7.2 Million Watch the Presidential Commission Debate on CNN
1.1M Viewers Streaming the Debate at Peak; 2.1M Unique Visitors for ‘Facts First’ Content
7.210 million total viewers watched last night’s Presidential Commission Debate on CNN according to Nielsen Fast National data (9-10:30pm). In the key demo adults 25-54, 2.868 million tuned in and among younger viewers (18-34), 844k watched. CNN easily surpassed MSNBC and CBS in total viewers and the demos. CNN’s live stream of the final debate of the 2020 U.S. presidential election saw 1.1 million concurrent viewers streaming at the 10:20p.m peak, making it the largest final presidential debate audience in CNN history for peak concurrent viewers. Last night’s debate was moderated by NBC’s Kristen Welker.
Cable News During Post Debate Coverage
During the post-debate coverage block (10:30pm-12:00am) anchored by Dana Bash, Wolf Blitzer, Anderson Cooper, Abby Phillip and Jake Tapper, CNN was #2 in cable news among total viewers with 5.292 million and MSNBC followed with 4.781 million; FNC had 9.041 million. Among adults 25-54, CNN surpassed MSNBC (1.829 million vs. 1.049 million), FNC had 2.442 million. And in younger viewers (18-34), CNN attracted 428k to MSNBC’s 209k, FNC registered 600k.
CNN’s Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon anchored the network’s late-night coverage (1:00-3:00am) and ranked #1 in cable news in the key demo adults 25-54 with 446k, FNC followed with 433k and MSNBC lagged with 262k. In total viewers, CNN attracted 1.355 million topping MSNBC’s 1.114 million; FNC had 1.691 million.
CNN’s live stream of the final debate of the 2020 U.S. presidential election saw 1.1 million concurrent viewers streaming at the 10:20p.m peak, making it the largest final presidential debate audience in CNN history for peak concurrent viewers. CNN saw a total of 1.3 million unique live video viewers on CNN.com, CNNgo and mobile apps and 4.8 million live starts on CNN’s owned platforms, and YouTube (CNN.com, Edition.CNN.com, CNNgo on OTT apps & CNN mobile apps for iOS and Android; CNN’s debate coverage was not live streamed on Facebook or Twitter). That’s an increase of 28% for live video viewers and 141% for live starts over the final presidential debate of 2016.
CNN saw 386k users live stream the average minute of the debate (equivalent to the way TV ratings are calculated), which is up 22% from the final presidential debate of 2016. TV plus digital live streaming produced a combined average audience of 7.596 million total viewers. Digital viewing added a 5.4% lift to CNN TV P2+ average audience for debate day.
On debate day, CNN Digital saw 35 million unique multiplatform visitors and 6.1 million unique total video viewers across all platforms.
Additionally, 2.5 million unique visitors consumed CNN Digital’s ‘Facts First’ content on debate day, the second biggest day for Facts First behind the day of the 2020 First Presidential Debate. Top search terms within the database included key terms like fracking, Russia, Covid-19, immigration, China, taxes, and xenophobia.
The audio of the debate also streamed on CNN’s channels on SiriusXM, Radio.com and TuneIn Radio.