BBC to stream election debate via Twitter for first time

Twitter logosImage copyright AFP
Image caption Viewers will be able to choose between watching the debate on television – or via Twitter

The BBC’s election debate on Wednesday night and four other election specials will be streamed live on Twitter as well as broadcast on television.

It is the first partnership of its kind between the social network and the BBC.

A “real-time curated timeline” of tweets will bring commentary from BBC experts and BBC Reality Check to Twitter users.

One analyst suggested the move could help engage audiences who might be less likely to watch live TV.

The election debate will be broadcast live from Cambridge on BBC One from 19:30 BST until 21:00 BST.

Seven senior members of leading political parties will appear, including the Conservative Home Secretary Amber Rudd and Lib Dem leader Tim Farron.

Labour is yet to confirm who it will put forward for the debate.

“It’s going to be reaching different audiences that wouldn’t necessarily be watching live TV,” suggested Tim Westcott, a television analyst at IHS Technology.

“Live video is something that all the social media websites are interested in exploring – there’s been an increase in the amount of live sport for example,” he added.

The hashtag for the election debate programme is #bbcdebate and a page for the live stream has been set up on Twitter.

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A similar arrangement will be made for two Question Time Leaders’ Specials on 2 and 4 June, the Newsbeat Youth Debate on 6 June and the Election Night Results Special on 8 June.

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