The first Democratic primary debate is set for June, and the event will be televised by NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo, Variety reports. The Democratic National Committee announced the news today, adding that the second debate, set for July, will be televised by CNN.
“The DNC is planning 12 presidential primary debates over the 2020 cycle, but news networks had been vying for the rights to air the first match-ups between the Democratic candidates,” Variety reports. “Because the field is expected to be so large, each debate will likely take place over two consecutive nights. Candidates will qualify for the debates based on polling and performance in grassroots fundraising. Each night’s slate of contenders will be picked at random.”
The report quotes Tom Perez, chairman of the DNC, saying: “We’ve spent months working with media partners to provide this unprecedented opportunity for candidates and voters to get to know each other. Because campaigns are won on the strength of their grassroots, we’ve also updated the threshold, giving all types of candidates the opportunity to reach the debate stage and giving small-dollar donors a bigger voice in the primary than ever before.”