Clinton-Trump Debate: How to Watch via Free Online Streaming, on TV

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will face off Monday, Sept. 26, in the much-anticipated first debate with the two U.S. presidential contenders — an event that could draw close to a Super Bowl-size audience.

The 90-minute confrontation between the polarizing political figures will be widely available on broadcast and cable TV, as well as via numerous online outlets including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Monday’s debate, the first of three between Trump and Clinton, is set for 9-10:30 p.m. Eastern and will be moderated by “NBC Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt.

Here’s how to catch the action, with several cable networks online services launching pre-debate coverage up to two hours before the main event at 7 p.m. ET.


Broadcast networks including ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, PBS and Univision will carry the debate without commercial interruptions. On cable, the debate can be seen on CNN, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, MSNBC, CNBC, Fusion and C-SPAN.

Streaming services

Facebook will exclusively carry ABC News’ live coverage of the debate (at its official Facebook page), while other media are also expected to use Facebook Live to stream reports from the event.

On YouTube, the debate will be live-streamed from NBC News (at this link), Fox News (here)PBS (here), Washington Post (here), Univision (here) and Telemundo (here).

Twitter will stream Bloomberg TV‘s coverage at debates.twitter.com, including pre- and post-debate segments. Roku users can stream the debate via apps for ABC News, Bloomberg TV, CBS News, NewsOn, and CNNgo (participating pay-TV subscription required).

Other websites and internet platforms featuring debate live streams on their websites and apps include: ABC News, BuzzFeed News, CBS News, CNN, C-SPAN, Daily Caller, Fox News, Fox Business Network, Hulu, Huffington Post, NBC News, PBS, Politico, TelemundoWall Street Journal, Univision and Yahoo.

In addition, Snap’s Snapchat will cover the debates on-site via a “Live Story” from the perspectives of students from the universities hosting the debates, as well as volunteers, media and others. And NBC News has teamed with AltspaceVR for a live virtual-reality environment for the debate, which can be access on Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR and HTC Vive headsets as well as through a desktop viewer for PCs.

The first Clinton-Trump debate — held at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. — will be divided into six segments of approximately 15 minutes each on major topics selected by Holt. Holt will open each segment with a question, after which each candidate will have two minutes to respond; Trump and Clinton will then have an opportunity to respond to each other, and Holt will use the remaining the time in each segment for further discussion of the topic.

In the weeks leading up to the debates, Facebook and Google have been providing data to the moderators about what internet users are searching for and saying about the candidates and the issues.

The second presidential debate is set for Oct. 9 at Washington U. in St. Louis, in a town-meeting format moderated by ABC News’ Martha Raddatz and CNN’s Anderson Cooper, and the third and final debate is Oct. 19 at UNLV in Las Vegas with Fox News’ Chris Wallace moderating. The Oct. 4 VP debate with Mike Pence and Tim Kaine, to be held at Longwood U. in Virginia, will be moderated by CBS News correspondent and CBSN anchor Elaine Quijano.

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