The first Democratic debate for presidential hopefuls is coming up next week, and CNN will air what's sure to be a lively event. On Oct. 13, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee will answer questions about their policy platforms and why they are best suited to serve the United States as its next commander-in-chief. If you don't have cable, though, you'll still be able to watch the Democratic presidential debate, which will take place in Las Vegas. The Democratic debate will only be on CNN, but the network is making a live-stream of the event available on its website and apps, without requiring authentication from users, as it did for the GOP debate in September.
If you have a Samsung Gear VR headset, you're in for a real treat, too: CNN has teamed up with virtual reality company NextVR to live-stream the debate in virtual reality. According to a press release from CNN, the debate will be the first news event to be live-streamed in VR. The virtual reality live streaming option would allow viewers with the Samsung headset to essentially be their own cameramen for the debate, focusing on the candidates and angles from which they want to view the action. "Each and every viewer has a seat in the room," the CNN press release says.
While it may seem counterintuitive for CNN to live-stream the debate for free on its apps and on CNN.com, past experience shows that cost-free streaming is actually a savvy move. The GOP presidential debate on Sept. 16 brought in a ratings record for CNN, with an average of 22.9 million viewers watching the three-hour debate on CNN's various digital platforms. The GOP debate featured more than twice as many candidates as the Democratic debate will, though — 11 candidates participated in the Republican presidential debate, and only five are confirmed to participate in next week's Democratic debate.
The Democratic presidential debate will air at 9:00 p.m. ET, and it will be filmed at the Wynn Las Vegas casino hotel. Anderson Cooper, host of CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 , will moderate the first Democratic debate. And while only Clinton, Sanders, O'Malley, Webb, and Chaffee are confirmed participants, CNN has made it clear that should Vice President Joe Biden announce his candidacy in the 2016 presidential election, he will be allowed to participate in next week's Democratic debate as well. But with or without Biden, the debate is sure to be a lively event.