×

ABC News Pacts With Facebook to Live-Stream 2016 Presidential Debates

ABC News is turning again to Facebook as an outlet for extended 2016 election coverage — off traditional TV — with the companies unveiling a partnership to deliver live video programming from the four 2016 general-election debates.

The network’s Facebook Live broadcasts will cover the three debates between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and the VP face-off between Mike Pence and Tim Kaine. ABC News earlier this summer teamed with Facebook for live coverage of the 2016 Democratic and Republican conventions, which produced more than 28 million video views across ABC News’ main Facebook page (at this link: Facebook.com/ABCNews) and other accounts.

ABC News remains in experimentation mode with Facebook Live — its debate programming on the social platform won’t carry any advertising. The news org wants to see how viewers engage with the content on Facebook to deliver enhanced political reporting and analysis.

Two hours before each debate, ABC News contributors Matthew Dowd and LZ Granderson will kick off evening coverage on Facebook Live with original series “Strait Talk” at 7 p.m. Eastern. That will be followed by anchored coverage from “Nightline” co-anchor Dan Harris along with Granderson and digital host Amna Nawaz through the completion of the debates, which are scheduled to run from 9-10:30 p.m. each night. The Facebook Live broadcasts will include the debates themselves.

In addition, throughout each debate day, ABC News’ Facebook feed will offer live streams from around the debate host cities, inside the spin room, and from watch parties across the country. The coverage also will include commentary from anchors and correspondents at ABC News headquarters in New York. ABC News will incorporate viewer comments, questions and discussions in its Facebook Live coverage.

The debates kick off next Monday, Sept. 26, with Clinton and Trump squaring off at Hofstra U. in Hempstead, N.Y., moderated by NBC News anchor Lester Holt. They will reconvene Oct. 9 at Washington U. in St. Louis for a debate held in a town-meeting format moderated by ABC News’ Martha Raddatz and CNN’s Anderson Cooper, and Oct. 19 at UNLV in Las Vegas with Fox News’ Chris Wallace moderating. The Oct. 4 vice-presidential debate at Longwood U. in Farmville, Va., will be moderated by CBS News correspondent and CBSN anchor Elaine Quijano.

“Given the tremendous viewership we saw across the ABC News Facebook pages throughout the conventions, we’re thrilled to continue the partnership and bring ABC News’ wide-ranging live coverage direct to users’ News Feeds for the debates,” said Colby Smith, VP of digital for ABC News. “As we move further into the election cycle, there continues to be a voracious appetite for live content and we know many users turn to Facebook to engage and participate in the conversation.”

Each of the 90-minute debates will be broadcast live on networks including ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC and C-SPAN without commercial breaks.

More TV

  • John Malone

    Liberty Global and Vodafone's $21.5 Billion Cable Deal Cleared by European Authorities

    The European Commission has approved Vodafone’s $21.5 billion deal for a raft of Liberty Global assets in Europe, with conditions attached. The commission had investigated the deal on the grounds that it could reduce competition and lead to higher prices for consumers. It concluded, however, that the deal could go ahead with conditions. These include [...]

  • Harlots

    ITV Takes Majority Stake in ‘Harlots’ Producer Monumental Television

    ITV Studios now has a controlling stake in Monumental Television, the production company that makes Hulu series “Harlots” and that was founded by Oscar-nominated film producers Alison Owen and Debra Hayward. ITV first bought into the company in 2015 and has upped its stake from 26% to 51%. Julian Bellamy, managing director of ITV Studios, [...]

  • Fremantle Owner RTL Group Forms New

    Fremantle Owner RTL Group Forms New Unscripted Formats Unit

    RTL has created a new unit that will work up unscripted formats exclusively for broadcasters and streaming services in the group. Fremantle, which is a major force in unscripted, is part of the RTL Group, and makes shows for RTL and third parties. The new Format Creation Group will develop ideas exclusively for in-house outlets. [...]

  • Pennyworth

    TV Review: 'Pennyworth'

    Is there a law that says there must always be a certain number of Batman properties on air at all times? Just as Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” films germinated a fandom that seemed to demand not merely a Ben Affleck Batman but also two different Joker-based franchise, so too did the conclusion of Fox’s “Gotham” [...]

  • She's Gotta Have It Review

    'She's Gotta Have It' Canceled After Two Seasons at Netflix

    Netflix has canceled Spike Lee’s series adaptation of “She’s Gotta Have It.” The show ran for two seasons at the streamer. Lee is expected to shop the series to other outlets. The news comes less than two months after the release of Season 2 back in May. “Spike Lee is one of the greatest filmmakers [...]

  • David Benioff and D.B. Weiss

    'Game of Thrones' Showrunners Will No Longer Attend Comic-Con Panel

    “Game of Thrones” showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, along with some beloved “Thrones” actors, have canceled their scheduled appearances at San Diego International Comic-Con. Actors Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont), Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei of Naath), director Miguel Sapochnik, and dual writer-producers Benioff and Weiss are no longer attending, HBO revealed in a revised panel lineup [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content