If you want to watch the third and final televised debate between U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan and her challenger, Thom Tillis, on Thursday you’ll have to do it online in most of the state.
The debate will take place in the studios of WECT-6 in Wilmington from 7 to 8 p.m., and broadcast there live. The station is offering the broadcast to NBC affiliates in North Carolina, but doesn’t know how many local stations might pick it up.
WNCN, the Triangle’s NBC affiliate, is not broadcasting it. But the station will be streaming it from its website – wncn.com. WECT will also stream it.
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WECT anchor and reporter Jon Evans said efforts were underway to arrange to distribute the debate broadcast through CNN, but that hadn’t been firmed up yet.
WNCN’s news director, Andrea Parquet-Taylor, said the station decided airing the debate online was sufficient, and noted that it carried Tuesday night’s broadcast live.
“We feel this offers a vast majority of people a chance to see it at their convenience wherever they are, just a click away,” Parquet-Taylor said.
WNCN airs its own 30-minute nightly news broadcast at 7 p.m. and “Judge Judy” from 7:30 to 8 p.m.
Tuesday night’s debate at UNC-TV studios in Research Triangle Park, the N.C. Association of Broadcasters Educational Foundation reported Wednesday the program drew a preliminary audience of more than 800,000 viewers. That’s an increase over the first debate, held at UNC-TV in September, which drew an estimated 600,000 viewers.
It was broadcast on more than 80 television and radio stations across the state.
Update: WNCN said Thursday it has decided to carry the debate live on its digital channel, 17.2, taking a live satellite feed from WECT.