A press release by CNN says, “According to Nielsen Fast National ratings data, last night’s CNN Republican candidates’ presidential debate (8:15-11:15pm, ET) moderated by Jake Tapper averaged 22,939 million total viewers.”
Prior to last night’s debate, “CNN’s most-watched program ever was a special ‘Larry King Live’ with Ross Perot and Al Gore with 16.8 million total viewers (11/9/93).”
Furthermore, CNN’s highest rated presidential primary debate, before last night, “was the California Democratic debate on January 31, 2008 which averaged 8.3 million viewers.”
The first debate this election cycle of Republican presidential candidates, seen Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015 on the Fox News Channel, drew 24 million viewers, and was the highest rated program ever shown on that network.
The CNN press release adds, “In the early debate, CNN averaged 6.3 million viewers. Fox News’ early debate averaged 6.1 million.
“Tapping its TV Everywhere service CNNgo, CNN live streamed the debate on CNN.com and through its mobile apps. At 9:45 pm, usage peaked at 921,000 concurrent live streams. The day saw 4.5 million live video starts of the debate across its digital platforms.”