On Wednesday, before the presidential debate, Donald Trump offered a glimpse of the project rumored for months he would launch if he lost in November: his own TV network.
Using Facebook Live to offer a live video of pundits loyal to Trump offering their opinions, the Facebook pitch read: “If you’re tired of biased, mainstream media reporting (otherwise known as Crooked Hillary’s super PAC), tune into my Facebook Live broadcast.”
Trump’s official Facebook page posted the link to the live video; according to Buzzfeed, 200,000 concurrent viewers tuned in at the start, but that number quickly plunged to roughly 120,000. Mid-debate, 170,000 people were watching the Facebook Live broadcast.
Retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn and former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer appeared on the show, which used pro-Trump ads instead of commercials and added a message from Ivanka Trump.
Buzzfeed noted, “Looking more like public access than a glitzy cable news offering, the broadcast moved slowly between guests with at least one or two hot mic off moments where the hosts discussed where the next segment was headed. There were also hints of some surprise programming after the debate ends.”
Right Side Broadcasting, a conservative video streaming network based out of Auburn, Alabama, appeared to create the infrastructure for the program, according to Buzzfeed.
“If you’re tired of biased, mainstream media reporting (otherwise known as Crooked Hillary’s super PAC), tune into my Facebook Live broadcast.”
The beginning of Trump TV?
On Monday, The New York Times reported that Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner was discussing forming a TV network with investment bankers. On Wednesday morning, asked by CNN if Trump planned a TV network, Trump campaign CEO, Steve Bannon only smiled and answered, “Trump is an entrepreneur.”
In mid-August, Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro intimated that the end-goal of Bannon and Trump might well be a TV network, positing on CNN:
Steve doesn’t like to enter scenarios that aren’t win-win. It’s a win-win for him personally. If Trump wins, then Steve gets to be chief-of-staff in the White House; if Trump loses, then he still gets to be allied with this very, very powerful figure who’s increased the traffic at Breitbart from like 30 million page views a month to 200 million page views a month, and has the possibility of expanding into TV, having this media empire on the back of Trump.