First Democratic Presidential Debate Pulls In 15.3 Million Viewers

NBCUniversal TV news networks -- NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo -- pulled in a strong Nielsen-measured 15.3 million viewers for the first Democratic presidential debate.

NBCU says the two-hour debate -- the first of a two-night event -- also drew in 4.3 million adult 25-54 viewers and 3.7 million adult 18-49 viewers across NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo from 9:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. ET last night.

Looking at its networks specifically, NBC broadcast network averaged 8.7 million prime-time viewers, while MSNBC drew 5.9 million and Telemundo earned 719,000.

In addition, there were more than 9 million live-stream viewers on all platforms -- including,,, NBC News NOW on OTT devices, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

NBCU reports a total of 14 million video views across those sites. 



Users spent an average of 40 minutes watching the debate on network video platforms, according to Adobe Analytics.

Viewing results compare favorably versus the last series of presidential candidate debates.

Nine Democratic presidential TV debates between 2015 and 2016 averaged 8 million viewers -- with CNN grabbing the best results for the first one in October 2015 at 15.8 million.

The lowest was MSNBC in February 2016, at 4.5 million.

The 12 Republican presidential TV debates -- which included then-presidential candidate Donald Trump -- averaged 15.5 million Nielsen-measured TV viewers. The highest came from the first debate, aired by Fox News Channel in August 2015, with 24 million viewers. The lowest came on the Fox Business Network, 11.1 million, in January 2016.

1 comment about "First Democratic Presidential Debate Pulls In 15.3 Million Viewers".
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  1. Michael Pursel from Pursel Advertising, June 28, 2019 at 1:59 p.m.

    Let me understand, first Repub debates on FOX had 24 million.  First Dem debate this year scored A STRONG 15.3 million when aired on NBC THE BIG BROADCAST MEDIA GIANT, MSNBC, AND TELEMUNDO COMBINED.  Yah, sounds about right.  One little Fox channel beating all 3.  Makes media analyst go crazy!!  I love it.

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