Taking Saturday’s top ratings spot, ABC’s coverage of the Republican debate in New Hampshire snared 13.18 million total viewers, with another 1.3 million watching live streams across ABC News’ digital platforms.
The debate, which featured a particularly fierce head-to-head between Chris Christie and Marco Rubio, scored 3.38 million Adults 25-54 and 2.6 million Adults 18-49, according to Nielsen’s Fast Nationals.
Saturday’s performance more than doubled ABC’s most recent Republican debate from way back on January 7, 2012 (6.27 million). With Donald Trump back onstage — and Ben Carson taking his time getting there — last night’s debate gave ABC its best non-sports Saturday night in more than 14 years, and easily outperformed the network’s presentation this past December 19 of the Democratic debate from New Hamphire (8 million). Still, the numbers pale compared to the record-smashing 24 million viewers of the season’s first Republican primary debate on Fox News Channel August 6th, or even the 14 million for the GOP debate on CNBC in October.
Fox News Channel’s Republican debate on January 28 drew 12.46 million total viewers.
ABC’s live, three-hour telecast, moderated by David Muir and Martha Raddatz, drew its largest audience in the 9:30 to 10 PM slot, with 15.13 million total viewers, 3.97 million Adults 25-54 and 3.17 million Adults 18-49.