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Facebook scores live stream rights for 2016 presidential debates

by Jacob Kleinman | September 20, 2016September 20, 2016 7:00 pm PST


Looking for a way to watch the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Drumpf without a cable subscription? You’re in luck. Facebook is teaming up with ABC News to stream all three debates live.

The debates will be free to watch online, though you’ll need a Facebook account to do it. The live stream will apparently be ad-free, and Facebook says it plans to incorporate user comments and questions. ABC will also stream live coverage each day leading up to the debate from the host city, along with analysis afterward.

The partnership follows a similar deal between ABC News and Facebook during the Republican and Democrat National Conventions. Those streams reportedly brought in more than 28 million views in total and likely helped Facebook score the rights for the debates.

“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 ABC News digital chief Colby Smith.

The first 90-minute debate is set for Monday, September 26 at Hofstra University in New York. Facebook will also stream two more debates on October 9 Washington University in St. Louis and October 19 at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas.

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Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...