August 1st, 2019

10.7 Million Television Viewers and 3.1 Million Digital Live Streams for Second Night of CNN’s Detroit Democratic Debates

The second night of CNN’s Democratic debates live from Detroit averaged 10.722 million total viewers and 3.031 million among adults 25-54.  Last night’s debate is up +24% in total viewers and +21% in the demo from Tuesday’s debate (Night one:8.693 million/2.529 million respectively).

CNN’s night two Detroit Debate (10.722 million) topped NBC’s night two broadcast performance (10.580 million) during their Miami Debate.  It also topped MSNBC’s night two cable performance from Miami (6.681 million).  Wednesday night’s debate is CNN’s second highest Democratic debate on record (Las Vegas, October 2015).

CNN digital’s live stream for the second night of the CNN Democratic Debates saw 3.1 million live starts, making it the second highest CNN Democratic primary debate day ever, behind Las Vegas in October 2015 (the Debate streamed exclusively on CNN owned platforms,, CNNgo OTT apps and mobile apps for iOS and Android. CNN’s debate was not live streamed on social properties).  Surpassing Tuesday’s CNN Detroit debate day, it was also the second highest CNN Democratic primary debate day ever for concurrent live streams (behind Las Vegas, October 2015), peaking at 9:35 pm with 796K– an increase of 12% from Tuesday. Viewers spent an average of 93 minutes watching the day digitally, placing it among the top debate days ever for watch time. Also, CNN digital had 576K people live streaming the average minute of the debate (which is equivalent to the way TV ratings are calculated).  On debate day, CNN Digital also saw more than 26 million unique multiplatform visitors and 21 million total video starts across desktop, mobile and OTT devices.


During prime time last night (8-11pm), CNN easily ranked #1 in cable news with 9.867 million viewers and 2.769 among adults 25-54. This represents the highest rated prime time in all of cable news in 2019 and since the Presidential election day of 2016.

CNN’s two-hour debate (8:27-10:27pm) was moderated by CNN’s Dana Bash, Chief Political correspondent; Don Lemon, anchor CNN Tonight, and Jake Tapper, anchor The Lead and State of the Union and Chief Washington correspondent.

Wednesday’s debate included the following 10 candidates: Sen. Michael Bennet (CO); former Vice President Joe Biden; Sen. Cory Booker (NJ); former HUD Secretary Julián Castro; Mayor Bill de Blasio (New York City); Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI); Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (NY); Sen. Kamala Harris (CA); Gov. Jay Inslee (WA); and entrepreneur Andrew Yang.

Tuesday’s debate included the following 10 candidates:  Gov. Steve Bullock (MT), Mayor Pete Buttigieg (South Bend, IN); former Rep. John Delaney (MD); former Gov. John Hickenlooper (CO); Sen. Amy Klobuchar (MN); former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (TX); Rep. Tim Ryan (OH); Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT); Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA); and author Marianne Williamson.


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