It's T-minus three days from the second GOP debate, to be broadcast on CNN as well as streamed online. Considering how difficult it was to watch last Republican debate on Fox News, this is potentially amazing. This means that even if you don't have cable, you can still catch the political spectacle on the internet without any sort of registration. It will be difficult for CNN to pull off, however, if the millions of expected viewers all tune in from computers as well as mobile phones. Fox certainly didn't succeed in doing so; the stream was unavailable for most of the night.
"CNN will be live streaming the GOP debate next [Wednesday] online and across CNN’s mobile platforms without authentication. Users won't have to log-in to see the stream, it will be available as soon as they visit CNN.com or access one of our apps," a CNN spokesperson told Fortune by email.
The news network announced Tuesday that instead of the original air time at 9 p.m. ET, the debate will now air at 8 p.m. ET, much closer to the earlier forum for the second-tier candidates, who will face off at 6 p.m. ET. The earlier show will feature candidates who polled at least 1 percent in three national polls.
Here's everything you need to know about the debate Wednesday.
- There will be 11 candidates for the primary debate: Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, John Kasich, Chris Christie, and Carly Fiorina.
- The earlier lineup will include Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, George Pataki, and Lindsey Graham.
- It will take place at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.
- Trump will be center stage, with Carson to his right and Bush to his left.
- The debate moderator will be Jake Tapper, anchor of The Lead and the Sunday Washington program State of the Union.
- According to Ad Age, CNN is asking 40 times its normal rate for commercial time during the debate — that's as much as $200,000 for a 30-second spot.
- The first debate had a considerable number of viewers in the most important consumer demographic: 6.7 million viewers between 18-to-49.
- A big difference between the Fox debate and the CNN debate will be that the latter will initiate more cross talk between the candidates. "We're going to be reading what other people have said about them," Tapper told the LA Times. "We want them to debate not with me but each other."