CNBC Debate Draws 3.332 Million Viewers

By Alex Weprin 

Last night’s GOP debate on CNBC drew 3.332 million Total Viewers from 8-10pmET, including 993,000 adults in the key A25-54 demographic, according to data from Nielsen Media Research.

Those numbers made it the top cable news channel — and in fact top cable channel — in total viewers from 8-10pm. In the demo it was tops on cable news, and finished second behind USA Network overall.

For the night (7PM-2AM) it is believed to be CNBC’s most-watched evening since Feb. 4, 1997, the day of the OJ Simpson civil trial verdict. In the demo, it was the network’s strongest night since 09/11/2001.


How did the CNBC debate rank compared to the other debates held so far? Not surprisingly given the channel’s niche focus, the debate drew fewer viewers than any debate held since June. Of course, Nielsen does not count out-of-home viewing, and CNBC would argue that much of its viewers are watching from outside of their homes, even in primetime.

The full debate grid is after the jump.

Debate Network Total Viewers A25-54
Nov. 9 CNBC 3,332,000 993,000
Oct. 18 CNN 5,468,000 1,651,000
Oct. 11 Bloomberg NA NA
Sept. 22 Fox News 6,107,000 1,701,000
Sept. 12 CNN 3,600,000 1,100,000
Sept. 7 MSNBC 5,411,000 1,728,000
Aug. 11 Fox News 5,053,000 1,430,000
June 13 CNN 3,162,000 918,000
May 5 Fox News 3,258,000 854,000