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Affiliates Give FBN More Sub Access For Debate

Fox Business Network distributors are giving the network wider access to subscribers tomorrow (Jan. 14) when the network hosts another Republican presidential candidates' debate night, this time from Charleston, S.C. 

DirecTV, Cox Communications, Suddenlink, Mediacom (including in key Iowa caucuses markets), Wide Open West and numerous smaller pay-TV distributors in the National Cable Television Cooperative will give the 83-million-subscriber business-news channel a wider berth as the channel will look to draw big viewing numbers for two GOP debates, one beginning at 6 p.m. ET and the other main event kicking off at 9 p.m. ET. FBN's first hosting of GOP debates, on Nov. 10, drew a network-record audience of 13.5 million viewers. This time around, the 6 p.m. undercard has drawn headlines as Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has said he won't show up, feeling he belongs with the six candidates (led by Donald Trump) who will be on the main debate stage. Trish Regan and Sandra Smith, the FBN anchors moderating the undercard debate, told Multichannel News they feel that would be his loss of an opportunity to spread his message to voters ahead of the key Iowa and New Hampshire contests. 

FBN also is making the debate available over the web at FOXBusiness.com without need for distributor authentication. The Nov. 10 debate also set network marks as a streamed event: more than 1.4 million concurrent streams were noted, according to Akamai. FBN said that was better than NBC’s 2015 Super Bowl (1.3 million concurrent livestreams) and CNN’s 921,000 concurrent streams for a Sept. 16 GOP debate.