Saturday’s GOP debate averaged 13.18 million viewers, which is up from the two most-recent GOP debates, one of which did not include the front-runner, Donald Trump.
While it is down from the massive 20+ million the first two debates of this cycle, it’s a number ABC will be very happy with, especially for a Saturday night stretching over 3 hours. In fact, this was ABC’s best Saturday night (non-sports) in more than 14 years, since September, 2001. And it nearly doubled ABC’s draw for a 2012 GOP debate in Dec. 2011, which was the most-watched debate of that election cycle.
The debate, moderated by David Muir and Martha Raddatz, with additional questions from Mary Katharine Ham, and WMUR anchor Josh McElveen, got off to an awkward start but drew some of the sharpest jabs among the candidates of the 8 GOP debates so far. The debate drew 3.38 million in the A25-54 demo. The next GOP debate will also be this Saturday on CBS.
Here’s the 2016 debate ranker, which includes Nielsen viewership data, along with livestreaming information provided by the networks.
|Aug. 6 | GOP||Fox News||24,000,000||7,900,000||2,400000**|
|Sept. 16 | GOP||CNN||22,940,000||6,900,000||4,500,000|
|Oct. 13 | Dem||CNN||15,791,000||4,998,000||4,300,000|
|Oct. 28 | GOP||CNBC||14,000,000||3,900,000||***|
|Nov. 10 | GOP||FBN||13,500,000||3,670,000||2,800,000|
|Nov. 14 | Dem||CBS||8,500,000||2,120,000||1,200,000|
|Dec. 15 | GOP||CNN||18,165,000||5,560,000||3,100,000|
|Dec. 19 | Dem||ABC||7,850,000||1,928,000||***|
|Jan. 14 | GOP||FBN||11,094,000||2,983,000||1,900,000|
|Jan. 17 | Dem||NBC||10,200,000||3,170,000||1,200,000|
|Jan. 28 | GOP||Fox News||12,466,000||3,467,000||1,350,000|
|Feb. 4 | Dem||MSNBC||4,489,000||1,211,000||TBD|
|Feb. 6 | GOP||ABC||13,181,000||3,384,000||1,300,000|
|Feb. 11 | Dem||PBS||TBD||TBD||TBD|
|Feb. 13 | GOP||CBS||TBD||TBD||TBD|
|Feb. 25 | GOP||CNN||TBD||TBD||TBD|
|Mar. 3 | GOP||Fox News||TBD||TBD||TBD|
|Mar. 6 | Dem||CNN||TBD||TBD||TBD|
|Mar. 9 | Dem||Univision||TBD||TBD||TBD|
**Users needed to be an authenticated viewer to watch the livestream.
***ABC & CNBC have not shared their livestream data.