Programming

35.5 Million Watch Obama Ad

Sen. Barack Obama's 30-minute "closing argument" infomercial boosted NBC, Fox and CBS into the top three slots for the time period. ABC followed with Pushing Daisies. 10/31/2008 01:10:00 AM Eastern

Related: Complete Election 2008 coverage

35.5 million people watched Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama’s paid advertisement at 8 p.m. last night, according to Nielsen.

On the broadcast side, Obama’s half-hour infomercial won its timeslot three times over last night, drawing 26.3 million viewers across the three broadcast networks on which it aired, according to Nielsen.

Univision drew 3.47 million viewers for its broadcast, and MSNBC drew 3.54 million. BET drew just over 700,000 viewers and TV One just over 300,000.
Of the three broadcasters to air the program, NBC drew the highest audience with a 3 rating/ 8 share in the key 18-49 demo and nearly 9.5 million total viewers. Fox drew a 2.8/8 and 7.9 million viewers, while CBS drew a 2.3/6 in the demo and 8.6 million total viewers. ABC’s counter-programming of Pushing Daisies didn’t help the network, which finished fourth in its timeslot with a 2.2/6 in the demo and 6.78 million total viewers.
Fox’s abbreviated World Series coverage, which saw the Phillies beat the Rays for the championship, drew the highest ratings of the series. Game five drew a 6.2 rating in the demo and 19.8 million total viewers, according to time-zone adjusted Fast National data.

The game was a continuation of Monday’s matchup, which was called during the sixth inning due to rain.

NBC, despite drawing the largest broadcast audience for the infomercial at 8 p.m., ended up finishing fifth during the 8:30 slot with a new Deal or No Deal, behind Fox’s World Series coverage, Daisies, The New Adventures of Old Christine and America’s Next Top Model on The CW.

Obama’s buy also reached a much wider audience than Ross Perot’s similar national ad buy in 1992. Perot purchased time on ABC, CBS and NBC, reaching 22.67 million people.

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