First Clinton-Trump Presidential Debate Sets TV Viewing Record

The first Presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump came in as expected with strong TV viewership, with an estimated record total 84 million Nielsen measured viewers watching the event across 13 different TV networks.

For the debate coverage running from 9 p.m. to 10:45 p.m., NBC tallied the most viewers overall of any individual network -- 18.2 million viewers. ABC was next with 13.5 million, followed by CBS with 12.1 million. On the Fox broadcasting network, there were 5.3 million viewers. 

Of the cable networks, Fox News Channel led with 11.4 million, followed by CNN at 9.8 million, MSNBC with 4.9 million, Fox Business News at 673,000 and CNBC with 520,000.

Among the other networks, PBS scored 3 million viewers; Univision, 2.5 million, and Telemundo, 1.8 million. Azteca TV also aired the event, but no specific data was released.



For the big four broadcast networks, viewing results were up 25% from the first presidential debate in 2012, which took in 67.2 million coming from 12 TV networks.

The 84 million total this year bested overall results from the 1980 Presidential debate, which garnered 80.6 million viewers, airing on three networks:  ABC, CBS, and NBC.

1 comment about "First Clinton-Trump Presidential Debate Sets TV Viewing Record".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, September 28, 2016 at 11:19 a.m.

    Of course, the U.S. population was much smaller in 1980 so, in terms of percentages not the number of viewers, the 1980 debate attracted a considerably higher rating among those able to watch.

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