Word is that Fox News is working closely with the Florida Republican Party to air a primary debate next year for the Republican contenders.

Report from NewsOnNews:

Fox News is on the verge of signing a deal with the Florida GOP to host a televised Republican presidential primary debate in the critical state.

It is reported in the Orlando Sentinel that a deal could be completed this weekend, and that any debate would likely take place in October 2011.

The news follows NBC’s announcement that they are to host a televised Republican presidential primary debate at the Ronald Regan Presidential Library.

The cable news networks are already planning their coverage and strategies for the 2012 presidential election, and from a television news point of view, it is expected to be a very close-run game between the big three, CNN, Fox News and MSNBC.

No surprise here since some political writers have dubbed the 2012 election as the “Fox News election” since a few key 2012 Republican contenders are currently Fox News analysts or hosts. This includes Governor Mike Huckabee, Governor Sarah Palin and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.