CNN Says It Will Make Presidential Debate Available For Simulcast On Other Networks

CNN will make its June 27 presidential debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump available for simulcast by other networks, a spokesperson said Friday.

ABC News, which is planning a Sept. 10 debate, has said that it will provide the feed to other networks.

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The debates between the presidential contenders, which came together this week, promise to be a viewership juggernaut. But the ultimate reach of both events has been a lingering question, as it could have an impact on its total audience.

By making the debate available to rivals, CNN is giving up exclusivity, and perhaps the chance at a larger audience. But the debate overall may end up garnering a larger overall viewership if it is widely available across networks, albeit it will be with CNN talent.

Since 1988, the Commission on Presidential Debates has hosted the general election debates and they have aired across networks, cable outlets and streaming platforms.

This week, though, Biden’s campaign announced that they were not planning to participate in the set fall schedule for those events. Instead, the campaign proposed a June and September debate, with a network hosting.

The campaigns of Biden and Donald Trump quickly agreed to participate in a CNN and ABC News debate, upending the tradition of the commission hosting the events after Labor Day. Jake Tapper and Dana Bash will moderate the CNN debate; David Muir and Linsey Davis will moderate ABC’s event.

CNN plans to also air the debate on CNN International, CNN en Espanol and CNN Max and, where viewers will not need a cable login.

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