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How to watch the debate in Washington, DC tonight live without cable

After relocating the debate from Arizona to the nation's capital, it's time for Bernie versus Biden.

Matt Elliott Senior Editor
Matt Elliott is a senior editor at CNET with a focus on laptops and streaming services. Matt has more than 20 years of experience testing and reviewing laptops. He has worked for CNET in New York and San Francisco and now lives in New Hampshire. When he's not writing about laptops, Matt likes to play and watch sports. He loves to play tennis and hates the number of streaming services he has to subscribe to in order to watch the various sports he wants to watch.
Expertise Laptops, desktops, all-in-one PCs, streaming devices, streaming platforms
Matt Elliott
3 min read
Biden v. Sanders

Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders will face off for the 11th Democratic primary debate in Washington, DC.

The onset of coronavirus makes for a lot of cancellations and changes and the 2020 election calendar is no exception. The Democratic National Committee has decided to move the 11th debate to Washington, DC, in part to reduce cross-country travel. The debate was originally scheduled to take place in Arizona. And in another nod to social distancing the two remaining candidates, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, will square off without a live audience. 

Just last month during the debate in South Carolina there were still live audiences -- and seven candidates on stage. Now, after a Super Tuesday shake-out that saw five candidates withdraw, just two Democratic presidential hopefuls are left standing. After his strong showing on Super Tuesday and again this past Tuesday with wins in Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi and Missouri, Biden has the momentum and a clear lead over Sanders. The former vice president can cement his frontrunner status on March 17 when Arizona votes along with delegate-rich states Florida, Illinois and Ohio. 

The debate takes place tonight, Sunday, March 15 at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT) and will be broadcast live on CNN and Univision from CNN's DC studio. Here's how to watch for free, even if you don't have cable.

Watch this: Pandemic: Here's what's changed about the coronavirus

Which candidates are in the debate?

Just two:

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont

Who is hosting and moderating the debate?

Hosted by CNN and Univision in partnership with CHC Bold, the political action committee of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the debate will be moderated by Dana Bash and Jake Tapper of CNN.

Jorge Ramos of Univision was originally scheduled to moderate as well, but the DNC says he won't participate because he may have been exposed to coronavirus. Ramos will be replaced by Univision news anchor Ilia Calderón.

How can I watch or stream the debate for free?

The debate starts Sunday at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT) and will be broadcast on CNN and Univision. You will be able to stream the debate live on CNN and Univision's digital platforms. You usually need to log in to to prove you have a pay TV subscription for such streaming, but the debate is an exception. You will not need to authenticate in order to watch Sanders and Biden square off Sunday. Free televised democracy for all!

Any other ways to livestream the debate?

Cord-cutters who subscribe to a live TV streaming service can also watch the debate. All five major services, listed below, offer CNN, but only FuboTV will carry the Spanish-language broadcast on Univision. 

Sling TV does not offer Univision, but both its $30-a-month Blue and Orange plans include CNN. Sling's packages are discounted by $10 for the first month.

Read our Sling TV review.

YouTube TV costs $50 a month and includes CNN, but not Univision.

Read our YouTube TV review.

Hulu with Live TV costs $55 a month and includes CNN, but not Univision.

Read our Hulu with Live TV review.

FuboTV costs $55 a month and includes CNN and Univision.

Read our FuboTV review.

AT&T TV Now's basic $65-a-month Plus package includes CNN, but not Univision. 

Read our AT&T TV Now review.

All of the live TV streaming services above offer a free trial, allow you to cancel anytime, and require a solid internet connection. Looking for more information? Check out our massive streaming services guide.