, will do a poetry reading
- Rev. Silvester Beaman of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Wilmington, Delaware, will give the benediction
Later, during “Celebrating America,” the list of performers and celebrities includes:
- Justin Timberlake
- Foo Fighters
- John Legend
- Bruce Springsteen
- Jon Bon Jovi
- Demi Lovato
- Ant Clemons
- Lin Manuel Miranda
- Eva Longoria
- Kerry Washington
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
- Chef José Andrés
- Labor leader Dolores Huerta
- First woman MLB general manager Kim Ng