times square ball drop
Photo: Getty Images

At least for a couple brief seconds every year, most of the country is a New Yorker thanks to the Times Square ball drop.


Even if the Times Square ball drop happens outside of your time zone, many tune in to see the massive crowds characteristic of the Times Square New Year’s Eve celebrations, perhaps a performance or two and the final few seconds of the year in the easternmost time zone of the US. Here’s what you need to know to catch all or part of the festivities.


What time does the Times Square ball drop start?

You’re undoubtedly familiar with the last few seconds of the ball drop from years past, but the crystal-covered ball doesn’t just take a 10-second journey at the close of each calendar year. The Times Square ball drop actually starts a full minute before New York and the Eastern Standard Time zone rings in the new year. This year, that’s at 11:59 p.m. EST, Sunday, December 31, 2017.


What channel is the Times Square ball drop on?

Several networks will air at least a fraction of the Times Square ball drop, even if they don’t feature the musical performances. You can catch Anderson Cooper and new co-host Andy Cohen, who is replacing long-standing co-host Kathy Griffin, on CNN’s New Year’s Eve broadcast.


times square ball drop live stream


And, as always, you should tune into ABC for Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve with Ryan Seacrest, which will feature the performances beginning at 8 p.m. EST and coverage leading up to the last few moments of 2017. Tarana Burke — the woman credited with creating the #MeToo hashtag and movement — will kick off the Times Square ball drop by pushing a button at, as previously mentioned, 11:59 p.m. EST.

Watch the live stream of the Times Square ball drop

Don’t want to deal with all the ads and chit chat on different networks? Don’t worry, you can catch the Times Square ball drop on its own through live stream. In fact, you have several options for catching the event through live stream rather than TV:

— Catch the Times Square ball drop through the official website of the crowded area of New York City. They’ll start streaming the event starting Sunday, December 31 at 6:00 p.m. EST. We’ve included an embed for your convenience below so that you can simply tune in from this page:



— Watch the crowds gather, the confetti flutter and the ball drop thanks to Earth Cam, which is already streaming the area as workers log time in the cold getting Times Square ready for the masses.