CNN's Debate Coverage Secures 3.6 Million Viewers

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CNN's coverage of the GOP National Security Debate gave it the Nielsen vote among the cable news services on Tuesday night.
Moderated by Wolf Blitzer, the Nov. 22 debate averaged 3.59 million viewers from 8 p.m. to 9:59 p.m., according to Nielsen Fast National data. Included in that total were 1.04 million adults 25 to 54, the so-called news demo.
During that period, CNN held 93% and 343% advantages over Fox News Channel (1.86 million) and MSNBC (812,000) among viewers. The lead was even more distinct in the demo: 152% above FNC's 413,000 and 413% over MSNBC's 203,000.
The debate lead-in boosted CNN's AC 360, which averaged 1.43 million viewers and 405,000 adults 25 to 54 at 10 p.m., versus 1.3 million and 365,000 for FNC's On the Record With Greta Van Susteren and 723,000 and 209,000 for MSNBC's The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell.
While the Nielsen news was positive for CNN on Tuesday, the Security Debate didn't measure up against its coverage of the Oct. 18 event in Las Vegas, which pulled in 5.5 million viewers. FNC's Sept. 22 debate still ranks as the cycle's most-watched with 6.1 million watchers.
CNN executives noted that Tuesday night's coverage topped CNBC's Nov. 9 debate (993,000), CNN's June 13 forum (918,000) and FNC's May 5 debate (854,000) among the 25-to-54 set.

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