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ABC v SBS debate: call that a dateline?

Competition to cover the US Presidential Debates appears to be so tight, that ABC will screen it 24 hours before SBS. In fact before Obama & McCain even take to the podium. That's a hell of a scoop.

Will the real Presidential Debate please stand up?

Interest in the US Election is so high that our two public broadcasters have decided to give full live coverage of the three Presidential Debates and one Vice Presidential Debate in coming weeks.

Both ABC and SBS will screen them live to Australian viewers on the East Coast, with delayed coverage to SA, NT and WA viewers. Both will air the debates live online.

But the ABC will jump the gun and screen it a day before SBS.

In fact they will even air the debates before they’ve happened in the US.

At least that’s what you’d believe if you read the Press Release sent today by the ABC. Could it be a little thing called the international dateline has been overlooked by ABC News?

While SBS says it will screen the first debate live on Saturday September 27 at 10:55am, ABC reckons it will air it at 11am on Friday September 26. The NY Times lists the date as Friday 26th, which is indeed Saturday 27th to Aussie viewers. And presumably the same date in the department of ABC News

Indeed the ABC has currently scheduled the remaining 3 Presidential and Vice Presidential debates 24 hours ahead of SBS, and ahead of Obama, McCain, Palin and Biden Jr. actually gathering to swap opinions.

Maybe before the candidates get together at the podium we could have a debate between ABC and SBS about the international dateline?

UPDATED: Since TV Tonight ran this feature, the ABC has issued an amendment with new dates.

Press Release ABC: (original)
ABC TV will be broadcasting all four U.S. Presidential and Vice-Presidential debates live and uninterrupted on ABC1*, as well as streaming online at abc.net.au/news

The ninety-minute debates will screen as part of a series of ABC News Midday Report Specials over the next four weeks.

The presenter of ABC’s Midday Report, Ros Childs, will introduce the debates and return at the conclusion with debate highlights and analysis, as well as the latest national and international news.

“There is strong public interest around the world in the outcome of this year’s historic U.S. Presidential Elections,” says ABC Director of News, John Cameron. “That interest extends to both the Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates. ABC’s live coverage of these historic debates provides an opportunity for all Australians to see and hear these debates first-hand, and is part of ABC News’ commitment to providing comprehensive coverage of local, national and international events.”

Full details of the broadcasts are as follows:

Live on ABC 1 and online at abc.net.au/news

Friday September 26
11.00am – 12.30pm U.S. First Presidential Debate
12.30pm – 1.00pm Midday Report

Thursday October 2
11.00am – 12.30pm U.S. Vice Presidential Debate
12.30pm – 1.00pm Midday Report

Tuesday October 7
12.00pm – 1.30pm U.S. Second Presidential Debate
1.30pm – 2.00pm Midday Report

Wednesday October 15
12.00pm – 1.30pm U.S. Third Presidential Debate
1.30pm – 2.00pm Midday Report

*The debates will be broadcast live on television in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, ACT and Tasmania, and on delay in South Australia, NT and Western Australia. Online streaming of the debates will be live.

Press Release SBS:
As the world’s most powerful nation heads towards an enthralling presidential election, SBS viewers can expect comprehensive, up-to-the-minute coverage of developments in America.

In the coming weeks SBS’s News and Current Affairs division will present a host of U.S. presidential election programming, including:

• Broadcasting all presidential and vice presidential debates, plus analysis.
• Streaming those debates live on www.sbs.com.au
• A dedicated election news website: www.sbs.com.au/uselections
• Live coverage of election results from 3.30pm on Wednesday, November 5.
• Four special Insight and Dateline programs from the U.S.

Paul Cutler, SBS’s Director of News and Current Affairs says: “The reaction from viewers to World News Australia’s coverage of Super Tuesday earlier this year proved that our audience has a keen appetite for this content. SBS’s commitment to high-quality news and current affairs will be demonstrated yet again, via our thorough coverage of the U.S. presidential election.”

WORLD NEWS AUSTRALIA:
World News Australia will broadcast all presidential debates and the vice presidential debate, commercial-free. The debates (screened live in the eastern states) will be concluded with local analysis by expert Australian commentators.

In addition, all four debates will be screened live on www.sbs.com.au

America Decides: The First Presidential Debate
Saturday September 27
10:55am – 12:30pm (LIVE EST only)
Barack Obama v. John McCain on domestic policy.

America Decides: The Vice-Presidential Debate
Friday October 3
10:55am – 12:30pm (LIVE EST only)
Joseph Biden v. Sarah Palin on domestic and foreign policy.

America Decides: The Second Presidential Debate
Wednesday October 8
11:55am – 1.30pm (LIVE EST only)
Barack Obama v. John McCain in a “town meeting” format.

America Decides: The Third Presidential Debate
Thursday October 16
11:55am – 1.30pm (LIVE EST only)
Barack Obama v. John McCain on foreign policy.

On Election Day, World News Australia will begin its special coverage from 3.30pm, using live CNN feeds, reports from Walkley award-winning senior correspondent Brian Thomson and others on the ground, complimented by analysis from experts in the studio.

America Decides: The Presidential Election Result
Wednesday November 5
3.30pm – 6.30pm approx (LIVE in all centres)

ABC Press Release (amended in part):
Live on ABC 1 and online at abc.net.au/news

Saturday September 27
11.00am – 12.30pm
U.S. First Presidential Debate
12.30pm – 1.00pm
Midday Report

Friday October 3
11.00am – 12.30pm
U.S. Vice Presidential Debate
12.30pm – 1.00pm
Midday Report

Wednesday October 8
12.00pm – 1.30pm
U.S. Second Presidential Debate
1.30pm – 2.00pm
Midday Report

Thursday October 16
12.00pm – 1.30pm
U.S. Third Presidential Debate
1.30pm – 2.00pm
Midday Report

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