The final 2020 Presidential Debate is tonight, with President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden facing off for the last time. Here are all the details you need to know about how to watch the debate on television tonight. If you’re interested in watching a live stream, you can view an embedded stream at the end of this article.
The Debate Itself Starts at 9 p.m. Eastern
Tonight’s debate on Thursday, October 22 begins at 9 p.m. Eastern. Because it is being simulcast, it will be broadcast at the same time on many major channels. This is the set time the Commission on Presidential Debates decided was the start time for all three debates this year. However, because of Trump’s COVID diagnosis and disagreements on how to approach that, the second debate was canceled. The debate is expected to last until 10:30 p.m. Eastern.
Debate Coverage May Start Earlier on Some TV Channels
Some TV stations may begin their coverage a little earlier than 9 p.m. in order to provide extra analysis. To find out what channel any of the stations below 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 your preferred station is on in your region.
Here’s a look at what to expect on some of the major TV channels. Note that local channels listed below may vary their coverage depending on your location and region. But cable channels like CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC will be hosting the debate in all regions. So if your local channel isn’t airing the full debate, check out one of those stations instead.
ABC: ABC is offering three-hour coverage starting at 8 p.m. Eastern. According to the TV Guide listing, ABC’s first hour is a preview of the debate on 20/20 called Trump vs Biden: The Final Presidential Debate, followed by Your Voice Your Vote from 9-11 p.m. Eastern.
CBS: According to the TV Guide listing, for the hour before the election starts, CBS will be airing a new episode of Big Brother. Then from 9-11 p.m., the station will host CBS News: The Second Presidential Debate.
NBC: According to the TV Guide listing, for 30 minutes before the debate begins, NBC will be hosting a preview special. Then from 9-11 p.m., NBC will air 2020 Presidential Debate 2: NBC News Special.
Fox: Your local Fox channel is not airing the debate, but will instead be airing Thursday Night Football. However, FOX Business Network and FOX News are offering extensive live coverage.
On FOX News, Special Report’s Bret Baier and The Story’s Martha MacCallum will co-anchor live coverage inside the debate venue from 9-11 p.m. Eastern. They’ll be joined by commentators for post-debate analysis. Hannity will air at 11 p.m. Eastern following this.
FOX Business Network is providing live coverage of the debate, including pre- and post-debate analysis starting at 8 p.m. Eastern. Neil Cavuto is anchoring FOX Business Network Presents Democracy 2020: The Presidential Debate.
FOX Business Network notes: “Throughout the evening, Cavuto will be joined by a rotating panel of business and political experts, including Global Markets Editor and anchor of FBN’s Mornings with Maria Maria Bartiromo, Lou Dobbs Tonight host Lou Dobbs, Making Money with Charles Payne host Charles Payne, Kennedy host Lisa “Kennedy” Montgomery, Wall Street Journal at Large anchor Gerry Baker and financial correspondent Jackie DeAngelis, among others. Additionally, After the Bell co-anchor Connell McShane will contribute to the night’s coverage from the state of Georgia, sharing live reactions from local business owners to both candidates’ economic platforms. Leading up to the primetime coverage, Dobbs will present a special live 7 PM/ET encore edition of Lou Dobbs Tonight.
PBS: According to the TV Guide listing, PBS’ coverage of the debate begins at 9 p.m. Eastern with PBS NewsHour Debates 2020. Prior to this, PBS is airing This Old House and Ask This Old House rather than a preview special.
CNN: CNN is providing extensive coverage beginning at 7 p.m. Eastern with Debate Night in America from 7-9 p.m. This is a countdown to the debate with Anderson Cooper and Erin Burnett and a panel of experts, according to the TV Guide listing. Then from 9-11 p.m., CNN is hosting Final Presidential Debate, followed by Debate Night in America with post-debate analysis.
MSNBC: MSNBC kicks off its debate coverage at 8 p.m. Eastern with an hour-long Debate Pre-Show that’s counting down to the debate, according to the TV Guide listing. Then from 9-11 p.m., the channel hosts its program called Presidential Debate on MSNBC. Following this, MSNBC airs Debate Analysis on MSNBC.
Telemundo: At 8 p.m. Eastern, according to the TV Guide listing, Telemundo airs Decision 2020: El ultimo debate. Then from 9-11 p.m. Eastern, Decision 2020 continues by airing the debate live.
Univision: Univision’s coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern, according to the TV Guide listing, with a preview special. Then starting at 8:55 p.m. Eastern, Univision will air the debate live.
Watch the Debate Online Below
You can also just watch the entire debate on a live stream below, provided by CSPAN.
C-SPAN’s live stream will go live at 8 p.m. Eastern, an hour before the debate officially begins.