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How to Watch the Kennedy Center Honors Anywhere in 2023

The Annual Kennedy Center Honors usually streams live on the US Paramount+ (previously CBS All Access) every December around Christmas. The exception was when it aired 2 times in 2021 because they skipped it in 2020 due to the Coronavirus. It is available live on any streaming platform that has CBS in its bundle deal, such as Sling TV, YouTube TV, fuboTV, and Hulu + Live TV. You can also catch it on-demand for 30 days after it airs. But if you like spending holidays abroad like me, you’ll find that your access to any of these platforms is blocked outside the US.

Streaming platforms restrict your access by identifying your location based on your device’s IP address. Luckily, there is an easy workaround for this problem. By connecting to a server in the US, a VPN gives you a US IP address. This allows you to bypass geo-restrictions and access content that is typically blocked in your current location.

However, not all VPNs can do this. That’s why I’ve tested 30+ VPNs to find the fastest and the best ones. ExpressVPN came out as a clear winner because it reliably unblocks Paramount+ and other platforms, and it has the best speeds. The great thing is that you can try it risk-free since it's backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you're not satisfied, you can get a full refund.

Watch The Kennedy Center Honors With ExpressVPN

Quick Guide: How to Watch the Annual Kennedy Center Honors From Anywhere in 3 Easy Steps

  1. Get a VPN. I recommend using ExpressVPN because it’s fast, reliable, and has a large network of US servers, so you can easily watch The Kennedy Center Honors.
  2. Connect to a server in the US. This gives you a US IP address, which makes the platform think that you are right there in the US.
  3. Start watching the Annual Kennedy Center Honors! Sign up or log in to your Paramount+ account (or another platform) and enjoy the Annual Kennedy Center Honors wherever you are.

Watch The Kennedy Center Honors With ExpressVPN

Why You Need a VPN to Watch the Annual Kennedy Center Honors

You’ve probably noticed that you have limited or no access at all to your Paramount+ account or any US TV or streaming platforms while abroad. Cable and streaming services use geoblocking technology to restrict access to their content based on geographical locations. This is due to licensing reasons or broadcasting rights. That’s why Paramount+ and other platforms that broadcast the Kennedy Center Honors are unavailable for viewers outside the US. For example, when you try accessing Paramount+ from abroad, this error message pops up:

"Sorry, Paramount+ is not yet available in this country"

A screenshot of an error message when trying to access Paramount+ outside of the USI couldn’t access Paramount+ without a VPN

Streaming platforms know you are outside the United States by looking at your IP address. The IP address is a unique number assigned to every device connected to the internet. If you use a VPN, however, they see the IP address of the server you connect to instead of your own. A VPN helps you bypass geo-restrictions by masking your actual location and providing you with an IP address from another country. To get a US IP address and watch The Kennedy Center Honors, you can use a VPN to connect to a server in the US.

However, not all VPNs are capable of bypassing geoblocks. This is because streaming platforms are always updating their detection methods to blacklist new IP addresses that they confirmed belong to a VPN. For example, once Paramount+ notices that a large amount of traffic comes from a single IP address, they block that address. For a VPN to stay competitive, it needs to continuously add new IP addresses to replace the blacklisted ones.

All the VPNs on this list have a wide variety of US IP addresses that they regularly update. With a large number of US IP addresses at your disposal, you can easily bypass sophisticated geoblocking technology.

Watch The Kennedy Center Honors Today

Best VPNs to Watch the Annual Kennedy Center Honors From Anywhere in 2023

1. ExpressVPN — Super-Fast Speeds for Watching the Kennedy Center Honors

  • Blazing-fast speeds
  • 24 server locations in the US
  • 5 simultaneous device connections
  • Can unblock: Paramount+, YouTube TV, Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV, fuboTV, DirecTV Stream, Amazon Prime Video, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, Apple TV, and more
ExpressVPN Offer February 2023: For a limited time only, you can get an ExpressVPN subscription for up to 49% off! Don't miss out!

I was extremely impressed with its connection speeds. When I tested ExpressVPN’s server speeds, they averaged around 81 Mbps. To put things into perspective, my starting speed without a VPN was 89.69 Mbps. This was a speed loss of 10%, which is an extremely good result considering that I was using faraway US servers.

A screenshot of speed test results using ExpressVPN's server in the USExpressVPN’s speeds were great for streaming in HD

Its unblocking capabilities are equally good. I had no issues accessing Paramount+ or streaming TV shows from its extensive on-demand catalog using its servers in New York. I could also access the live broadcast of Paramount+. You can rest assured that once The Kennedy Center Honors airs, you will be able to stream it live without any problems.

