Will Two Presidential Debates Amp Up Ho-Hum TV Network Viewing?

Two live TV Presidential debates -- with the former president known for his wild and free-ranging style and the tough-minded, but not shy, incumbent President -- will take place in late June and September.

This sounds like a TV gift from the programming gods.

There may be other elements -- continuously speaking over each other's responses to the moderator's questions...   fierce attacks ...  facts and fiction flying around the stage? 

Perhaps moderators will have controls when it comes to muting microphones. Or maybe there will be a trap door.

The first debate -- with no studio audience -- is scheduled for June 27 on CNN, while the second will take place September 10 on ABC.

In 2016 Presidential candidate Donald Trump did well for TV networks, especially for the Republican Presidential debates -- in terms of boosting viewership. Among the dozen debates, viewership ranged from 24 million (for the first debate on Fox News Channel) to 12 million (for the last on CNN).



And for those viewers who were floating somewhere in space over the last decade or so, Trump previously hosted an unscripted TV show focused on business performance by contestants. 

In 2020, the first Trump-Biden Presidential debate pulled in 73 million viewers, making it the third most-watched debate in U.S. history. The most-watched debate was in 2016 -- with Trump facing off against Hillary Clinton, reaching 84 million viewers.

These debates were not on the scale of a Super Bowl, which now typically comes in at the 110 million viewership range. Debate viewership is more in line with numbers for a strong-performing NFC or AFC Championship game.

The interest around Trump's criminal trial activity -- and the possibility that he may appear as a convicted felon -- will certainly amp up interest. (Maybe unrevealed information on Biden will show a mixed-martial arts background. We can only hope).

With all these considerations, analysts are thinking each debate could be a 100 million-plus viewer event.

What about advertisers? Just before and after the event, not during.

High pricing, still? Hmmm.. this could be in the $500,000 to $700,000 range, perhaps near $1 million for this opportunity?

No matter. If you are wondering -- given the acrimony between these candidates -- the marketing hype is already baked in. 

In accepting the debate challenge, Trump posted on his social media app: “It is my great honor to accept the CNN debate against Crooked Joe Biden."

In response, via a video released message directed to Trump via with reference to his now four-days-a-week criminal trial schedule, Biden said:  “I hear you are free on Wednesdays.”

What more can you say? I'm waiting for the pre fight stare-down -- the yellow hair versus the white locks.

Betting starts now: Who throws the first real impactful one-two combination political punches?

1 comment about "Will Two Presidential Debates Amp Up Ho-Hum TV Network Viewing?".
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  1. Ben B from Retired, May 16, 2024 at 9:22 p.m.

    I have no interest in watching the debate I'd rather watch paint dry than watch the debate I'll just get the hilights from local news, on News Nation, Fox News, maybe BBC News etc.

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