The group of networks known as the broadcast consortium, including CBC News, has set the English-language debate for Thursday, Oct. 8 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. ET, and the French-language debate for Wednesday, Oct. 7, from 8 to 10 p.m. ET.
But reaction on social media was swift, with people quickly pointing out that the English-language debate is not happening in prime time, and the French-language debate is set for the same time as the Montreal Canadiens season-opener. Those factors are likely to mean fewer people watching the debates in real time.
The New Democrats, the Liberals and the Green Party have confirmed their participation in the consortium debate. The Conservatives say they will participate in other debates, but not the one run by the majority of Canadian broadcasters. A Conservative spokesman has said that the party got too many invitations and the broadcast consortium didn't make the cut.
The French-language debate will run an additional half-hour because it will include the Bloc Québecois, which has been excluded from the English-language debate.
The consortium includes CTV News, Global News, Radio-Canada and Télé-Québec, along with CBC News.