So far, all of the Republican debates have been aired live, but only on cable networks. Fox News, CNN, Fox News, now MSNBC. I find it curious that in the department of politics, a topic that will eventually have an effect on every American living in the country (and probably a few living outside of the country, to say nothing of legal/illegal aliens in the country and anyone else who has any interest in the United States) isn’t being broadcast in a medium that is accessible to all Americans for free?
Yes, it’s early in the political season, and it makes some sense that only political junkies are interested in this, thus I doubt it would pull the ratings of The X Factor, or Parks and Rec, but we live in 2011. There is no reason that such a thing couldn’t be made available on a digital sub-channel (the local NBC affiliate, KARE, runs 24/7 weather on their sub-channel, though I do know that some NBC affiliates carry Universal Sports, so that could potentially be a problem).
The issue only gets worse if you aren’t near a TV. To the best of my knowledge, there will be no terrestrial radio broadcast of the debate either, meaning that the only way to listen if you’re not near a TV with cable is a satellite radio.
If you own neither of those, there’s the option to live-stream the video via Politico, but that still requires you to have a computer (or a Flash-enabled smartphone), and an Internet connection.