How to watch the second US presidential debate on TV and online

These two will be on nearly every screen Sunday night.
These two will be on nearly every screen Sunday night.
Image: Reuters/Mike Segar
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Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will share the debate stage once again on Oct. 9.

Unlike the debates we’ve seen so far this election season, the second of the three US presidential debates will be in the style of a town hall. The candidates will field questions from ordinary, uncommitted US citizens as well as the debate moderators, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper and ABC’s This Week co-anchor Martha Raddatz.

The debate will take place at Washington University in St. Louis and begin at 9pm eastern time. It will last about 90 minutes and run commercial free.

Like the first debate, it will be broadcast on a multitude of television networks and streamed on news sites and social media platforms.

Here’s how you can tune in:

How to watch on TV

The debate will be broadcast on the following channels in the US:

  • ABC
  • CBS
  • Fox
  • PBS
  • C-SPAN
  • CNN
  • Fox News
  • Univision

Most standard cable-TV packages carry these channels, so take your pick. Many of the networks will begin coverage hours before the debate and continue long into the night, hours after the debate ends.

Note: NBC will not broadcast this debate. It will air a Sunday night NFL game instead.

How to watch online

If you don’t have a TV, don’t fret. There are plenty of options for cord-cutters, too. The following social media platforms will stream the debate for free:

  • Facebook (with ABC News coverage)
  • Twitter (with Bloomberg TV coverage)
  • YouTube (with coverage from Bloomberg, Fox News, NBC News, PBS, Telemundo, Univision, Washington Post, and others)

Snapchat will also feature the debate in a Live Story that will include curated snaps from users on or near the Washington University campus.

If none of those options appeals to you, a myriad of other news organizations and websites will also stream the debate, including:

  • BuzzFeed
  • CBS News
  • CNN
  • C-SPAN
  • Fox News
  • Huffington Post
  • Mic
  • NBC News
  • PBS
  • Telemundo
  • Wall Street Journal
  • Univision
  • Yahoo

But, wait, there’s yet another way you can watch.

How to watch in virtual reality

NBC is partnering with AltspaceVR to host a debate watch party in virtual reality. Anyone with the Altspace VR app on Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, or HTC Vive can join in. (Just beware of technical challenges.)

The first presidential debate was the most-watched in US history. Let’s see if Sunday’s debate, which will be just as accessible, achieves equally high ratings.