September 22, 2016
Election coverage focused on presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will get a major boost from social media, streaming technology and even virtual reality. Facebook plans to live-stream the upcoming debates with help from ABC News, while a Twitter-Bloomberg partnership will bring live streams of the debates to Twitter. YouTube, meanwhile, is slated to live-stream the debates from PBS, Telemundo and The Washington Post. And starting last night, NBC with AltspaceVR began streaming election coverage in virtual reality.
NBC also plans to live-stream the debates in VR. The network’s VR coverage launched last night when an avatar of Al Roker hosted “Virtual Democracy Plaza.” Viewers can use the AltspaceVR app via the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift or Samsung Gear VR.
“Leading up to Election Night, NBC will host a variety of different VR events, including debate watch parties, Q&A’s with political experts, political comedy shows, and more,” reports TechCrunch.
Additional personalities to get the VR treatment will include MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki and CNBC’s Sharon Epperson.
“On Tuesday, ABC News announced a partnership with Facebook to stream the three presidential debates and the vice presidential debate, along with commentary before and after, on the social network,” notes The Wall Street Journal. The recently launched Facebook Live is part of the company’s effort to become more of a video hub.
Twitter, which has also been making a push into video, will live-stream the presidential and vice presidential debates. “The streams will come from Bloomberg TV’s live broadcast,” explains TechCrunch, and “will be available via Twitter.com, as well as on its various native apps via Moments and through the @bpolitics Twitter account, including the just-launched Apple TV version which is tailor-made for video.”
Not surprisingly, leading video platform YouTube also has streaming plans. According to Variety, “as part of launching a get-out-the-vote initiative aimed at young Americans, [YouTube] has set deals to live-stream the U.S. presidential debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump from PBS, NBCUniversal’s Telemundo and the Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post.”
YouTube live-streamed coverage from ABC of the 2012 presidential debates. To reach younger voters this time, YouTube “has teamed with TV personality and producer Ryan Seacrest and YouTube stars including Timothy DeLaGhetto and the Fung Bros. to create videos that last 1 minute and 34 seconds — the amount of time it takes to register to vote, according to YouTube.”