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.
|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.