The second presidential debate Tuesday night (Oct. 8) between contenders Senators John McCain and Barack Obama drew a larger audience than the first, which aired on a Friday.
According to Nielsen, 63.2 million viewers tuned in to one of the 11 networks that carried the debate, including ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, Telemundo, Univision, BBC-America, CNBC, CNN, FOX News Channel and MSNBC. The first debate drew an audience of 52.4 million.
Despite the increase, the presidential candidates failed to draw a larger audience than the vice-presidential debate last Thursday (Oct. 2), which had an audience of 69.9 million.
Nashville had the largest audience with a household rating of 59.2, followed by Memphis (55.7) and Baltimore (55.6). The Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, Calif. market had the lowest rating with a 31.8.
As with the first presidential debate and the Oct. 2 vp showdown, ABC delivered the largest audience (13.2 million viewers), while NBC followed with 10.9 million. CBS took third on the night (9.4 million), while CNN won the cable ratings war with a delivery of 9.23 million viewers between 9 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.