ABC to make September debate available for simulcast on other networks

ABC News says it will make the presidential debate between President Biden and former President Trump that it plans to host in September available for simulcast on other networks.

The debate will be held in prime-time and follow an earlier clash between the candidates scheduled for June, hosted by CNN.

CNN has said its debate will be broadcast on its main cable channel, CNN International, CNN en Español, CNN Max and It has not announced plans to make the first debate available for simulcast on other networks.

While appearing on CNN’s air on Wednesday, anchor Chris Wallace, who has moderated several presidential debates, suggested the audience for this year’s could be massive.

“Yes, CNN will obviously conduct it. I’m sure we’ll make it available to everybody else. But you know, are our competitors on cable, are the broadcast networks? The reason that they get such huge numbers — I think both of my debates got over 80 million — was because of the fact you couldn’t miss it,” Wallace said. “It was on every channel; will it be on every channel? Will ABC, NBC, Fox, MSNBC take the CNN debate? That makes it a very different experience if it’s just wall-to-wall coverage on every broadcast outlet.”

Presidential debates routinely serve as the biggest driver of audience for major news networks in an election year, with more than 70 million tuning in to watch Biden debate Trump in October of 2020.

Trump has suggested he and Biden debate more than twice, though the Biden campaign had only committed to the CNN and ABC debates as of Wednesday.

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