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56.5 Million Tune In for Final Obama-McCain Debate

Oct 16, 2008  •  Post A Comment

An estimated 56.5 million people watched the last of the three debates between Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama, according to Nielsen Media Research.
Wednesday night’s audience is smaller than the 63.2 million who watched the Oct. 7 presidential debate but larger than the 52.4 million TV turnout for the Sept. 26 presidential debate that kicked off the series.
The TV winners were NBC, which averaged 11.3 million viewers and snapped ABC’s debate-night win streak, and Bob Schieffer, the CBS “Face the Nation” anchor, who was generally reviewed as the best of the moderators of the three presidential debates and lone VP debate sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates.
ABC’s debate broadcast averaged 10.6 million viewers, followed by CBS with 9.2 million.
The cable news channels got their now-routine bump from the event, with Fox averaging 9.1 million total viewers, making Wednesday’s its most-watched presidential debate this year.
CNN averaged 8.9 million viewers. MSNBC averaged 3.7 million.
Among the key news viewers 25 to 54 years old, CNN led, with 4.3 million viewers in the demo, followed by Fox News Channel with nearly 3 million in the demo. MSNBC averaged 1.6 million in the demo.
Fox Broadcasting had carried the three previous debates this year, but was contractually bound Wednesday to carry the fifth game of the National League Championship Series, in which Philadelphia beat Los Angeles. The game averaged 8 million viewers.

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