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CNN sticking networks with list of tedious requirements to air 2024 presidential debate

CNN is forcing other TV networks and broadcasters to agree to a series of onerous requirements in exchange for the rights to air the first 2024 presidential debate, sources said. Los Angeles Times.

Despite becoming the first TV network in history to secure exclusive rights to a general election debate, CNN opted to allow other networks to simulcast the June 27 showdown between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.

But the network has drawn up a fairly detailed list of conditions it will allow rival networks, as well as other media outlets like Fox News and MSNBC, to do in exchange for the rights to broadcast the debate, sources told the Post.

CNN imposed the list requirement on networks and news organizations scheduled to air the June 27 presidential debate. Ron Haviv/VII/Redux

Among the requirements is that all networks must display CNN’s on-screen logo during simulcasts.

During the debate, which will be moderated by CNN’s Jake Tapper and Dana Bash, other networks will be able to show off their own graphics, but the cable network’s logo must be clearly visible during the debate.

CNN is also policing other media outlets’ wording around the debate, calling for the June showdown to be called the “CNN Presidential Debate.”

All on-air promotions and advertising must state “CNN Presidential Debate Simulcast,” and program guides and television listings must state the event as “CNN Presidential Debate Simulcast.”

In a first for a presidential debate, the cable network will insert two, three-and-a-half-minute commercial breaks during the 90-minute debate.

Among the demands is that stations must display the CNN logo throughout their simulcasts. Reuters

Other networks simulcasting the show can choose to substitute their own commercials for those sold by CNN, but their anchors and commentators are prohibited from expressing opinions during breaks or at any time during the event.

Network executives told the Times they oppose the requirement, saying some stations might choose not to air simulcast ads if they have to say CNN’s name every time.

The struggling cable news network has been plagued by executive turnover, budget cuts and plummeting ratings in recent years.

This is the first time in history that a television station has been awarded exclusive broadcasting rights to a presidential debate. Ron Haviv/VII/Redux

The first presidential debate between the same two candidates in 2020 drew 73 million viewers, and CNN appeared to be using the event to bolster its brand, including displaying a red logo behind the debate stage instead of the Constitution, as is traditionally the case.

A CNN representative told the network that these requirements come in exchange for the network covering all production costs of the debate.

“CNN produces this debate alone and requires transparency with its viewers and the investment of significant resources,” the representative said.