The US television news network is preparing for an unparalleled election night as a split country in a pandemic chooses the next president. More voters than ever will vote early by mail.
In this year’s contest between Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden, television networks face strong pressure to report election results accurately and without unreasonable speculation.
Among the challenges facing nations and networks are presidents who arouse the fear of voting fraud, deeply divided voters, and concerns about long-term voting numbers that increase the likelihood of protests, violence and proceedings.
This is the first presidential election in which major television networks obtain data from various providers, increasing the likelihood of different views on election night returns.
Fox Corp’s Fox News and Associated Press no longer use traditional face-to-face exit polls and instead rely on online and telephone surveys aimed at reaching voters early and on election days. News organizations combine their survey data with real-time results aggregated by APs to assist in forecasting.
CNN, owned by three broadcast news networks and AT & T, is part of the National Election Pool Consortium. This consortium relies on the company Edison Research for exit polls and results from each constituency. Reuters has a distribution agreement with NEP for 2020 election data.
The network will showcase more polling, more detailed data analysis, and investment in additional reports on voting mechanics, voting integrity, and misinformation.
Viacom CBS Inc. Owned by CBS News, it will be the first to broadcast election night coverage from Times Square. Prime time coverage begins at 7 pm Eastern Standard Time. The network uses four high-resolution LED video walls to display real-time data, maps, results, and video feeds from across the country.
CNN will begin coverage on Tuesday at 4 pm EST, with correspondent John King reporting live from the “magic wall” of the network, along with political director David Sharian, who reports on exit polls.
NBC News coverage, owned by ComcastCorp, begins at 7pm Eastern Standard Time and lasts at least until 4am, as long as the race lasts. The network relies on over 100 NBC news journalists for its coverage. The “decision desk” makes predictions when the results are statistically credible at 99.5%.
Walt DisneyCo’s ABC News will begin coverage of prime time at 7pm EST, with anchor George Stephanopoulos leading coverage from New York.
Fox News broadcasts an 8-hour live special “Fox News Democracy 2020: Election Coverage” from 6 pm Eastern Standard Time.Additional coverage lasts until 9am
U.S. television network is preparing to provide unprecedented election results
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