ABC News and Facebook join for new generation of election coverage

In a sign of fast changing collaborations in the television news business, Facebook has gotten into the live streaming video business and has teamed with ABC News for election night coverage on Nov. 2.

It’s the first time a major social media outlet has teamed with a major television network news division to bring coverage directly to users of a social media site. Broadcasters have been rushing to link to Facebook in recent months due to the growing importance of news “grazing,” the discovery of news through postings by users.

Now, ABC has upped the stakes by streaming directly online to social media users. The network will stream its election night coverage in several places, including and the ABC iPad app, as well as Facebook. ABC will also collaborate with Yahoo! News to offer election polls. On-air coverage will get the minimum of ABC’s live coverage during prime time.

Facebook will focus on key congressional districts to explore the issues that are driving campaigns, giving ABC News a unique perspective into those races, the companies said. At the same time, users of Facebook will have an opportunity to interact with ABC News broadcasts, offering questions, comments and opinions.

In addition, in the weeks leading up to the election, Facebook will be seeking out voters in congressional swing districts and soliciting questions for local debates.

ABC’s election night coverage will be anchored by Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos and Vote 2010 will not only feature coverage from ABC News headquarters in New York, but also reports from Facebook’s Palo Alto, CA, headquarters.

ABC News will begin its coverage 8:00 p.m.-9:30 p.m. ET on all media platforms, including its on-air broadcast channel. Beginning at 9:30 p.m., Facebook and will live stream the network’s election coverage anchored by Sawyer and Stephanopoulos.