Democratic Debate Draws Record Audience Of 19.7 Million Viewers For NBC and MSNBC

By Dino-Ray Ramos, Ted Johnson

Matt Baron/Shutterstock

UPDATE: The latest Democratic presidential debate drew a record 19.7 million viewers for NBC News and MSNBC.

The networks said that it was the most watched Democratic debate in history. It also topped the 18.1 million who watched the second night of the Democratic debate in June. That event was broadcast by NBC News, MSNBC and Telemundo.

NBC said that the debate generated 13.5 million live video streams and 22 million video views across all platforms. The network said that it translated into an average audience of 417,000 viewers.

The numbers are fast national figures from Nielsen.

The viewership also is more than double the audience of the last Democratic debate, on Feb. 7 in New Hampshire. CNN drew an estimated 7.86 million to that telecast, which was on a Friday, a low-viewership day of the week.

Wednesday night’s debate also marked the first appearance on stage of former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who has flooded the airwaves with ads.

CBS News will sponsor the next Democratic debate on Tuesday from Charleston, SC, with the Congressional Black Caucus Institute as cohost. The event will be simulcast on BET.

PREVIOUSLY: NBC’s telecast of the ninth Democratic Debate won Wednesday night as it earned a 1.8 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic and netted a staggering 10 million viewers. It was the first debate that featured New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg and the numbers are expected to be adjusted in finals. This is a significant boost from the eighth debate earlier this month which had an estimated 7.86 million viewers and surpasses part two of the first Democratic debate in June 2019, which had 8.83 million viewers.

The two-part finale of Criminal Minds on CBS had a tearful farewell that was solid in the ratings, with an average ticking up two-tenths from last week to a 0.8 in the demo and an average of 5.4 million viewers. The numbers fall short from the season-high (0.9, 5.88M) set in January. Meanwhile, Survivor (1.4, 7.16M) saw a tick up in the demo and, after the debate, was the most-watched series for Wednesday night.

At Fox, The Masked Singer (1.9, 7.02M) continues to hit all the right notes, ticking up in the demo while the new reality competition series Lego Masters (1.0, 3.10M) lost a couple of bricks, stumbling a two-tenths in ratings.

ABC saw a one-tenth slip in the demo with Schooled (0.6, 2.93M) and two-tenths drop for Modern Family (0.7, 3.26M) while The Goldbergs (0.8, 3.97M), Single Parents (0.6, 2.23M) and Stumptown (0.4, 2.23M) managed to hold steady with last week.

And last, but certainly not least, The CW aired  Howie Mandel’s All-Star Comedy Gala (0.2, 826,000).

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