NBC’s 9 p.m. Saturday debate posted a Nielsen 10.2 million viewers, improving on the last Democratic broadcast network debate by ABC, which recorded 8.0 million total average viewers. A month before on CBS -- November 14, also a Saturday -- the first debate posted 8.6 million viewers.
The best results for the Democratic Presidential debate so far are with CNN, which posted 15.3 million last October. The most recent Republican Presidential Debate, last Thursday on the Fox Business Network cable channel, earned 11.0 million.
Overall, the Republican Presidential debates have drawn the largest TV audiences on average --- with some of highest totals on the Fox News Channel, over 24 million viewers, and CNN, 22 million last fall.
For the night as a whole, CBS easily won over other broadcast networks in total viewers and in key 18-49 viewers. CBS averaged a 5.0 rating among 18-49 viewers, largely due to high viewership from an late afternoon/early evening NFL game, with a 12.0 rating for 18-49 viewers and 40.6 million total viewers.
NBC scored a 1.4 rating average on the night for 18-49 viewers; Fox, a 1.3; and ABC, a 0.5.
NBC says 1.2 million viewers streamed the debate on a number of platforms, and another 552,000 watched the rerun of the debate on NBC news cable channel, MSNBC.