How to watch the first US Presidential Debate 2024 online: free live streams available

An image of likely Presidential candidates Donald Trump (L) and Joe Biden (R) face to face
(Image credit: Jim Bourg-Pool/JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

How to watch first US Presidential Debate 2024

CNN's US Presidential Debate takes place today, Thursday, June 27, at 9pm ET / 6pm PT. That's 2am BST / 11am AEST on Friday in the UK and Australia. News and analysis will be broadcast around the world on US and global news channels. Below we have all the information on how to watch with and without cable, as well as free live streams from all over the world.

Away from home at the moment? You may need to use a VPN to watch your usual free stream or news channel from anywhere.

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First US Presidential Debate preview

The first US presidential debate of 2024 is a 90-minute affair hosted by CNN at its Atlanta studios.

This is the first time in four years that the presumptive Democratic and Republican nominees will share a platform. Debate moderators Jake Tapper and Dana Bash, CNN's chief Washington correspondent and chief political correspondent respectively, will have the ability to mute each of their microphones.

In a sensational development, Mary Trump, the niece of Donald, has revealed that she will be in the spin room – essentially a room where campaign staffers get to influence journalists and try to persuade them that their guy won. 

Here's how to watch CNN's first US Presidential Debate 2024 coverage no matter where you are in the world.

Watch CNN's US Presidential Debate on Sling TV: 50% off deal

Watch CNN's US Presidential Debate on Sling TV: 50% off deal
OTT service Sling TV includes CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, ABC News, Bloomberg TV and more among the 40+ channel line-up of its Sling Blue package. So you'll be covered for all the latest US Presidential Debate news and analysis.

Sling Blue usually costs from $40 per month, but you can get your first month half-price right now. You can also watch CNN on Sling Orange which is also $40 per month.

And for even more coverage, you can add Sling's News Extra plan, which adds 10 further channels including NewsNation, NewsMax, BBC World News and HLN. Usually News Extra costs $6 per month, but right now you get your first month absolutely free.

Note that Fox, NBC, ABC are available in select markets.

How to watch CNN's US Presidential Debate in the US

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The first US Presidential Debate of 2024 is being hosted by CNN, but will be shown live by multiple networks, including ABC, MSNBC, CBS, Fox, Fox News, Bloomberg and PBS but check your local listings. 

With primaries in 16 states – and, most likely, the Republican candidate for the 2024 presidential election – being decided on Super Tuesday, every news channel in the US is going to be covering the first US presidential debate of 2024 in full.

That means if you have access to an antenna, cable or an internet connection, you'll be able to watch rolling news from the likes of CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and many, many more.

If you're a cord cutter who wants to get an OTT streaming service to watch the debate play out, then Sling TV is a good option. Its Blue packages include Fox News, MSNBC, ABC News (all in selected markets), CNN and Bloomberg TV. Subscriptions cost from $40 a month but new users get 50% off their first month. Cancel anytime.

Another option for US viewers is Philo who will be airing the debate on the USA Today Channel, available as part of the Philo Core plan for $28 per month.

To watch CNN's US Presidential Debate online, it will be streamed in full and for free on the CNN YouTube channel.

Away from the US right now? You may need to use a VPN to stream these news channels and cable replacement services when overseas.

Unblock any stream with a VPN

If you're keen to watch the CNN US Presidential Debate but you're away from home and access to the coverage is geo-blocked, then you could always use a VPN to access it (assuming you're not breaching any broadcaster T&Cs, of course). You may be surprised by how simple it is to do.

Use a VPN to watch CNN's US Presidential Debate from anywhere:

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How to watch CNN's US Presidential Debate in Canada

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 CBC News Network

For interested parties in Canada, the CNN US Presidential Debate will be broadcast live on CBC News Network, which can also be streamed at CBCNews and through the CBC Gem app.

The debate starts at 9pm ET / 6pm PT on Thursday evening.

How to watch CNN's US Presidential Debate in the UK

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In the UK, the US presidential debate is being televised on CNN International and Bloomberg, which can be found at channel 506 and 502 respectively, on Sky TV. 

If you're not a Sky customer, you can check out our dedicated guide to Sky TV deals and packages for today's best prices.

Don't fancy being locked in to a long, expensive contract? Consider the more flexible streaming option, NOW.

Alternatively, viewers can subscribe to CNN Live, which costs £1.99 per month or £19.90 per year. 

How to watch CNN's US Presidential Debate in Australia

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In Australia, the US presidential debate is being televised on CNN International, which can be found at channel 609 on Foxtel.

It will also be simulcast on SBS Australia, meaning the viewers can watch a free live stream of the first US Presidential Debate 2024 on SBS On-Demand.

If you don't have cable, and you want to watch on Foxtel instead, Foxtel Now offers a full package, cable-like experience. Boasting 70+ channels and a 10-day free trial, get the Foxtel Now Essentials Base pack and pay just $25 a month.

CNN's US Presidential Debate 2024 FAQs

What are the CNN US Presidential Debate rules?

Trump and Biden aren't allowed to bring any pre-composed notes with them, but they will be supplied with a pen, paper and water.

In order to prevent cross-talk, the debate moderators will have the ability to mute Trump and Biden's microphones.

What is the CNN US Presidential Debate running order?

Biden won a coin toss and chose to speak from the podium to viewers' right, which in turn granted Trump the right to deliver the closing statement of the evening.

There will be no opening statements, and the speakers will have two minutes for answering questions. A minute will be granted for rebuttals, followed by a further minute for responses.

How long will the CNN US Presidential Debate be?

The CNN US Presidential Debate runtime will be 90 minutes, with two commercial breaks. The speakers will not be able to interact with their campaign staff during these stoppages.

Who else is running for US president?

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is running as an independent candidate, and Chase Oliver is the Libertarian Party candidate.

However, neither of them will take part in the debate, due to restrictions imposed by CNN.

Where is CNN's Atlanta studio?

Having used the CNN Center in downtown Atlanta as its operational headquarters since 1987, CNN recently completely a move to Warner Bros. Discovery’s Techwood Turner Broadcasting campus a few miles north in midtown Atlanta.

When is the 2024 US presidential election?

The 2024 US presidential election will take place on Tuesday, November 5.

Aatif Sulleyman

Aatif is a freelance copywriter and journalist based in the UK. He’s written about technology, science and politics for publications including Gizmodo, The Independent, Trusted Reviews and Newsweek, but focuses on streaming at Future, an arrangement that combines two of his greatest passions: sport and penny-pinching.