Hillary versus Trump, live on Twitter.
When Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump square off in their first nationally televised Presidential debate on Monday night, you’ll be able to watch it live, for free, on Twitter.
Bloomberg and Twitter announced a new partnership Wednesday in which Bloomberg’s coverage of all three presidential debates, plus the vice presidential debate, will stream on Twitter in the same format as the NFL’s Thursday Night Football game from last week.
The two companies will share revenue from ads delivered during the pre- and post-debate coverage. Twitter already has a streaming relationship with Bloomberg and worked with CBS earlier this year to stream both the Democratic and Republican conventions.
It’s a good get for Twitter, as these debates have become some of the most highly anticipated TV events of the year, along with football games and awards shows. The key question, as with all of Twitter’s other livestreams, is whether streaming the debates can actually generate some positive user growth for Twitter. You don’t need a Twitter account to watch the livestream, which makes it easy to tune in, but that doesn’t mean people will necessarily come back to the service after the stream is over.
The company’s first major streaming test, the NFL game last Thursday night, drew roughly 2.1 million total viewers, but it’s unclear how many of those folks were existing Twitter users versus new visitors.
Also worth noting here is that Twitter is just one of many places you’ll be able to stream the debate online next week. Bloomberg, for example, will stream the same feed on Bloomberg.com and its mobile app, also for free (no pay TV authentication required). Bloomberg also offers apps for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and Roku, which will carry the debate coverage.
Facebook, too, will have the debates, thanks to a livestreaming agreement announced Tuesday with ABC. So Twitter has some premium content, but it won’t be alone in distributing it online.
The first debate is slated for 9 pm ET next Monday at Hofstra University in New York.