Michael M. Grynbaum,
New York Times Service
October 15, 2020 | 10:15 AM
The presidential candidates will respond to questions from voters in prime time Thursday at two live, nationally televised town-hall-style events. Unusually, the programs will be broadcast at the same time on rival networks, although recordings of each event will be available to viewers afterward.
Joe Biden will appear at an ABC News forum held at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia and moderated by ABC’s chief news anchor, George Stephanopoulos. The event begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time and is expected to last 90 minutes. A 30-minute wrap-up show, featuring analysis from ABC political reporters and pundits, will air from 9:30 to 10 p.m.
About 21 voters from across Pennsylvania, of varying political views, will be on hand to ask Biden questions. Stephanopoulos will guide the discussion and follow up on some of the queries.
Biden’s town hall can be seen on ABC television stations throughout the country. It will also be streamed on ABC News Live, an online service that can be watched on Hulu, YouTube TV, Sling TV and other streaming platforms, as well as the ABC News website.
President Donald Trump’s NBC News event will be held outdoors at the Pérez Art Museum in Miami and will be moderated by the “Today” show host Savannah Guthrie. The broadcast starts at 8 p.m. Eastern and is expected to last for about an hour.
About 60 Florida voters will be in the audience to ask the president questions; some of the voters are undecided, and some are leaning toward supporting one of the candidates. NBC said it was not discussing the question topics in advance.
The Trump town hall will air on NBC broadcast affiliates and the cable channels CNBC and MSNBC. It will also be streamed on NBC News NOW, an online service available on numerous streaming platforms, and available to watch on demand after the broadcast on Peacock, the NBCUniversal streaming service.
The event will also be available in Spanish on the digital sites of Telemundo, the Spanish-language television network.
Both ABC and NBC said their town halls would follow health guidelines set by local officials and safety recommendations from medical experts. The voters in attendance are expected to be seated in a socially distanced manner, and the candidates will be positioned several feet away from each of the moderators.
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