Debate Live Stream | Watch the Presidential Debates

MSNBC commentators reporting from the 2012 Democratic National Convention.MSNBC commentators reporting from the 2012 Democratic National Convention.By: Steve Bott

Best Channels to Watch Presidential Debate TV Coverage

ChannelWatch LinkTime (EST)BiasWebsiteLinks
CNNWatch Debate on CNN7pm - 1amMainstreamcnn.com
MSNBCWatch Debate on MSNBC8pm - 2amLiberalmsnbc.com
FoxNewsWatch Debate on Fox News9pm - 11pmConservativefoxnews.com

Broadcast TV Channels to Watch the Presidential Debate

ChannelWatch LinkTime (EST)BiasWebsiteLinks
ABCWatch Debate on ABC9pm - 11pmBroadcastabc.go.com
CBSWatch Debate on CBS9pm - 11pmBroadcastcbs.com
NBCWatch Debate on NBC9pm - 11pmBroadcastnbc.com
FOXWatch Debate on FOX9pm - 10:30pmBroadcastfox.com

Niche Channels to Watch Presidential Debate TV Coverage

ChannelWatch LinkTime (EST)BiasWebsiteLinks
CSPANWatch Debate on C-SPAN8pm - 11:30pmPoliticsc-span.org
BLOOMWatch Debate on Bloomberg8:30pm - 11pmFinancebloomberg.com
FSTVWatch Debate on Free Speech TV9pm - 10:30pmLiberalfreespeech.org
FOXBWatch Debate on Fox Business8pm - 11:30pmConservativefoxbusiness.com
OANNWatch Debate on One America News9pm - 11pmConservativeoann.com

Watching the Presidential Debates

Every major broadcast and cable news network will broadcast the three Presidential & Vice Presidential debate as well as live stream debate TV coverage online. Cable news networks like CNN, MSNBC and Fox News will air extensive debate coverage preceding a debate and after its conclusion while broadcast stations like ABC, NBC and CBS will only go live shortly before a debate and then transition back into regular programing shortly after its conclusion.

Joe Biden vs Donald Trump

The debates between Joe Biden and Donald Trump will follow the format and rules determined by the Commission on Presidential Debates.

Each candidate will be given an opportunity to deliver an opening and closing statement at the beginning and end of each debate.

The first and third debates are traditional debates where a moderator will ask a question to a candidate and that candidate will have a chance to respond. Typically the other candidate will be given a short time to deliver a response to what was just said.  

The second Presidential debate will be in a townhall meeting format where select participants will ask questions prescreened by the debate moderator in addition to questions posed by the moderator himself. 

Kamala Harris vs Mike Pence

There will be one Vice Presidential debate between Kamala Harris and Mike Pence. It will be a traditional debate and not in a town hall format. 

Each candidate will be given an opportunity to deliver an opening and closing statement at the beginning and end of their debate. Since it is a traditional debate, the moderator will ask one candidate a question and then typically offer the opposing candidate an opportunity to respond to what the other said. 

Debate Moderators

Each debates format and rules are determined by the Commission on Presidential Debates and the moderators of each are chosen by the Commission without the consultation of either political candidate. Debate moderators are typically senior journalists, editors, and correspondents of major news organizations with a history of nonpartisan journalism. 

Questions asked by the moderators during the debate are their own unless the moderator states otherwise. The second Presidential debate will be in a townhall meeting format where select participants will ask questions prescreened by the debate moderator in addition to questions posed by the moderator himself. 

1st Presidential Debate: September 29, 2020
Moderator: Chris Wallace (Fox News)
Location: Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio
Time: 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. ET

Vice Presidential Debate: October 7, 2020
Moderator: 
Susan Page (USA Today)
Location: University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
Time: 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. ET

2nd Presidential Debate: October 15, 2020
Moderator: Steve Scully (C-SPAN)
Location: Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Miami, Florida
Time: 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. ET

3rd Presidential Debate: October 22, 2020
Moderator: Kristen Welker (NBC)
Location: Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee
Time: 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. ET

Candidates Participating in Debates

Candidates must be invited by the Commission on Presidential Debates in order to participate in a debate. No third party candidate has qualified to participate in a Presidential or Vice Presidential debate since 1992. 

The debate stage is set with two podiums or chairs equally apart from each other with the debate host front and center facing the candidates. 

Each candidate is supposed to receive equal speaking time and the moderator is allowed to force a candidate to stop talking if they go over their allotted speaking time.

