Last Night’s CBS Democratic Debate Delivered 15.3 Million Total Viewers

By A.J. Katz Comment

The 2020 CBS Democratic primary debate in South Carolina may have received poor reviews on social media, but at least the ratings were good!

Last night’s debate, which represented the final face off for the candidates before the South Carolina primary and Super Tuesday, was watched by 15.34 million viewers across CBS, and ViacomCBS siblings BET and BET Her from 8-10 p.m. ET.

Out of those 15.3 million total TV viewers, 14.8 million watched the debate on CBS exclusively. It was CBS’ strongest Tuesday night of the season. BET delivered an additional 556,000 with 210,000 Adults 25-54.

CBSN, CBS’ 24/7 streaming news service, set new all-time viewership records on the day of the debate: 15.1 million unique viewers for the day.

Additionally, the post-debate program on CBS, produced by CBSN, delivered 5.6 million viewers, with 1.4 million of them Adults 25-54.

With its 14.8 million total viewer delivery, CBS can technically lay claim to having the largest primary debate audience of any one network of the current cycle so far.

That being said, the NBC News debate in Nevada, which took place just last week, delivered 19.7 million total TV viewers, making it the most-watched Democratic primary debate of all time.

Of those 19.7 million total TV viewers, 12 million watched the debate on NBC and 7.6 million watched on MSNBC (others watched on Telemundo networks).

NBC-MSNBC-Telemundo can also lay claim to having the 2nd-largest overall primary debate audience of the 2020 cycle, with 18.1 million viewers tuning into the second night of the first Democratic primary debate, which took place last June in Miami.

Fox News still holds the presidential primary debate viewership record: 24 million watched the Republicans battle it out in Aug. 2015. The 2016 GOP debate, starring then reality TV show host Donald Trump, stands as the most-watched non-sports cable program of all time.

Coming up, the 11th Democratic primary debate of the 2020 election cycle will take place March 15 in Phoenix. CNN and Univision will serve as co-hosts.

The date, venue and additional details for the 12th and final scheduled debate have yet to be made public by the DNC.