3rd Republican presidential debate to be capped at 2 hours

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
CNBC Gives in to Donald Trump and Ben Carson's Demand to Shorten Debate

NEW YORK (AP) -- CNBC and the Republican presidential candidates agreed on the format for their third debate a day after leaders Donald Trump and Ben Carson threatened to boycott unless they got their way, the network said.

SEE MORE:Listen to the audio versions of the top stories you need to know right now

The Oct. 28 debate will be two hours long and will include closing statements from the candidates, CNBC spokesman Brian Steel said Friday.

The billionaire businessman and the retired neurosurgeon, in a joint letter to CNBC's Washington bureau chief on Thursday, had told the hosting network they would not appear at the debate unless it was capped at two hours including commercials and the candidates were allowed to speak directly to the camera at its opening and close. The Republican National Committee and candidates began discussing the format on Wednesday, RNC spokesman Sean Spicer said.

See images from the previous Republican debate:

31 PHOTOS
GOP Main Debate 9/16/2015
See Gallery
3rd Republican presidential debate to be capped at 2 hours
Republican presidential hopefuls, (L-R) South Carolina Sen. Lindsay Graham, former New York Gov. George Pataki, Sen. Rick Santorum, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, real estate magnate Donald Trump, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former CEO Carly Fiorina, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, arrive on stage for the Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California on September 16, 2015. Republican presidential candidates collectively turned their sights on frontrunner Donald Trump at the party's second debate, taking aim at his lack of political experience and his sometimes abrasive style. AFP PHOTO/ ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidates businessman Donald Trump, left, and Scott Walker, right, both speak as Jeb Bush, listens during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Republican presidential hopefuls (L-R), Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee , Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, real estate magnate Donald Trump, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and former CEO Carly Fiorina, listen as retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson (C) speaks during the Presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California on September 16, 2015. Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump stepped into a campaign hornet's nest as his rivals collectively turned their sights on the billionaire in the party's second debate of the 2015. AFP PHOTO / FREDERIC J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate businessman Donald Trump speaks during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
SIMI VALLEY, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: : Republican presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and Marco Rubio take part in the presidential debates at the Reagan Library on September 16, 2015 in Simi Valley, California. Fifteen Republican presidential candidates are participating in the second set of Republican presidential debates. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SIMI VALLEY, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: Republican presidential candidates Carly Fiorina and John Kasich take part in the presidential debates at the Reagan Library on September 16, 2015 in Simi Valley, California. Fifteen Republican presidential candidates are participating in the second set of Republican presidential debates. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SIMI VALLEY, CA-SEPTEMBER. 16: Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul take part in the presidential debates at the Reagan Library on September 16, 2015 in Simi Valley, California. Fifteen Republican presidential candidates are participating in the second set of Republican presidential debates. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate, Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Republican presidential candidates, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, right, and Donald Trump both speak during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Republican presidential candidate, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson speaks during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
SIMI VALLEY, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: Republican presidential candidates (L-R) Rick Santorum, George Pataki, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Huckabee, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) , U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Ben Carson, Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Carly Fiorina, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie stand onstage during the presidential debates at the Reagan Library on September 16, 2015 in Simi Valley, California. Fifteen Republican presidential candidates are participating in the second set of Republican presidential debates. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie responds to a question as questioners Dana Bash, center, and Hugh Hewitt, right, look on during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump reacts during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Carly Fiorina, former chairman and chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard Co. and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, speaks during the Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015. After a friendly round of introductions, the second Republican presidential debate quickly plunged into clashes that shifted from policy to the personal, with more politically experienced insiders trying to gain an advantage against the front-runner at center stage: Donald Trump. Photographer: Max Whittaker/Pool via Bloomberg
SIMI VALLEY, CA-SEPTEMBER. 16: Republican presidential candidates Marco Rubio, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Ben Carson, Donald Trump, Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker take part in the presidential debates at the Reagan Library on September 16, 2015 in Simi Valley, California. Fifteen Republican presidential candidates are participating in the second set of Republican presidential debates. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, center, gestures as Donald Trump, left, and Scott Walker look on during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Republican presidential candidate, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, left, looks on as Ben Carson speaks during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
SIMI VALLEY, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: Republican presidential candidates Chris Christie (R) and Ohio Gov. John Kasich take part in the presidential debates at the Reagan Library on September 16, 2015 in Simi Valley, California. Fifteen Republican presidential candidates are participating in the second set of Republican presidential debates. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SIMI VALLEY, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump (L) and Jeb Bush take part in the presidential debates at the Reagan Library on September 16, 2015 in Simi Valley, California. Fifteen Republican presidential candidates are participating in the second set of Republican presidential debates. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush speaks during the Republican Presidential Debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, September 16, 2015. Republican presidential candidates collectively turned their sights on frontrunner Donald Trump at the party's second debate, taking aim at his lack of political experience and his sometimes abrasive style. AFP PHOTO / FREDERIC J BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, left, speaks as Marco Rubio looks on during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
SIMI VALLEY, CA-SEPTEMBER. 16: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump takes part in the presidential debates at the Reagan Library on September 16, 2015 in Simi Valley, California. Fifteen Republican presidential candidates are participating in the second set of Republican presidential debates. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidates Ben Carson, left, and Donald Trump talk before the start of the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
2016 Republican presidential candidates Carly Fiorina, former chairman and chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard Co., and Scott Walker, governor of Wisconsin, walk on stage during the Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015. The main debate of the top 11 GOP contenders in the polls follows the 'kids' table' debate of candidates who didn't make the cut. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Republican presidential hopefuls, (L-R) retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, real estate magnate Donald Trump, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, arrive on stage for the Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California on September 16, 2015. Republican presidential candidates collectively turned their sights on frontrunner Donald Trump at the party's second debate, taking aim at his lack of political experience and his sometimes abrasive style. AFP PHOTO/ ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidates Chris Christie, right, John Kasich, center, and Carly Fiorina enter the stage prior to the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
SIMI VALLEY, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks with reporters after the presidential debate at the Reagan Library on September 16, 2015 in Simi Valley, California. Fifteen Republican presidential candidates are participating in the second of presidential debates(Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

CNBC had proposed two hours of debating time not including four commercial breaks, meaning the time the candidates would be onstage would be about 15 minutes longer.

The most recent debate, on CNN, lasted three hours with commercial breaks, a duration that left some of the candidates complaining. Since the debates have set records for high ratings, television networks have an incentive to keep the candidates onstage and on the air for as long as they possibly can.

SEE MORE:U.S. confirms Iran tested nuclear-capable ballistic missile

CNBC had initially called for no opening and closing statements, which made some candidates unhappy because it would take away their best chance to speak directly to voters without having to be called on to respond to a question.

Spicer confirmed the agreement.

Debate format squabbles are common in presidential campaigns, an issue magnified this year because of the number of candidates running and their popularity as television events. Trump had threatened not to appear on the second GOP debate on CNN unless the network made a $10 million donation to charity; no donation was made, and Trump appeared.

More from AOL.com:
Attorneys, family members of Tamir Rice asking for special prosecutor
These luxury bunkers are where billionaires will survive the end of the world
Clinton aide Huma Abedin appears before Benghazi committee
Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners