MSNBC/NBC Scores Highest Democratic Presidential TV Debate Ratings For Las Vegas Event

With the Presidential race heating up, NBC News’ NBC/MSNBC scored the best Democratic Presidential debate ratings so far -- a collective 19.7 million Nielsen-measured total viewers.

For the Las Vegas debate, coming before the Nevada primary vote, 12 million viewers tuned in to the event on the NBC Television Network, with 7.6 million on MSNBC -- the third-largest audience ever for a single telecast on the cable network.

Analysts says the debate was boosted by the first-time appearance of candidate Michael Bloomberg, who has received major attention coming from his massive political TV advertising campaign, estimated to have spent in excess of $450 million.

Bloomberg received multiple verbal attacks and criticism from Democratic debate candidates during the event.

For prime-time 8-11 p.m. viewing -- which includes pre- and post-debate coverage -- MSNBC averaged 6.0 million viewers. Fox News Channel was at 3.3 million and CNN came in at 772,000.



The debate airing outperformed the previous Democratic Presidential debate of June 27, 2019, which had 18.1 million viewers, in the second day of the two-day event on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo.

The Las Vegas debate had more than twice the viewership of two previous Democratic Presidential debates -- ABC on February 7th, with 7.9 million viewers and CNN in October 2019, with 8.6 million viewers.

Top demographic ratings for NBC: adults 25-54 had a 2.4 rating and adults 18-49 had a 1.4 rating. The MSNBC demographics revealed a 5.2 Nielsen-measured rating for adults 50 and older, while adults 25-54 had a 1.6 rating; and adults 18-49 had a 1.2 rating.

The limited-TV advertising event had a combined 24 TV commercial airings -- on MSNBC/NBC from QuickBooks, Walmart, Verizon, Viking Cruises, Progressive, Otezla, Claritin, Ninja Cooking, Vroom, Rakuten, Amazon Prime Video, Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, Home Advisor, Mazda, SoFi, and Tylenol, according to

NBC says there were nearly 22 million video views across all platforms, including,, NBC News NOW on OTT devices, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

The biggest Presidential debate was on Fox News Channel in August 2015 -- the first debate between Republican Presidential candidates for the 2016 Presidential race -- which scored 24 million viewers. A second Republican Presidential debate, a month later, posted 23 million.

NBC News also said the broadcast drew 13.5 million live-streaming views -- which translates roughly to a comparable Nielsen average minute audience of 417,000 viewers.

4 comments about "MSNBC/NBC Scores Highest Democratic Presidential TV Debate Ratings For Las Vegas Event".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, February 21, 2020 at 9:09 a.m.

    What's bad news for the "progressive" candidates is that even if this debate had more average minute viewers than previous ones, most of the audience consisted of adults aged 50+ while vey few millennials watched.

  2. Ken Kurtz from creative license, February 21, 2020 at 12:06 p.m.

    Progressive, to me, is a funny adjective, and I see that Ed puts the word in quotes. A funny adjective, again, because if this nation ever were to put in place policies that "progressives" espouse, we would not only NOT move forward in many meaningful, and important ways, we would actually move backwards in too many, which seems antithetical to "progressive."

    One thing I know...

    Bloomberg received multiple verbal attacks and criticism from Democratic debate candidates during the event.

    Any candidate that receives such attacks, and criticism from those wacky Dem "progressives" MUST BE MAKING GREAT SENSE, and is worthy of my vote.

    Including Trump. Could not hold my nose long enough to cast my vote for him in 2016, but between the way things are rolling now with his "enough of governmental constipation" and more business-like approach (yes, sometimes business is dirty) to making things happen, and the NEVER ENDING attacks from the left (too many of them too preposterous to even consider)... I could see voting for him later this year as a protest vote, and in the hopes that his no-nonsense style, and say whatever he thinks even if it hurts him attitude KEEP THINGS ROLLING the way they are. 

  3. Ken Kurtz from creative license, February 21, 2020 at 12:49 p.m.

    Even worse news for the left is the complete and utter lack of understanding that incessant, and oftentimes unfounded attacks on their competition will continue to backfire on them, and move badly needed votes AWAY from them. 'Tis a paradoxical world we live in. The left seems blind to that fact, even though they were BLINDSIDED by that truth with Trump's improbable win in 2016. So many illogical excuses and finger-pointing over why and how Trump was able to pull that off, so much blindness and deafness to what actual Americans were thinking, and feeling about their methods, and policies.

  4. Ken Kurtz from creative license, February 21, 2020 at 12:56 p.m.

    Ironically, the "Russia Collusion" and "Impeachment Charade" debacles (debacles, because there ultimately wasn't enough there there), supposedly over Trump attempting to aid his campaign, and increase his chances of winning election WERE UNDERTAKEN BY THE LEFT SPECIFICALLY TO AID THE LEFT, AND INCREASE THEIR CHANCES OF WINNING. Yes, paradoxical, when what is illogically and incomprehensibly undertaken at taxpayer expense with faulty foundation, and flimsy evidence, and results in FAILURE just makes the guy that you're corruptly going after seem less corrupt.

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