Nielsen estimates are that Fox Business, the 8-year-old channel, pulled in around 13.5 million viewers.
This would be slightly down from the third debate on CNBC, the NBCUniversal business network, two weeks before -- which pulled in 14 million last month, and a record for that channel.
Sister channel Fox News Channel grabbed a surprisingly 24 million viewers in August for the first debate. Then CNN in September followed up with a virtually strong 23 million.
CNN’s Democratic debate averaged a Nielsen 16 million viewers.
Fox Business is not as widely distributed as other cable networks -- in 74 million cable, satellite and/or telco homes.
But for the debate, pay TV providers, including DirecTV, Suddenlink, Mediacom, Frontier, Wide Open West and Cable One, along with a National Cable Television Cooperative member companies, made the channel available to their full subscriber base.
The latest Republican Presidential debate had eight candidates versus the 10 or more candidates at the lecterns in previous debates.
Something making all the GOP debates bigger is the lack of big prime time winners on network or cable television. The Nets score big mostly with event TV and the GOP with the Donald HAS BEEN event television. However, the third CNBC debate faced and beat a World Series game, which means it had to SHARE the event TV audience. So the Fox Business Channel Debate, WITHOUT big competition is a big comedown for the GOP from the three previous debates. Expect them to get even smaller.