The final numbers are in and when the viewership is broken down for last night’s first democratic debate of the 2016 cycle, CNN averaged 15.8 million total viewers.
As we mentioned earlier, while the debate was promoted as being at 8:30 p.m. ET, the first question wasn’t asked until 9 p.m. From that point to the final commercial break at 10:49 p.m., CNN averaged 15.79 million total viewers and 5 million in the demo.
The highest-rated quarter hour was 9:15-9:30 p.m. when the network averaged 16.93 million total viewers and 5.27 million in the demo.
Viewership dropped off at 10:49 p.m., which included the final question (which enemy the candidates are most proud of) and closing statements, to 12.7 million total viewers and 4.1 million in the demo. The post-debate analysis, which aired from 11:02 p.m. to 1 a.m., averaged 3.42 million total viewers and 1.2 million in the demo.
CNN won the full day, averaging 2.67 million total viewers, to FNC’s 1.32 million. CNN also tripled FNC in the demo: 841,000 vs. 243,000. Still, except for a CNN win at 10 a.m. ET, Fox News won every daytime hour yesterday in the demo. CNN went on to win every hour from 7 p.m. onward.