Democratic primary debate: Candidates, start time, how to watch live tonight – CNET


The stage is seen prior to the first Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami.

Saul Loeb / AFP/Getty Images

The 2020 presidential election isn’t until Nov. 3 of next year, but the first Democratic primary debate has already started. After months of Democratic candidate after candidate (after candidate after candidate) announcing their presidential aspirations, making trips to Iowa and New Hampshire to field-test their messaging and figuring out how best to oppose President Trump, the primary season is heating up. 

An unprecedented total of 20 Democratic candidates will take to the national stage for the first debate, which started last night. Because the field is so large, the debate requires two nights, with 10 candidates facing the cameras last night and another 10 in the spotlight tonight.

Here’s what you need to know to watch the debate, if you have cable or otherwise.

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When and where is the first Democratic debate?

The debate takes place over two nights — Wednesday, June 26, and Thursday, June 27 — in Miami.

What channel and time?

NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo will broadcast the debates from from 9 to 11 p.m. ET each night.

Which candidates are in each debate?

By random drawing, NBC selected the field of 10 candidates for each debate. The drawing was set up so that a mix of higher-profile and lesser-known candidates appeared each night.

The first group for Wednesday, June 26:

  • Former Housing Secretary Julián Castro
  • Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas
  • Former Rep. John Delaney of Maryland
  • Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City
  • Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio
  • Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota
  • Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts
  • Washington Gov. Jay Inslee

The second group for Thursday, June 27:

  • Author Marianne Williamson
  • Entrepreneur Andrew Yang
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden
  • Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado
  • Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana
  • Rep. Eric Swalwell of California
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont
  • Sen. Kamala Harris of California
  • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York
  • Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado

Who is moderating the debate?

NBC News’ Lester Holt, Savannah Guthrie and Chuck Todd, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and Telemundo’s José Diaz-Balart will moderate the debate.

How can I livestream the Democratic primary debate?

You can livestream the debate on,, the NBC News app, and the Telemundo app, but you will need to prove you have a pay TV subscription.

If you don’t have a cable or satellite TV subscription, then you can watch the debate with a live-TV streaming service. All of the services listed below carry a live, local feed of NBC and Telemundo, but not all of them necessarily carry it in your area. See the information on each service below for details.

Other stuff to know about live TV streaming services:

  • You’ll need a solid internet connection.
  • You can watch any of them on TV as long as your smart TV has the service’s app. You can also watch on your TV using a media streamer, such as a Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV or Chromecast ($55 at eBay).
  • You can also watch on iPhones, Android phones, tablets and PC browsers.
  • You can sign up and cancel anytime, no contract required.
  • All of them offer free trial periods, so you can sign up to watch and then cancel.

Note CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. 

Sling TV

Sling TV’s $25-a-month Blue package includes NBC. Sling TV does not offer Telemundo, and MSNBC is part of the $5-a-month New Extra add-on to the Blue package. (Sling Blue is currently discounted to $15 a month for the first month.) Click here to see if you live in a market that offers NBC or Telemundo.

Hulu with Live TV

Hulu with Live TV costs $45 a month and includes NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo. Click the “View all channels in your area” link on its welcome page to see which live, local channels are offered in your ZIP code. 

PlayStation Vue

PlayStation Vue’s basic $45-a-month Access plan includes NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo. You can see if a live feed of NBC or Telemundo is available in your area here.

YouTube TV

YouTube TV costs $50 a month and includes NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo. Plug in your ZIP code on its welcome page to see if a live feed of NBC or Telemundo is available in your area. 

DirecTV Now

DirecTV Now’s basic $50-a-month Plus package includes NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo. You can use its channel lookup tool to see if a live feed of NBC or Telemundo is available where you live.


FuboTV costs $55 per month and includes NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo. Click here to see if you live in a market that offers NBC or Telemundo.

This story originally published earlier.


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