First Presidential Debate Attracts 67.2 Million Viewers
Debate audience on 12 networks up 28% from 2008
By Andrea Morabito -- Broadcasting & Cable, 10/4/2012 2:46:51 PM
The debate aired on 12 networks -- ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, Telemundo, Univision, PBS, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, CurrentTV and CNBC.
On cable news, more viewers watched the debate on Fox News than any other channel, according to Nielsen fast national ratings. FNC had an audience of 10.42 million total viewers from 9-10:30 p.m. ET, when the debate aired. It was also tops in the key demo of adults 25-54 with 2.93 million. It was Fox News' highest-rated presidential debate ever.
CNN was second in both measures, with 6.05 million tuning into the channel for the debate and 2.37 million adults 25-54. MSNBC was third with 4.71 million total viewers and 1.85 million key adults.
On broadcast, ABC was the favored network by a slight margin, averaging 11.25 million viewers to NBC's close-second 11.07 million. CBS drew 10.58 million total viewers.