CNN Threatens YouTube Channels and Podcasts Covering Trump-Biden Debate

CNN Threatens YouTube Channels and Podcasts Covering Trump-Biden Debate

CNN is invoking exclusive rights to air the upcoming debate between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump on Thursday night, reportedly warning YouTube channels and podcasts that live-streaming the event for commentary is a violation of copyright law.

First publicly confirmed by “TimCast” host Tim Pool on Tuesday, CNN is “offering digital platforms the ability to stream the debate only via CNN YouTube.”

“We are not granting digital entities the right to stream the debate on their own YouTube channels,” the network said in a statement responding to the podcaster’s inquiry.

Pool also confirmed that YouTube representatives had arranged a phone call with CNN directly, during which he discussed “the RNC and the presidential cycle.” While speaking with CNN on Monday, Pool “briefly spoke with some individuals at YouTube… who made it clear that CNN reached out and is expressing concern, I don’t know the full extent, but making it known that YouTube better contact their news programs over the CNN debate.”

Pool’s channel, along with countless other politically-focused shows and podcasts, has frequently streamed presidential debates and other key events to provide commentary and expand the viewership beyond cable audiences.

“Now of course, like all presidential debates—which is the epitome of civic responsibility, of civic participation—we will provide live commentary and fact-checking on this presidential debate as we have done for every other so long as the show has been around,” Pool continued. “In a show of good faith, YouTube asked me to reach out to CNN to see if there was anything they would be looking for in this regard. Because apparently they are asking other networks who are doing the exact same thing to abide by certain restrictions.”

According to the final findings, CNN has prohibited any YouTube channel from airing the debate aside from a select few with specific permissions.

An email to the Post Millennial provided additional details:

Streaming Use: CNN’s debates are exclusive to CNN and may not be streamed or streamed with verbal or digital commentary on any platform or social media site by another party, other than the embeddable YouTube player via the CNN YouTube channel.

Podcast Use: Similar to broadcast rules, news organizations may use audio clips (up to 3:00 minutes at a time) on their shows after the debate conclude and must credit the ‘CNN Presidential Debate’ verbally in introducing the clip.

As reported, CNN’s debate rules, which were proposed by the Biden campaign, will not allow a live audience or members of the press inside the debate hall during the event. Reporters will be able to watch the debate from a Spin Room nearby, and select photographers inside the main room are required to remain stationary.

“CNN is now threatening any social channels that provide commentary on the debate stating they will not allow the use outside of CNN,” Pool wrote on X. “Commentary on a presidential debate is the epitome of fair use and we fully intend to provide insight and real time fact checking Thursday LIVE.”

“We have two people running for the president of this country,” he continued on his show on Tuesday. “One of them the current president, and we’re going to fact-check and we’re going to comment and we are going to call them out in real time. If we can’t do that, if no one else can, then that’s strict, that’s severely limiting civic participation.”

“And it’s allowing a biased network, that in the past has likened Trump to Hitler, to control who can and cannot fact check this man. And as we know it special rules for this debate. They are seeking to control that narrative. And I believe that is exactly why they reached out to YouTube, and why YouTube reached out to me, because they don’t want anyone to break their narrative. That’s the dirty game they’re playing. It’s going to be a fun Thursday.”

The CNN presidential debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump will air live at 9 p.m. EST on Thursday, June 27.