CNN’s Brian Stelter speculates that the Trump campaign’s use of a Facebook livestream to broadcast coverage before and after Wednesday night’s presidential debate “looked like a no-frills version of a cable news channel” and could presage a future news channel aimed at Trump’s populist center-right supporters.
The stream topped out at around 200,000 simultaneous viewers on Facebook before the debate — low when compared to TV, but high when compared to everything else on the web.
The pitch was clear: the campaign said it was taking its message “straight to the American people,” bypassing “the corrupt mainstream media.”
Once it was archived and made available for later viewing, the stream reached more than 8.6 million Facebook users, according to CrowdTangle data, beating the debate streams from news outlets like ABC and Fox.
Steve Bannon, the Breitbart News chairman who became the Trump campaign CEO in August, did not deny that there’s been talk about a possible network when asked by CNNMoney earlier this week.
He responded to the rumors with a smile and said, “Trump is an entrepreneur.” He also pointed out Trump’s social media prowess on Facebook and Twitter, saying, “Look at the engagement. It’s incredible.
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