Debate Night Viewership Exceeds 2008 Levels
Last night’s Presidential debate attracted more viewers than either of the party conventions this year, and more than the first debate in the 2008 cycle:
More than 58 million people watched the first Presidential debate last night between President Obama and Mitt Romney, up substantially from the first debate in the 2008 election cycle, which had 52.4 million viewers.
Fox News was the most-watched cable news network during the debate, and will likely be the most-watched network on TV, though final broadcast numbers will not be released until after 4 PM.
Fox News, MSNBC, NBC, Fox and CBS are all up from the same debate in 2008, while CNN and ABC are down.
It’s typically the case that viewership for subsequent debates ends up being lower than viewership for the first debate. If that’s the case this year, then Mitt Romney picked a good night to turn in a good debate performance.
Update: Nielsen has updated its estimate of Wednesday night’s viewership to over 67 million.