This November, you won’t even have to leave Facebook to get your coverage of the US midterm election.
ABC News has teamed up with Facebook for live-streaming its election night coverage and for interaction with voters about the issues that matter most. ABC News and Facebook first partnered to cover the 2008 Presidential election and most recently for a special “This Week” town hall meeting on Islam.
In the lead-up to the election, Facebook will reach out to its members in key congressional districts to explore the issues that are driving campaigns. Facebook users will have an opportunity to interact with ABC News broadcasts, offering questions, comments, and opinions, and will be able to contribute questions to a series of local debates.
On November 2, ABC’s election night coverage will be live-streamed on Facebook. The preliminary coverage from 8pm to 9.30pm Eastern time is to be live-streamed on ABCNews.com, Facebook, and the ABC News iPad application. From 9.30pm Eastern time, Facebook and ABCNews.com will live-stream the network’s election coverage anchored by World News anchor Diane Sawyer and chief political correspondent and “Good Morning America” co-anchor, George Stephanopoulos. While coverage will anchored from ABC News headquarters in New York, it will also include reporting from Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, California.
Facebook also has a partnership with MSNBC’s Meet the Press.
This is a good example of how television is increasingly about content rather than the delivery mechanism. Television is no longer just the box that sits in your living room, it’s content that is delivered through multiple channels – including live-streams on Facebook and iPad applications. It’s good to see ABC News responding to the new reality of where their users are and how they want to watch television.
I just hope that Facebook has enough server capacity. The last live-stream I watched only had about 8,000 viewers and it was buffering badly not only for me, but for almost everyone commenting on the live-stream page. Facebook’s data center bills have been soaring and the new wholly owned data center in Oregon won’t open until next year.