Thursday’s Democratic presidential debate from Los Angeles drew an audience of 6.17 million viewers — lowest so far of the cycle, according to early numbers from Nielsen.
PBS NewsHour and Politico hosted the debate from Loyola Marymount University, and it also was simulcast by CNN.
According to Nielsen, the debate posted 2.062 million viewers on PBS and was seen on CNN by 4.088 million.
Even though the ratings did not match those of earlier in the cycle, CNN said that it beat its cable news rivals in the 8 PM to 11 PM block. CNN had an average of 3.97 million viewers in the period, to 3.64 for Fox News Channel and 1.83 million for MSNBC. In the 25-54 demo, CNN averaged 1.03 million to Fox News with 613,000 and MSNBC with 271,000.
According to data from PBS, livestreams from PBS NewsHour, Politico, PBS and CNN platform totaled more than 8.4 million.
The November presidential debate, seen on MSNBC, drew 6.5 million total viewers, according to Nielsen. Like Thursday’s debate, the November event came after a day in which impeachment proceedings dominated the news.
The most viewed Democratic debate so far was the first, in June, when 18.1 million tuned in to NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo.
The debate, with a slimmed down field of candidates qualifying, earned good reviews for the questions asked by the moderators, who included PBS NewsHour anchor and managing editor Judy Woodruff, Politico’s Tim Alberta, PBS NewsHour senior national correspondent Amna Nawaz and PBS NewsHour White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor.