Did Trump pilot a TV service during the debate?

His Facebook Live debate feed had the trappings of a cable news channel.

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Did Trump pilot a TV service during the debate?

Just ahead of last night's debate, Donald Trump launched his own Facebook Live video stream featuring coverage and analysis before, during and after the event. The feed, which featured analysis and slick graphics, could be a preview of a Trump TV network rumored to be in the works. "If you're tired of biased, mainstream media reporting (otherwise known as Crooked Hillary's super PAC), tune into my Facebook Live broadcast," Trump said in a Facebook post

The idea that Trump was using his presidential bid as a way to drum up interest in a new media empire was first floated by Vanity Fair, which based the report on sources "briefed on the discussions." More recent reports pointed to an online channel that could be a cable TV launchpad. He reportedly consulted New York Observer owner Jared Kushner, along with his own media-savvy daughter, Ivanka, on the project. Trump has denied the rumors, however.

There's a a little issue of advertising [on Trump TV]. Most big brand advertisers would avoid it like the plague. The last thing anyone is looking for is controversy for fear of being boycotted.

The livestream featured Ivanka , Eric and Lara Trump, along with Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn. It ran under the "TrumpTV" section and had anti-Clinton ads interspersed throughout. While the production looked reasonably professional, there was the odd stumble and "hot mic" glitch. Around 200,000 viewers tuned into the broadcast at its peak during the debate, trailing only the ABC News feed on Facebook. By contrast, 124 million folks around the world watched the second tete-a-tete between the candidates on YouTube, dwarfing Facebook's numbers.

While the ratings were decent, former Fox TV CEO Sandy Grushow told CNBC that the idea of a Trump TV network is implausible. "There's a a little issue of advertising," he said. "Most big brand advertisers would avoid it like the plague. The last thing anyone is looking for is controversy for fear of being boycotted."

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