A screenshot of an episode of The Talk streaming live on CBS, played on the Paramount+ appI could watch The Talk live on CBS through Paramount+

ExpressVPN is very easy to set up and use — it didn't take me longer than 5 minutes to download its app and connect to a US server. Also, you can install it on routers which means you can connect all your home devices to it. That way, you can watch The Kennedy Center Honors on your smart TV or any other device that is not normally compatible with VPNs.

The only downside to ExpressVPN is its pricing, starting at $6.67/month, which is on the expensive side. Still, depending on its active offers, you can even save up to 49% on your subscription fees.

It also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try ExpressVPN out completely risk-free. If it’s not the right fit for you for whatever reason, you can get a full refund, no questions asked. I asked for a refund using its live chat feature. In less than 4 days, the money was back on my credit card.

Watch The Kennedy Center Honors With ExpressVPN

2. CyberGhost — Streaming-Optimized Servers for Smooth Viewing of the Kennedy Center Honors

  • Dedicated streaming servers
  • 11 server locations in the US
  • 7 simultaneous device connections
  • Can unblock: Paramount+, YouTube TV, Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV, fuboTV, DirecTV Stream, Amazon Prime Video, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, Apple TV, and more
February 2023 Deal: CyberGhost is currently offering 84% off its most popular plan! Take advantage of this offer now and save more on your CyberGhost subscription.

CyberGhost has a great selection of reliable streaming-optimized servers. These servers are specially designed to unblock streaming platforms and provide fast speeds and high video quality. CyberGhost has dedicated servers for YouTube TV, Sling TV, fuboTV, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. All these platforms have CBS, so you should have no issues streaming the Kennedy Center Honors.

A screenshot of an episode of The Talk streaming live on CBS, played on YouTube TVCyberGhost's streaming-optimized servers gave me access to all the US platforms I tried

Its speeds are solid and reliable as well, but not as fast as ExpressVPN’s. When I tested CyberGhost’s US servers, my speed was 60.09 Mbps (33% decrease). However, the speed loss was imperceptible, so you needn’t worry about buffering when watching the Kennedy Center Honors on Paramount+. Your distance to the server is important because it determines whether your speed loss will be higher or lower. The US ones are far away from my location, so this result wasn't bad.

CyberGhost's user interface is easy to navigate, even for beginners. You can easily find the streaming-optimized servers, as they are neatly grouped under the “For streaming” category. After selecting your desired server, all you need to do is click the big on/off button. Then, log into your Paramount+ account and start watching the Annual Kennedy Center Honors. It’s that easy. You can even save servers as favorites so you need not look for them the next time you watch the ceremony.

The cost of CyberGhost’s monthly subscription plan is on the higher end of the spectrum. However, the prices drop if you opt for one of the long-term plans. In that case, the prices start at $2.19/month.

CyberGhost is also one of the few VPNs that offer a 45-day money-back guarantee for its long-term plans — one of the longest in the industry. I wanted to test out its guarantee, so I contacted its support team through chat. The whole process was super easy, and I received my refund after only 3 days. You can try it out for yourself without worrying that there are any strings attached.

Watch The Kennedy Center Honors With CyberGhost

3. Private Internet Access — Plenty of US Servers to Watch The Kennedy Center Honors

  • A large network of server locations in the US
  • 24/7 live chat support
  • 10 simultaneous device connections
  • Can unblock: Paramount+, YouTube TV, Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV, fuboTV, DirecTV Stream, Amazon Prime Video, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, Apple TV, and more
February 2023 Update: PIA doesn't usually have deals or discounts (it's already so affordable), but right now you can get a new subscription for a crazy 83% off!

Private Internet Access boasts a large network of over 53 server locations in the US. This is great because you don’t have to worry about accessing a platform that carries the Kennedy Center Awards. Even if a server is down for maintenance or an IP address is blacklisted, you have plenty of other US servers to switch to.

A screenshot of an episode of The Talk streaming live on CBS, played on fuboTVI easily played CBS live on fuboTV with PIA using its US New York City server

It also offers up to 10 simultaneous device connections, which is especially great if you have a large household. Also, PIA is compatible with all major operating systems, so you can stream the Kennedy Awards on any device. I used it to stream content on my laptop, iPhone, and PC with no issues.

Its connection speeds are slightly slower than ExpressVPN’s and CyberGhost’s. When I tested PIA's server in New York, the speed loss was around 35%. However, it didn’t affect the quality of my video as you only need 5 Mbps to stream in HD.

PIA’s subscription plans are inexpensive, and its long-term plan starts from $2.19/month. In addition to that, PIA regularly offers discounts on its long-term subscription plans.

