Fox News and others sign on to carry CNN's presidential debate

President Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden at Thursday's debate.
President Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden at 2020 debate. (Associated Press)

Broadcast and cable networks, including Fox News and ABC, are falling in line to carry the simulcast of CNN's presidential debate on June 27, the first general election face-off of this cycle between President Biden and former president Trump.

The cooperation marks a first among the typically fierce competitors.

Since 1988 and until now, presidential debates were organized by the Commission on Presidential Debates and presented across multiple outlets. The commission controlled the choices of venues and moderators, with different networks handling the technical aspects of the broadcasts.

The campaigns for the presumptive 2024 nominees bypassed the commission this year and agreed to two debates produced by individual networks. The first will be moderated by CNN anchors Jake Tapper and Dana Bash at the network's Atlanta studio, while ABC will produce and carry the second event on Sept. 10. The running mates — Vice President Kamala Harris and Trump's to-be-determined veep pick — are expected to meet on CBS.

Some outlets pushed back on CNN's requirements for the simulcast, which include running the network's logo on screen and referring to the event as the "CNN Presidential Debate" in all promotional spots and press releases.

But Fox News followed its rival's conditions, announcing its plans Thursday. The coverage, including analysis and opinion commentary, will be called "Fox News Democracy 2024: CNN Presidential Debate."

Fox News Media will present the event on the Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, the Fox broadcast network and the company's streaming service Fox Nation.

Shannon Bream, anchor of "Fox News Sunday," will lead the coverage on the broadcast network. Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum will handle the event on cable. Pro-Trump "Fox & Friends" weekend co-host Rachel Campos-Duffy will give her take on Fox Nation.

Read more: CNN is sharing its presidential debate with rivals. But there are strings attached

While Fox News is respecting CNN's guidelines, its conservative commentators have taken a typically critical tone of the network ahead of the event. In discussing the debate on Wednesday, prime time host Sean Hannity referred to Tapper as "Fake Jake" and the network as "Fake CNN."

Based on recent history, Fox News may end up with the largest audience for the debate. In the first 2020 debate sanctioned by the commission and airing across multiple networks, Fox News had 18 million viewers, the largest share of any outlet. The total among all networks, according to Nielsen, was 73 million viewers.

ABC News has announced its intent to carry the simulcast — also streaming live on Hulu — with anchors David Muir and Linsey Davis overseeing the analysis. CBS News made its plans official Thursday, with evening news anchor Norah O'Donnell leading the coverage. She will be joined by "CBS Mornings" co-host Gayle King, chief political analyst John Dickerson, and "Face the Nation" moderator Margaret Brennan.

A representative for NBCUniversal News Group said it will carry the event on NBC, MSNBC and Spanish-language network Telemundo. Nexstar's cable network NewsNation, Scripps News, and right-wing channel Newsmax have also signed on, their representatives said..

The debate is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. (Pacific) and run 90 minutes with two commercial breaks, another first for general election presidential debates, which in the past have run commercial free. The outlets carrying the simulcast are not allowed to use the breaks for commentary and analysis. CNN has said that the feed will be pulled from any outlet that violates that agreement.

Sign up for our Wide Shot newsletter to get the latest entertainment business news, analysis and insights.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.