UPDATE 3:50 PM: An estimated 67.2 million people watched last night’s Presidential debate, according to Nielsen, up 28% compared to the first debate in 2008 between then-Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain. It was a close race for the broadcast networks. ABC drew in 11.2 million total viewers from 9-10:30 PM ET. NBC followed a close second with 11 million and CBS was third was 10.5 million. In the Adults 25-54 demographic, NBC was No. 1 with 5.1 million, followed by ABC with 4.6 million and CBS with 4.5 million. ABC also topped the list in total viewers for post-debate analysis form 10:30-11 PM ET with 8.8 million. It was followed by NBC with 8.7 million and CBS with 7 million. In the Adults 25-54, NBC led again with 3.8 million, followed by ABC with 3.5 million and CBS with 2.9 million.
PREVIOUS: Fox News Channel dominated cable news coverage of the first Presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Fox News drew 10.4 million viewers from 9-10:30 PM ET with nearly 3 million in the 25-54 demographic. That marked FNC’s highest-rated presidential debate ever. CNN was a distant second with 6 million viewers, followed by MSNBC. I’ll update with final numbers for the broadcast networks, most of whom also posted around 10 million viewers each in the fast nationals. (more…)