Tired Of The Presidential Debate TV Series? Sorry, No Cancellation Is Coming

Like any TV series in this media environment, the third episode of the Republican presidential debate show has seen some viewers getting a little bored.

After the surprise record 24 million average viewers on the Fox News Channel for the first debate in August, and the 23.1 million viewers scored by the CNN in the second debate in September, the latest one on CNBC only produced 14.1 million. (The first Democratic presidential debate in mid-October, earned CNN 15.3 million viewers).

Now, to be sure, CNBC doesn’t have the TV brand news marketing heft of a Fox and CNN. Still the debate on Wednesday posted the best viewership results ever for CNBC.

And debate drama was still there: Candidates attacking the news media -- in particular CNBC moderators -- for their seemingly light-weight questions; and CNBC proponents countering that real substantive questions were in fact asked -- but few would address them directly.



Republican candidate Donald Trump wasn’t much of an instigator this time around. Instead the likes of Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) and Former Governor of Florida Jeb Bush -- two veteran politicians -- went at each other. Ho-Hum.

Maybe more of a crossover episode is needed: According to TV software/analytics provider, Samba TV, 60% of those who watched the Democratic debate also watch the Republican debates; while 21% of those who watch the Republican debates watch the Democratic battle.

Not only that, but the average number of viewing minutes of the three Republican debates has gone to 60 minutes, from 85 minutes for the second debate, and 71 minutes for the first, according to Samba TV.  (It should be noted the first debate was much longer than the two that followed).

Now, in part, you might also want to blame a little sports TV event playing on one of big broadcast TV networks: the second game of the World Series on Fox, which earned a competitive 12.5 million viewers for its three hours. So that hurt things.

But like any TV show, you need to handle all your competitors in a fair fight. Maybe some new story arcs and cast members will spike things up; Nielsen viewers will keep voting.

The positive spin is this: Cancellation of this show isn’t in the cards.

1 comment about "Tired Of The Presidential Debate TV Series? Sorry, No Cancellation Is Coming ".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. ida tarbell from s-t broadcasting, November 2, 2015 at 2:34 p.m.

    I was able to watch the 2nd cnn debate free on my cable/satellite not ready TV, thanks to CNN.  I don't have tv service, just a mohu leaf window antenna.  I came home to the third debate after dinner out.  CNBC was being chincy on youtube.  Whatever copies had been posted by citizens had been taken down.  Only short driblets put up by CNBC remained.  Escept for a Apple Home videoed three screen mash-up called the Majority Report.  In the top left screen the main host, another commenter and two techies in the screen below it.  On the right screen, the entire CNBC debate spooled while these nebbishes interrupted with their comments.  Pasted at the bottom of the GOP debate were cartoon like characters ala Mystery Science Theater from Comedy Central. However, the drawings didn't move or talk.  I watched the entire debate that way, the only route possible. It was a very American TV way to watch.

Next story loading loading..