NBC10 Boston, NECN and Telemundo Boston to Host Markey-Kennedy Debate

The hour-long debate between the U.S. Senate candidates will be held on Sunday, July 26

NBC10 Boston, Telemundo Boston and NECN will host the first of three televised U.S. Senate Democratic debates scheduled for the summer of 2020.

The debate with U.S. Sen. Ed Markey and challenger, U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy, will be held on Sunday, July 26, from 7 to 8 p.m. from a secure and closed studio inside the NBCUniversal Boston Media Center in Needham.

NBC10 Boston and NECN will broadcast the debate live, while Telemundo Boston will air the debate later that same evening at 11 p.m.

“Our reach throughout New England benefits voters,” said Ben Dobson, vice president of news for NBC10 Boston, Telemundo Boston and NECN. “With our three stations, 92% of the community are able to safely watch from a TV, mobile phone, or tablet. There is high interest in this particular race’s outcome and we are well positioned to deliver.”

The popular politicians are expected to address current issues important to citizens throughout the Commonwealth and beyond, including renewable energy, jobs and employment, systematic racism and effects and solutions of the pandemic on our community.

“Debates are a vital part of our democratic process and I look forward to having the chance to discuss my record and my vision for Massachusetts' future," Markey said. "From dismantling systemic racism in our society, to ensuring our small businesses and families have the relief they need to make it out of this pandemic, to helping to find a cure for Alzheimer's disease by 2025, I am excited to take the debate stage on July 26 and prepared to demonstrate to voters across Massachusetts that I am the progressive choice in this race."

While the coronavirus crisis and economic downturn have been a central focus of the U.S. Senate race, social justice issues have also become a priority. Massachusetts voters say the issue of Black Lives Matter will play a role when it comes time to vote for either Ed Markey or Joe Kennedy III.

"We’re at an unprecedented moment in this country's history,” Kennedy said. “Americans are walking hand and hand in our streets, demanding more from their government, leaders and neighbors. We're rebuilding our nation from a devastating global pandemic. Amidst all that, we have an extraordinary opportunity. This is the moment we can choose to build something better. Our recovery is going to be the work of a generation. And during this debate, I look forward to showing Massachusetts voters that I'm all in."

Due to the existing pandemic and public health guidelines, the debate format will be altered and strict guidelines enforced.

“We are taking every precaution inside the building to ensure everyone’s safety,” said Chris Wayland, president and general manager of the NBCUniversal Boston Owned Properties and Regional Sports Networks. “Candidates will enter the building at staggered times with a limited number of staff allowed inside. The debate is closed to the public and will not have a live audience. Masks will be worn during the broadcast and social distancing guidelines will be maintained at all times for the well-being of the candidates and our employees.”

All three stations will stream the debate on their websites at, and as these political rivals race for the senate seat.

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