Trump vs Biden first presidential debate: How to watch online

Trump vs Biden first presidential debate live stream
(Image credit: ROBERTO SCHMIDT/Getty;Joshua Roberts/Getty)
First presidential debate start time, TV Channels

The Trump vs Biden debate is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT today (Wednesday, Sept. 30). It will end at 10:30 p.m. ET / 7:30 p.m. PT.
It's on the major broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC), plus cable news networks including CNN, Fox News and MSNBC.

It's time for some verbal jousting! The first presidential debate, Trump vs Biden round 1, is tonight. This long-awaited first chance to see Trump and Biden argue live in the same room, saying the things they've said from a distance, is finally happening. And we've got all the details on how to watch live.

The two candidates, President Donald J. Trump and former vice president Joe R. Biden, are set to take the debate stage at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. The first presidential debate will run for 90 minutes with no commercial breaks, and it will be moderated by Chris Wallace of Fox News. 

According to the Commission of Presidential Debates, the topics for the night include The Trump and Biden Records, The Supreme Court, Covid-19, The Economy, Race and Violence in our Cities, and The Integrity of the Election. 

Each candidate will have 15 minutes to speak on each topic. Viewers can expect more detailed discussion of Trump's nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court vacancy left by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg; the protests against racial injustice; and the state of healthcare as the death toll continues to rise during the pandemic. The New York Times' massive report about Trump's tax records is also likely to come up.

Here's everything to know about how to watch the first presidential debate live stream.

How to watch the first presidential debate from anywhere on Earth

If you're away from home, and unable to use the services you already pay for, you don't have to miss the first presidential debate between Trump vs Biden. Watching along with the rest of the internet can be pretty easy. With the right VPN (virtual private network), you can stream the debate from wherever you go.

Not sure which VPN is right for you? We've tested many different services and our pick for the best VPN overall is ExpressVPN. It offers superb speeds and excellent customer service.


We think speed, security and simplicity make ExpressVPN second to none. During our tests, we saw fast connection times, and we're impressed by the service's ability to access more than 3,000 services spread out across 160 locations in 94 countries. There's a 30-day money-back guarantee if you're not satisfied.

How to watch the first presidential debate live stream in the U.S.

The first debate is taking place Wednesday, Sept. 30 from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. ET.

It will be air on all four major broadcast networks ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC, as well as top cable news channels CNN, C-SPAN, Fox News, and MSNBC. You'll need a live TV service to watch along on those channels. 

Our top choices are Sling TV and FuboTV. Sling is less expensive, but its local channel coverage only includes NBC and Fox (in select regions). Meanwhile, Fubo has over 100 channels, including all broadcast networks and dozens of top cable brands. 

Sling TV

Sling TV is offering a three-day free trial to see all that the streaming service has to offer. The Sling Blue package costs $30 and includes more than 50 channels, including NBC and Fox in select markets. The lineup also has CNN, Fox News and MSNBC.


Fubo.TV is a great alternative to a cable package. With the Family Plan ($65 per month), you get over 90 channels, including local broadcast networks and top cable channels like CNN, Fox News, AMC, E!, HGTV,  ESPN, Syfy and Paramount Network. 

How to watch the first presidential debate in Canada, UK and Australia

Viewers around the world can watch the first presidential debate live stream for free on various YouTube channels, such as C-SPAN's YouTube channel.

The Roku Channel will have the debate on ABC News, Cheddar, Newsy and other channels. 

2020 presidential debates schedule

Here's the schedule for the remaining presidential debates and the vice presidential debate between Mike Pence and Kamala Harris.

Vice presidential debate
Date: Wednesday, October 7
Time: 9-10:30 p.m. ET
Moderator: Susan Page, USA Today Washington Bureau chief
Location: University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah

Second presidential debate
Date: Thursday, October 15
Time: 9-10:30 p.m. ET
Moderator: Steve Scully, political editor of C-SPAN
Location: Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida

Third presidential debate
Date: Thursday, October 22
Time: 9-10:30 p.m. ET
Moderator: Kristen Welker, NBC News White House correspondent
Location: Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee

Kelly Woo
Streaming Editor

Kelly is the streaming channel editor for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.