4.49 Million Watch Democratic Debate on MSNBC

By Chris Ariens Comment

The fifth democratic debate of this cycle was watched by 4.49 million viewers, the lowest so far of this cycle. Moderated by Chuck Todd and Rachel Maddow, and airing on MSNBC, the 2-hour debate drew 1.21 million in the A25-54 demo.

Even though it was announced last week, the debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders was only sanctioned by the DNC on Wednesday leaving little time for MSNBC to promote it. By comparison, CNN averaged 2.7 million viewers for Clinton-Sanders town hall Wednesday night. The least-watched until last night was ABC’s debate in December which drew 7.8 million.

The most-watched Democratic debate of this cycle was the first on Oct. 13 when 15.8 million watched on CNN. The most-watched of the 2008 cycle, the last time there was an open Democratic primary, was on April 16, 2008 when 10.7 million watched on ABC. By this time in the 2008 cycle there had been 13 democratic debates.

Here’s the 2016 debate ranker, which includes Nielsen viewership data, along with livestreaming information provided by the networks.

Debate Network Total Viewers A25-54 Streams
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 2,580,000
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 1,165,000
Jan. 17 | Dem NBC 10,200,000 3,170,000 1,200,000
Jan. 28 | GOP Fox News 12,466,000 3,467,000 708,724
Feb. 4 | Dem MSNBC 4,489,000 1,211,000 TBD
Feb. 6 | GOP ABC TBD TBD TBD
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.

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