The debate will take place on back-to-back nights on Wednesday, June 26th and Thursday, June 27th, and will be broadcast live across all three networks with real-time Spanish-language translations on Telemundo.
To accommodate what is expected to be a historically large primary field, both debates will occur over consecutive nights in prime time to make room for as many as twenty candidates, with the lineups for each night determined at random. This approach will provide each candidate with a fair opportunity to make his or her case to a large, national audience.
This agreement is unprecedented – no debate has ever aired in prime time on back-to-back nights.
DNC Chair Tom Perez said; “As Chair of the DNC, I am committed to running an open and transparent primary process. To that end, 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 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.”
In addition, the two-night special event will also be streamed for free on NBC News’ digital properties, including NBCNews.com, MSNBC.com, NBC News Mobile App, and OTT apps in addition to Telemundo’s digital platforms.
CNN will host a second debate in July.