CNN’s Debate Night: Sanders Vs. Cruz: The Future Of Obamacare airing Tuesday from 9-10:45 PM ET was the night’s top-rated cable news program in the 25-54 age bracket. Moderated by Jake Tapper and Dana Bash, the debate between Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Bernie Sanders averaged 932,000 viewers in the so-called news bracket, besting Fox News Channel (720K) by 29% in the block of time, and MSNBC (417K) by 124%.
The debate’s total viewer draw, 2.45 million, finished behind FNC’s 3.39M and ahead of MSNBC’s 1.95M.
CNN finished first for primetime in the news demo with 782K viewers, to FNC’s 732K and MSNBC’s 385K. In total viewers, FNC logged 3.6M primetime viewers, followed by CNN’s 2.1M and MSNBC’s 1.8M.
The Sanders-Cruz debate outrated all CNN non-election town hall premieres in both total viewers and in adults 25-54. Most recently, for example, the network’s town hall with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, on January 31, logged 577K news-demo viewers and 1.7M total viewers, and the January 12 town hall with House Speaker Paul Ryan clocked 571K news-demo viewers and 1.5M total viewers.