On CBS, Democratic Debate Dips to 8.5 Million Viewers

By Mark Joyella Comment

The CBS Democratic presidential debate drew 8.55 million viewers–far fewer than the first Democratic debate on CNN. CBS brought in 2.12 million in the A25-54 demo. Also the lowest of the 6 debates so far and less than half what the first Democratic debate drew.

Still, compared to the 2008 cycle, the last time there was an open primary among democrats, 8.5 million would have made it one of the most-watched. Democratic debates at this point in 2007 were averaging less than 5 million viewers.

This was the first 2016 primary debate to air on a broadcast network, and the first to air on a Saturday night, which tends have a smaller broadcast audience than on a weeknight.

CBS News president David Rhodes said Friday he was “not sure what kind of audience we’re going to get.”

Of the Republican debates, Fox Business Network reached 13.5 million viewers this month, which was the smallest audience for any of the debates on cable so far–Fox News’ GOP debate in August remains the most-watched, hitting a record viewership of 24 million.

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 8,550,000 2,120,000
Dec. 19 | Dem ABC TBD TBD
Jan. 17 | Dem NBC TBD TBD