Ratings

Fox News Tops Cable Ratings For Presidential Debate Coverage

UPDATED: Nielsen sets final average audience at 71.6 million; 11.2 million watched Fox 10/20/2016 3:04 PM Eastern Last updated at 10/21/2016 11:53 AM

Fox News was the winner of last night’s third and final Presidential debate between Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, drawing more viewers than all other cable and broadcast networks. The network's Chris Wallace moderated, earning critical praise.

 

Nielsen said Thursday afternoon that the estimated total number of viewers was 71.6 million after PBS's viewers were added into the earlier reported 68.8 million. There were 53.2 million social media interactions across Facebook and Twitter from 16.9 million people in the U.S. related to the "Presidential Debate," Nielsen also said.

 

Fox News averaged 11.2 million viewers for its live coverage of the debate from Las Vegas, up 14% from its tally for the second debate. Fox News bested CNN’s 8.6 million and MSNBC’s 5.5 million viewer take for the debate period, according to Nielsen.

 

The cable news network also topped the 10 million viewers ABC, NBC and CBS drew for their respective live debate coverage.

 

Presidential Debate Viewers Among Cable Networks

                                                                           Total Viewers

Networks                    Debate #3  (Oct. 19)       Debate #2  (Oct. 9)    Debate #1  (Sept. 26)

Fox News                    11.2 million                9.9 million                  11.4 million

CNN                              8.6 million                11.3 million                  9.9 million

MSNBC                         5.5 million                5.5 million                   4.9 million

Fox Business                   714,000                   565,000                       672,000

CNBC                              547,000                   395,000                       520,000

Source: Nielsen

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