You can test PIA with zero risk, and if you're not satisfied with it within 30 days, you can get your money back. All you need to do is contact its support team through the Help Center on its website or write to them on the 24/7 live chat. I got my refund in less than a week.

Watch The Kennedy Center Honors With PIA

Where Can I Watch the Annual Kennedy Center Honors Online?

The Kennedy Center Honors airs on CBS every year around Christmas. It didn't air in 2020 due to the Coronavirus, so it did twice in 2021 — in June and in December. If you don’t have traditional cable television, there are several ways you can stream it online. The easiest way is to subscribe to CBS’s exclusive streaming platform, Paramount+ (previously CBS All Access).

With a Paramount+ subscription, you can watch The Kennedy Center Honors both live on CBS and on-demand. However, keep in mind that the on-demand recording of the event is only available for 30 days after it airs.

You can also watch The Kennedy Center Honors on any streaming platform that has CBS included in their bundle deal. That includes Sling TV, YouTube TV, fuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, and DirectTV Stream. Some of these platforms have a DVR service available for you to record the event for later viewing, but you won’t find an on-demand video of it there. If you’re interested in rewatching the previous year’s Kennedy Center Honors, you can watch the episodes on Amazon Prime Video.

However, online cable providers may not carry a live stream of CBS in all of the US TV markets. A VPN can help you solve this problem. You can simply connect to a server in a different US city where CBS is available. I recommend ExpressVPN as it has server locations in 15+ US cities (including LA, NYC, Miami, Dallas, etc.), so you can access CBS from anywhere.

Try ExpressVPN Now

FAQs on Watching the Kennedy Center Honors With a VPN

Can I watch the Annual Kennedy Center Honors for free?

Technically, yes. Since the Kennedy Center Honors airs on CBS, you can watch it on any streaming platform and online cable service that has a live stream of CBS included in their offer. However, not all of them will have a free trial available.

That’s why I’ve put together a list of streaming platforms — that come with a free trial — where you can stream your local CBS live:

  • Paramount+ — CBS’s own streaming service has a 7-day free trial
  • fuboTV — 7-day free trial
  • YouTube TV — 14-day free trial
  • Paramount+ through Amazon Prime Video — 7-day free trial

Nevertheless, if you happen to be traveling outside the US, you are going to be blocked from accessing any of these platforms. The best way to bypass these geo-restrictions and access the content you want is with a VPN.

I recommend getting a reliable premium VPN like ExpressVPN that comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it risk-free.

On which devices can I watch the Annual Kennedy Center Honors?

You can stream the Kennedy Center Honors on almost any device — including your smart TV, Amazon Fire TV or Fire Stick, or Apple TV, to name a few. However, that depends if the platforms that carry a live stream of CBS support the device. These platforms include Paramount+, YouTube TV, Sling TV, fuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, and DirecTV Stream.

However, if you are traveling abroad, you’ll need a VPN to be able to access these streaming services. All of the VPNs listed in this article (ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access) work with these devices.

How can I watch The Kennedy Center Honors in 2023?

If you don’t have traditional cable television, you can watch it online. The best place to watch the annual Kennedy Center Honors is Paramount+, CBS’ exclusive streaming service. Simply subscribe to the streaming platform or online cable providers that carry a live CBS stream.

You can watch it both on-demand (for 30 days) and live when it airs there. There are also other streaming platforms (like YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, fuboTV, and DirecTV Stream) that have CBS included in their offer.

However, most of these platforms are available only in the US. Even if a streaming service is available in other countries, it has a different content library due to international licensing deals.

Luckily, there is a way to make it appear as if you are watching from the US. A VPN can change your IP address to a US one, so you get access to the US content library. With the right VPN, you can stream the latest Annual Kennedy Honors with no buffering and in HD quality from anywhere in the world.

Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free Now

Start Watching the Annual Kennedy Center Honors Now

With a premium VPN, you can unblock Paramount+ (or YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, fuboTV, and DirecTV Stream) and stream the annual Kennedy Center Honors from anywhere.

I recommend ExpressVPN for streaming the Kennedy Center Honors ceremony, as it has a large network of high-speed US servers, plus top-shelf unblocking capabilities.

It’s also backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can test it out completely risk-free. If you decide it's not for you, you can get a full refund.

To summarize, the best VPNs for watching the Kennedy Center Honors are…

Rank
Provider
Our Score
Discount
Visit Website
1
medal
9.8 /10
Save 49%!
2
9.8 /10
Save 84%!
3
9.6 /10
Save 82%!
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The information above can be used to track you, target you for ads, and monitor what you do online.

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About the Author

Obren is a technology researcher and writer. He is a strong believer in online privacy and digital freedom.

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