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Hulu to stream presidential debates live

Hulu debate
It's official. We're one step closer to a point where you can throw out your cable box. Not only can you find virtually any TV program you'd ever want to see online thanks to BitTorrent, but legit web sites like Hulu and, and Fancast are making huge libraries of legal, full-length streaming TV episodes available. And now Hulu is prepared to take the next step by streaming tonight's presidential debate (and the October 15th debate) live.

Granted, a live stream of the presidential debate isn't quite as exciting as real-time streaming of popular, network-owned programs like Heroes or 24. But if enough people tune in to watch the debate on Hulu tonight, it could be a powerful demonstration that there's a group of people who want to watch live TV online, not just video-on-demand a day or two after a TV program has already aired on television.

Of course, Hulu isn't the only site that will be streaming debate coverage tonight. As NewTeeVee points out, C-SPAN, ABC, CBS, FOX, Current, CNN, MSNBC, and MySpace will all be streaming tonight's debate. So maybe this isn't so much a first step toward the internet-based future of broadcasting as it is a way for companies to try to build an audience for their online video sites by streaming something that most major networks have access to anyway, and which a lot of Americans plan to watch.

Tags: election08, hulu, online-video, streaming, video