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Where to watch the 2022 Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting special for free

Every Christmas brings several traditions that almost everyone experiences: shopping for impossible-to-find presents, traveling to see relatives you barely know or tolerate, watching live sports while digesting unhealthy food, and watching A Christmas Story on a constant, eternal loop.

For many Americans, watching the Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Rockefeller Center is one of the hallmarks of the holiday. Seeing a gigantic spruce tree light up with festive lights signals the beginning of the holiday season for most people. But where can you watch it?

How can you watch it for free?

A Christmas tree is lit at Rockefeller Center.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Christmas in Rockefeller Center special is a broadcast television staple and includes not only the tree lighting ceremony but also musical performances as well. The event will again be available for free for anyone who has a TV set, an antenna, and clear reception. The ceremony will be broadcast this year on NBC. Check your local listings for the correct channel.

Where is it streaming?

Nikon 1 J1 Rockefeller-Center-2-ISO-3200If you are a cord-cutter or prefer a streaming option, don’t worry! There are plenty of options. The Christmas in Rockefeller Center special will stream on NBC.com and Peacock. Launched in 2020, Peacock is the home to NBC Universal and Comcast properties such as Universal Pictures, the Olympics, Bravo, and Saturday Night Live.

Peacock is the home to popular NBC shows like The Good PlaceNew AmsterdamLaw & Order: SVU, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. The service boasts many sports programs from the WWE, NFL, and Premier League as well. Peacock also has expanded its scripted and non-scripted original programming to include Vampire Academy, The Resort, a documentary about wrestler Teddy Hart, and more!

You can watch the event on Peacock by using a new feature that allows you to access your local channels.

When can I watch it?

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Rolls Into Plaza For 2022 Holidays

The Christmas in Rockefeller Center special, which includes the tree-lighting ceremony, will be broadcast and streamed starting at 8 p.m ET tonight. The program is scheduled to last two hours and end around 10 p.m. ET.

Watch Christmas in Rockefeller Center on NBC

How much does it cost?

There is no fee to sign up for the most basic level of Peacock and no credit card is required upon signing up. All that’s needed is an email address for users to access 10,000-plus hours of content for free. The free tier is very limiting in terms of content. If you would like to access more programs from Peacock, there are various paid tiers to explore.

Peacock Premium is the first paid tier from the streaming service, with access to over 80,000 hours of entertainment for a monthly price of $5, or $50 per year. This tier contains ads but allows users to access new films and live events. If this tier is too restricting, users can upgrade to Peacock Premium Plus, which costs $10 per month, or $100 per year. Premium Plus includes everything from Premium, but contains no ads and allows users to download and watch programs offline.

Who will be at Christmas in Rockefeller Center?

Gwen Stefani - You Make It Feel Like Christmas ft. Blake Shelton

A surprising amount of stars and performers from all walks of life. The impressive guest list includes husband and wife singers Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani (who will sing their holiday song You Make It Feel Like Christmas), Alicia Keys, Andrea Bocelli, Mickey Guyton, SNL veterans Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph, the Radio City Rockettes, the Muppets of Sesame Street, and more.

Walking us through this cavalcade of celebrities will be Today anchors Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie and Access Hollywood anchor Mario Lopez. The star of the show, the Christmas tree, is an 82-foot tall Norwood Spruce, which will be decorated with over 50,000 multicolored LED lights and topped with a 90-pound star featuring 3 million Swarovski crystals. Now that’s what I call a show!

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Jason Struss
Section Editor, Entertainment
Jason is a writer, editor, and pop culture enthusiast whose love for cinema, television, and cheap comic books has led him to…
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