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Palin vs. Biden Debate Pulls in 69.9 Mil Viewers

Oct 3, 2008  •  Post A Comment

The television turn-out for the vice presidential debate Thursday night between Senator Joe Biden and Governor Sarah Palin totaled 69.9 million viewers, according to national data from Nielsen Media Research. The lone debate between the two contenders was carried live on 11 broadcast and cable networks.
The Biden-Palin event’s audience trounced the 2004 debate between Vice President Dick Cheney and Sen. John Edwards, when 43.6million viewers watched six networks. It also overshadowed last week’s first of three presidential debates between Democrat Sen. Barack Obama and Republican Sen. John McCain, which drew 52.4 million.
The TV audience for the VP debate equaled that of the second-most watched presidential debate in the TV ratings books, the October, 1992, Bush-Clinton-Perot face-off seen on ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN.
The most-watched presidential debate was Carter vs. Reagan in 1980, seen by 80.6 million viewers on ABC, CBS and NBC.
ABC News pulled in the biggest Palin-Biden audience with 13.1 million viewers for the debate itself. NBC News ranked second overall with 12.8 million viewers.
Fox News Channel ranked third with 11.1 million viewers for the debate, an FNC record, surpassing the network’s prior biggest hit: 9.7 million for the president’s address on Iraq in March, 2003.
CBS News also attracted 11.1 million viewers.
CNN averaged 10.7 million, making the debate its third most-watched telecast ever and the most-watched of the year.
MSNBC averaged 4.4 million viewers. Fox Broadcasting’s debate carriage attracted an average 4 million viewers.
(Editor: Baumann)

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