Fox Business Network is arranging for a broader audience of cable and satellite customers to have access to its broadcast of the Republican presidential debates Tuesday.
Distributors that charge extra for Fox Business – including DIRECTV, Suddenlink, Mediacom, Frontier, Wide Open West, Cable One, as well as several smaller carriers in the National Cable Television Cooperative – have agreed to "unbundle" the channel, making it available to their entire subscriber bases for the debates.
"We are grateful that our distribution partners, like us at FOX Business Network, recognize the importance of providing the debate to as many subscribers as possible," said Tim Carry, executive vice president of distribution for the network and its big sister, Fox News Channel.
"The debate falls at a pivotal time in the election cycle and through the help and support of these partners, many more of their customers will have access to it on November 10th," Curry said.
In addition, the network plans to live-stream the proceedings free on Foxbusiness.com, so that people who do not have any subscription-based TV service are able to see it.
A debate featuring the four lowest-polling GOP candidates will meet in an "undercard" debate at 6 p.m. eastern time Tuesday, with the leaders debating at 9 p.m. eastern, broadcast from Milwaukee. Fox Business is sponsoring the debate, on economic issues, with the Wall Street Journal.
The prime-time lineup: Donald Trump, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former technology executive Carly Fiorina, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. The first debate features New Jersey Gov. Christie, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal , former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.
Fox Business says it is distributed in about 80 million homes nationally; a spokeswoman was unable to say how many more households might have access under the special arrangement with distributors.