Political News Channels Airing Debate & Pre & Post (CNN, MSNBC, Fox News)

TV Service Provider# PlansLowest# ChansHighest# Chans
Sling TV2$30.0050$45.0055
Spectrum TV3$44.99146$89.99284
Hulu Live TV1$54.9974
AT&T TV Now7$55.0049$183.00181
AT&T TV5$59.9974$129.99184
Xfinity3$59.99182$104.99215
DirecTV6$59.99109$134.99266
Dish Network4$59.99115$94.99201
YouTube TV1$64.9998
Cox1$69.99138
Verizon Fios2$70.00175$90.00264
TVision Home1$90.00166

TV provider plans carrying debate channels (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC)

TV Service Provider# PlansLowest# ChansHighest# Chans
Cox2$25.0035$69.99138
Spectrum TV3$44.99146$89.99284
Hulu Live TV1$54.9974
AT&T TV Now8$55.0049$183.00181
AT&T TV5$59.9974$129.99184
Xfinity3$59.99182$104.99215
DirecTV6$59.99109$134.99266
Dish Network4$59.99115$94.99201
YouTube TV1$64.9998
Verizon Fios2$70.00175$90.00264
TVision Home1$90.00166

Liberal Debate Coverage

MSNBC provides Presidential and Vice Presidential debate coverage from a left-of-center point of view. MSNBC airs extensive coverage leading up to and at the conclusion of a Presidential and Vice Presidential debate, along with airing the debate in its entirety. 

Top journalists and commentators like Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes, Brian Williams, Ali Velshi, Andrea Mitchell, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski will often hold special programming the day of a debate where they discuss how they think the night will unfold and then air post-debate coverage where they will often interview candidates to see how they felt they performed in the debate.

TV provider plans with MSNBC

TV Service Provider# PlansLowest# ChansHighest# Chans
Sling TV2$30.0050$45.0055
Spectrum TV3$44.99146$89.99284
Hulu Live TV1$54.9974
AT&T TV Now8$55.0049$183.00181
AT&T TV5$59.9974$129.99184
Xfinity3$59.99182$104.99215
DirecTV6$59.99109$134.99266
Dish Network4$59.99115$94.99201
YouTube TV1$64.9998
FuboTV3$64.9998$84.99161
Cox1$69.99138
Verizon Fios2$70.00175$90.00264
TVision Home1$90.00166

Conservative Debate Coverage

Fox News provides Presidential and Vice Presidential debate coverage from a right-of-center point of view. Fox News airs extensive coverage leading up to and at the conclusion of a Presidential and Vice Presidential debate, along with airing the debate in its entirety. 

Hosts Bret Baier and Chris Wallace, who will be moderating the 1st Presidential Debate, head the news division of Fox News and provide a nuanced and balanced coverage of the Democratic debates, albeit with a right-of-center point of view.

Other personalities on Fox News like Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, Maria Bartiromo, Jeanine Pirro, Newt Gingrich, among others, provide a right-of-center or conservative point of view. 

TV provider plans with Fox News

TV Service Provider# PlansLowest# ChansHighest# Chans
Sling TV2$30.0050$45.0055
Spectrum TV3$44.99146$89.99284
Vidgo2$45.0070$55.0081
Hulu Live TV1$54.9974
AT&T TV Now7$55.0049$183.00181
AT&T TV5$59.9974$129.99184
Xfinity3$59.99182$104.99215
DirecTV6$59.99109$134.99266
Dish Network4$59.99115$94.99201
YouTube TV1$64.9998
FuboTV3$64.9998$84.99161
Cox1$69.99138
Verizon Fios2$70.00175$90.00264
TVision Home1$90.00166

All Other Pre & Post Debate Coverage

There is also a number of options for viewers who wish to watch mainstream networks and listen to commentary that provides a relatively even split of liberals and conservatives, or listen to commentary that approaches the debates from a different perspective entirely. 

Mainstream Debate Coverage

CNN provides Presidential and Vice Presidential Debate coverage from a mainstream point of view. 

Anderson Cooper, Wolf Blitzer, Jake Tapper, Don Lemon, Chris Cuomo, Jeffrey Toobin, Gloria Borger, Paul Begala, S.E. Cupp, Rick Santorum, Ana Navarro, Kristen Powers and others lead a bipartisan political team that covers the Presidential and Vice Presidential Debates from all angles. 

Fusion provides Presidential and Vice Presidential Debate coverage tailored towards younger voters aged 18-34 with a mix of serious and satirical debate commentary. 

Univision provides Presidential and Vice Presidential Debate coverage tailored towards the burgeoning Hispanic population in the United States. Their debate coverage is twofold, with a focus on the debate itself and how the issues discussed in a given debate would affect the Hispanic population living in the United States.  

Financial News Debate Coverage

Bloomberg provides Presidential and Vice Presidential Debate coverage with a focus on how the various proposals discussed by the candidates would affect the financial markets and U.S. economy. 

Fox Business provides Presidential and Vice Presidential Debate coverage with a focus on how the various proposals discussed by the candidates would affect the financial markets and U.S. economy, albeit from a right-of-center point of view. 

TV Channels that Hosted 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary Debates

ChannelWatch Link# HostedDate(s)WebsiteLinks
CNNWatch CNN53/15 1/14 10/15 7/31 7/30 cnn.com
CBSWatch CBS12/25 cbs.com
MSNBCWatch MSNBC42/19 11/20 6/27 6/26 msnbc.com
NBCWatch NBC32/19 6/27 6/26 nbc.com
ABCWatch ABC22/7 9/12 abc.go.com
PBSWatch PBS112/19 pbs.org
UnivisionWatch Univision19/12 univision.com