Updated at 5:58 p.m. PT on Jan. 29, 2016 to change headline and lede to better reflect what the story says.
Without Donald Trump, Wednesday’s GOP presidential debate only “ranked sixth among the seven GOP debates so far in viewership,” reports the Associated Press.
The AP story notes that the seventh GOP presidential debate, which Trump boycotted, drew 12.5 million viewers to Fox News Channel. Trump’s alternative event, a fund-raising rally for veterans, was not carried in full on television, but both CNN and MSNBC paid it some attention. During the hour in which Trump made his appearance, CNN averaged 2 million viewers and MSNBC had 1.1 million.
Said the AP, “Only the debate two weeks ago that was shown on the relatively little-watched Fox Business Network had fewer, with 11.1 million viewers.”
Even with about half the viewership of FNC’s blockbuster debate back in August, which pulled an audience of 24 million, Thursday’s debate was the channel’s second most-watched event ever.