Republican candidate Donald Trump soft-launched his Trump TV network on Facebook when most of the U.S. was focused on the final presidential debate between him and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. The Trump campaign rolled out what seemed to be a beta test of Trump TV on the social networking site, reports Fortune.
Trump launches Trump TV on Facebook
For some time now, there were reports that Trump was working on a Trump media venture to be rolled out if he loses the U.S. presidential elections. However, Wednesday night was the first indication of anything which looked like a real content play. Early in the evening, the broadcast had around 200,000 concurrent viewers, while halfway through the debate, there were around 170,000 people watching, according to BuzzFeed News.
Trump’s official Facebook page posted a notice just after the debate started saying that the campaign was streaming live using Facebook’s video service.
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The message read, “If you’re tired of biased, mainstream media reporting (otherwise known as Crooked Hillary’s super PAC), tune into my Facebook Live broadcast.”
During the election, the Trump campaign has done live-streaming, but the Wednesday night version looked more like TV with hosts and guests like a Fox News program. The campaign refers to its broadcasts as “#Trump TV.” Interviews with a former Arizona governor, a retired general, and appearances of many Trump family members, and even some pro-Trump ads were included in the stream, notes Fortune.
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According to Politico, two hosts from the conservative Right Side Broadcasting Network did pre- and post-debate shows. In the shows, it was often said that the mainstream media was against them.
“Trump raised $9 million on Wednesday off a pair of Facebook Live events staged by the campaign to look like news programming at the final presidential debate,” said Politico.
The campaign said that the two videos – one running for about 30 minutes before the debate and the other running 90 minutes after the debate – drew around 8.8 million video views and 24 million people, notes Politico. Further, the Facebook feed got about 8 million comments, shares and likes, something that Trump’s campaign claimed was one of the largest debate discussions on the Internet.
One of the hosts went as far as calling the debate “the greatest Republican debate performance since Abraham Lincoln.”