We know Facebook as the unchallenged social media giant of our times. Founder Mark Zuckerberg says “it’s a tech company.” But the statement will not substantiate what Facebook is going to do next in business.
Facebook in partnership with ABC News will deliver the live coverage of what is likely to be the biggest night in US television history – the 2016 presidential elections, where Democratic Party candidate and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton will take on Republican candidate and real estate mogul and billionaire Donald Trump.
This does come as a surprise but not a shocker. Both Facebook and ABC News have previously benefitted from the Democratic and Republican debates. Facebook Live was used by ABC News to welcome over 28 million video views in the debates through its Facebook pages.
According to the agreement, ABC again will again use the Facebook Live feature to video-stream the broadcast of three debates between the veteran politician Hillary Clinton and the uncensored Donald Trump. Cashing on the working relationship, ABC News will also use Facebook Live to stream the Vice Presidential debate fought between Mike Pence and Tim Kaine. But there’s more.
Following the ritual of preceding, superseding and succeeding important elections with studio discussions and analysis of what’s going to unfold, ABC News fame Elzie Lee Granderson and Matthew Dowd will be hosting a new and original series on the campaign season on Facebook Live, called the ‘Strait Talk’.
What remains to be seen is if ABC News is new-age experiment with Facebook Live gets the success that it expects. Treading with caution, the network will not be streaming any advertisements on the fateful day, a decision that appears to be binding the agreement with Facebook in the first place.
News mixing up with tech platforms such as Facebook is seen by journalists as an unnatural alliance, especially on the subject of mutually benefitting from the advertising revenues it has the potential to generate. For ABC and Facebook, this does not seem like a bone of contention, at least in the initial stages of their relationship.
The debates that will set the course for Americans to select their new president, which unarguably can transform how the United States of America is seen by the world will begin from Monday, September 26.
The first venue will be New York and the stage will be set at the Hofstra University. The debate expected to be watched by millions world over will be moderated by Lester Holt of the NBC News. Following the first war of words and policy promises, St. Loius’s Washington University will be hosting the second debate and ABC News will bring in Martha Raddatz to moderate the session falling on October 9.The lights of Las Vegas will be put to focus on the third debate on October 19 and Chris Wallace of Fox News will step up to step in if necessary to keep it on track.