YouTube, Facebook to Stream Video from Political Conventions

Earlier this week, we reported that Twitter is partnering with CBS News to live-stream video content from the Democratic and Republican National Conventions. Now YouTube and Facebook have announced they also plan to offer live video. Google’s YouTube will serve as the official streamer for both parties’ conventions (as it did in 2012), which this time will include 360-degree video with an option for VR viewing. Facebook plans to set up media lounges at both conventions and has invited 22 media organizations to broadcast from their spaces.

As part of its push to broadcast more news and entertainment, Twitter will offer convention videos on its desktop and mobile apps via a live feed from the CBSN digital streaming news service, in addition to a stream of related tweets for real-time commentary, ETCentric reported on Tuesday.


YouTube is going for a more immersive approach. “YouTube’s 360 videos provide a wrap-around perspective users can control with their finger on mobile devices or via a mouse cursor on a computer,” explains Variety. “The live video also will be available to view in virtual reality via Google Cardboard.”

Facebook has invited media outlets including CNN, Fox News and The New York Times to broadcast live from its lounges. “In addition, C-SPAN plans to use Facebook Live during the conventions from about 8-11 p.m. each night,” notes Variety, “and Facebook is encouraging convention delegates and individual members of the media to use the service as well.”

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reports that tension may be mounting between the major TV networks and online news publishers. Traditionally, the networks have pooled resources to provide live video from major political events. To access the signal for their streaming platforms, the publishers are reportedly now being asked to pay new fees.

WSJ notes that a dozen publishers and digital outlets — including The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, BuzzFeed and — “protested the changes in a July 13 letter to the executive committee of the White House Correspondents’ Association,” describing the fees as “exorbitant.”

The Association is reviewing the organizations’ proposal for a new digital pool and has requested additional information.

The Republican National Convention runs July 18-21 in Cleveland, and the Democratic National Convention is slated for July 25-28 in Philadelphia.

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