13.5 Million Watch GOP Debate on FBN

By Chris Ariens 

FBNdebate2Fox Business Network had its most-watched day Tuesday as it broadcast its first presidential primary debates.

According to Nielsen fast national ratings, the main debate, moderated by FBN’s Maria Bartiromo, Neil Cavuto and WSJ’s Gerard Baker from 9 p.m. ET to 11:15 p.m. ET was watched by 13.5 million total viewers and 3.7 million in the A25-54 demo. That’s down from the most recent debate on FBN rival CNBC, and follows a trend of declining ratings for the debates, which peaked at the start with 24 million on Fox News in August. Still, it shatters any previous viewership totals for the 8-year-old Fox Business Network.

The early debate, moderated by FBN’s Sandra Smith, Trish Regan, and WSJ’s Gerald Seib, averaged 4.7 million total viewers and 866,000 viewers in the A25-54 demo, which topped CNBC’s early debate by 188 percent. CNBC’s early debate on Oct. 28 was at 6 p.m. ET while FBN’s was an hour later at 7 p.m. ET, and included two previous top tier candidates, Chris Christie and Mike Huckabee.


The next GOP debate is set for Dec. 15 on CNN. The next primary debate is this Saturday as the Democrats face off on CBS. As we have with previous debates, TVNewser will be live-blogging the event moderated by John Dickerson in Iowa.

Here’s the 2016 debate ranker so far:

Debate Network Total Viewers A25-54
Aug. 6 | GOP Fox News 24,000,000 7,900,000
Sept. 16 | GOP CNN 22,940,000 6,900,000
Oct. 13 | Dem CNN 15,791,000 4,998,000
Oct. 28 | GOP CNBC 14,000,000 3,900,000
Nov. 10 | GOP FBN 13,500,000 3,670,000
Nov. 14 | Dem CBS TBD TBD
Dec. 19 | Dem ABC TBD TBD
Jan. 17 | Dem NBC TBD TBD