Will The Republican Debate Be Only On Fox Business Network? The Sixth Showdown Can Stream On Your Phone Too
Are you living in a post-cable world? Yeah, I can't afford cable or satellite either. Normally, that's not a problem, given how many shows are streamed online (not to mention Netflix). But unfortunately, there are no Netflix-sponsored debates, and this Thursday's Republican presidential debate is on a lesser-known cable news channel, Fox Business Network. So what's a young, politically engaged cord-cutter to do? Luckily, there will likely be several options to watch the debate besides Fox Business' cable channel.
Update: Fox Business announced Monday that COX, Suddenlink, and Mediacom will unbundle Fox Business Network on Jan. 14. The debate will be available to stream for free for everybody on FoxBusiness.com.
The easiest option — assuming you have a laptop and an Internet connection — would be to livestream the debate. Fox Business hasn't yet announced whether it will allow everyone to access a stream of the event, but they did so for the debate they hosted last November. No cable subscription necessary to log in. If Fox Business follows its own lead, you should be in luck — otherwise, your family or a friend can hopefully share a login.
Based on a media release from Fox Business, the debate will also be airing on Fox Business Mobile and Fox News Radio. Fox Business Mobile is a website and app that's available for iPod, iPhone, and Android phones. There's a live video function. Click on "videos" in the bottom menu bar and then "LIVE TV." This usually requires a cable or satellite subscription, but there's a chance that Fox Business could open this up to everyone if they do so for their website.
Finally, as the release noted, it looks as though the debate will be simulcast on Fox News Radio. Both Fox News and Fox Business Network have SiriusXM channels. Back in November, the debate was simulcast on the Fox Business satellite radio channel.
The debate, which will be held at the North Charleston Coliseum in North Charleston, South Carolina, will once again be split into two parts. An undercard event for lower-polling candidates will start at 6 p.m. ET, and the prime-time debate begins at 8 p.m.
This could be the first debate in which the main-stage combatants are truly winnowed down. To qualify, a candidate must poll in the top six nationally, or in the top five in either Iowa or New Hampshire. That could limit the main debate to just six players. The final lineup will be announced Monday night on Lou Dobbs Tonight on Fox Business at 7 p.m. ET.
If you have trouble tuning in despite all these options, you can always try again in a few weeks. Fox News Channel will be hosting another Republican debate Jan. 28 in Iowa, just days before the caucuses. And that one promises a Megyn Kelly / Donald Trump rematch.
Correction: An earlier version of this article mistakenly labeled Fox Business Network as Fox Business News. We regret this error.