Cruz vs. Beto’s First Debate: What Time & Channel Is the Debate Tonight Near Me?

Ted Cruz vs Beto O'Rourke

Getty Ted Cruz vs Beto O'Rourke

Tonight is the first long-awaited debate between Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke. Read on to learn all the details about how to watch the debate and what time it comes on.

The debate begins tonight, Friday, September 21, at 6 p.m. Central. It is slated to last one hour. The debate will cover domestic policy. O’Rourke and Cruz will each be given 90 seconds to answer questions, 60 seconds to respond, and then 30 seconds for a rebuttal to the response.

The debate will be aired live on different channels throughout Texas. Here’s a quick look at how you can watch depending on where you live: 

  • C-SPAN: It appears that C-SPAN 1 will be airing the debate live as it happens, and then re-airing the debate at 11 p.m. Eastern later tonight.
  • Abilene: KTAB will be broadcasting tonight’s debate live in the Abilene area.
  • Amarillo: In the Panhandle area of Texas, Panhandle PBS will be airing the debate live on cable channel 3 or channel 2.1.
  • Austin: KXAN will broadcast the debate live. A number of watch parties are also being hosted, including at Texas Land and Cattle, Wright Bros. Brew & Brew, UT Jester East Main Lobby, Attabar ATX, Latchkey, and more.
  • Corpus Christi: The live debate will be aired on CW. (KEDT-TV will also air the debate live. See the “South Texas” listing below.) A tape delay will air on KRIS 6 on Saturday after NBC late-night programming. Another tape delay will air Saturday on KZTV after the Texas A&M-Alabama football game, around 6 p.m.
  • Dallas: The debate will be aired live on NBC 5/KXAS in Dallas.
  • Houston: News and KUHT-Ch.8 will broadcast the debate live.
  • Laredo: In Laredo, you can watch the debate live on Fox News South Texas, KFXV-TV, and KXOF Laredo.
  • Panhandle Area: In the Panhandle area of Texas, Panhandle PBS will be airing the debate live on cable channel 3 or channel 2.1.
  • San Antonio: San Antonio’s Texas Public Radio will air the debate live, and so will KSAT (MeTV), which is available on 81/1240 Time Warner, DISH 247, Grande 189/271, or GVTC 81. KLRN will also be broadcasting the debate live. O’Rourke’s campaign is also hosting a watch party at the Burleson Beer Garden. Alamo Drafthouse in New Braunfels is hosting an unofficial watch party.
  • South Texas: The Caller Times reports that in South Texas, you can watch the debate live on KEDT-TV and radio station KEDT-FM 90.3. Both stations will repeat the debate on Sunday at 3 p.m.
  • Spanish speakers: Local Telemundo stations will broadcast the debate live in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, McAllen, and El Paso.

To find what channel a specific station is on for you, click here to go to TV Guide’s listings. Then change the “Provider” (right under TV Listings) to your local provider. You’ll be able to scroll down to see what channel the station you’re seeking is on in your region.

If you’re not in Texas, it looks like C-SPAN 1 will be your best bet for watching the debate on TV, or you can live stream it. The debate will be streamed on and (It’s unclear if you will need a log-in to watch on Dallas News.)

See more details about watching the debate on live stream here

The debate will take place at McFarlin Auditorium at SMU in Dallas, Texas. It will be held in front of a live audience of about 240 people, while Cruz and Beto stand at podiums answering questions. Each campaign was given 105 tickets to distribute for this debate, and SMU will hand out the remaining seats. If you’re interested in a ticket, email (however, it may be too late for tonight’s debate.)

The panelists for this debate are Julie Fine, NBC 5 political reporter, and Gromer Jeffers, Dallas Morning News political writer.

Do you know of other cities that are not listed above and where they will be airing the debate on TV? Let us know in the comments below.

READ NEXT: Why are the results of Beto and Cruz’s latest polls so different? Learn more about the polls here.

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