Clinton/Trump breaks record as most watched presidential debate ever

URBANDALE, IA - SEPTEMBER 26: Supporters of Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump listen to the first of three presidential debates, on September 26, 2016 at the Trump headquarters in Urbandale, Iowa. People across the country tuned in as Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton participated in their first debate. (Photo by Steve Pope/Getty Images)

(Photo by Steve Pope/Getty Images)

The first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Monday night was seen by about 84 million people, a record, according to Nielsen numbers.

In comparison, the first Mitt Romney/Barack Obama debate in 2012 drew a collective 67 million viewers.

The estimates do not include the millions more who watched the debate on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and other online options.

Once final Nielsen numbers are in, the final total should exceed the 80.6 million who watched the first Ronald Reagan/Jimmy Carter debate in 1980.

In Atlanta, WSB-TV brought in the largest debate audience from an individual network with a 7.9 rating or about 492,000 viewers. followed by Fox News with a 6.0 rating (373,860), then CNN at a 4 rating (249,240), Fox 5 (WAGA-TV) with a 3.7 (230,547) and 11 Alive (WXIA-TV) with a 3.4 (211,854). CBS46 came in sixth with a 1.7 (105,927), ahead of MSNBC (1.5), GPB (1.1), CNBC and PBA (0.3) and Fox Business News (0.1). (This didn’t include Bloomberg or the two Spanish stations.)

Collectively, nearly 1,9 million people – or 30 percent of all metro Atlantans – tuned in to the debate Monday night. About 62 percent of TVs that were on featured the debate.

The Atlanta Falcons “Monday Night Football” win over the New Orleans Saints last night brought in an 8.2 rating on ESPN and another 0.6 on the broadcast WSB 2.2 channel. About 19 percent of TVs were tuned to that game in metro Atlantans. In total, that equals nearly 550,000 sports fans.

Nationally, Fox News attracted 11.36 million viewers, CNN 9.8 million and MSNBC 4.9 million. CNN won among 25 to 54 year olds with 4.4 million viewers vs. 3.5 million for Fox News, which skewed much older in its audience viewership. CNN brought in the biggest audience among the three news networks in the post-debate coverage from 10:45 p.m. to 1 a.m.

NBC garnered the largest audience nationwide with 18.2 million viewers following ‘The Voice.” ABC, which led off the night with ‘Dancing With the Stars,” grabbed 13.5 million viewers. CBS had 12.1 million viewers with Fox (the main broadcast network) finishing with 5.3 million. Telemundo and Univision added another 4 million.

Reader Comments 0

66 comments
William Mouret
William Mouret

Polished bull \U0001f4a9 vs common sense if you do not know witch is witch you are part of the problem

Summer Smith
Summer Smith

Hillary Clinton is and always has been a lawyer, a politician, a manipulator, and she knows how to regurgitate what people want to hear. Unfortunately, the shallow thinking and weak minded buy into and cannot see past this award winning act of hers. It is clear that she is in this presidential race for her own gain and her personal goals. It is clear that Trump is a published money making businessman, not a politician. He has billions and and no need to be in this presidential race for personal gain. And honestly--we need a business man not a politician--we need someone who cares about our country and looks at things as a business and can bring money and jobs back to the American people and Keep Americans safe. Yes, Trump is crude, insulting, insensitive, brazen, etc., but at least you know what your getting. Hillary has been in politics for 30 years with no record of accomplishment--just a monument of lies and controversy. Hillary is the Devil with a pants suit on!

Rosa Lyn
Rosa Lyn

I'm so glad I didn't watch that foolery

Gary C. Daniels
Gary C. Daniels

I've been a bleeding heart liberal my whole life. And I'm voting for Trump. Hillary is a neocon. She isn't Obama 3.0. She is George W. Bush 3.0. Her tenure as secretary of state was effing horrifying. Her outdated cold war stance on Russia is horrifying. I know EXACTLY what I"m getting with Hillary. I'm willing to roll the dice with Trump.

Jenae Brown
Jenae Brown

I guess I'll be the one to tell you but the dice are fixed already. Go with the devil you know.

Jim Chapman
Jim Chapman

The lucky 70% of Atlantans decided to tune out. Why I subjected myself to this carnival debate? I will never know.

Randy L Askew
Randy L Askew

Let's go Falcons, is what I watched I already know who I'm voting for and it ain't him

D.j. Turner
D.j. Turner

I think we can all agree, whoever wins will be the worst president of the United States EVER.

Vivian Tapley
Vivian Tapley

Sorry but Donald J Trump is the next President of the USA.

Abby Larimer Crosby
Abby Larimer Crosby

Clinton was poised and prepared. Trump had no idea what he was talking about and could barely form sentences. Clinton is going to be a great president.

John Land
John Land

Thanks For Donald Trump. He's Going To Be The Best President In United States History. Killery Clinton Is A Really Dangerous Women To Run Our Country. She's Another Obama.

Arden Jones
Arden Jones

"Call Hannity!" *quiet sobbing* "Just please......call Hannity...." * more sobbing*

Issac Reid
Issac Reid

This crowd is dangerous. This man did not even bother to plan for the debate but he will change as president? Hopefully my state is on the losing end again.

Willy Varela
Willy Varela

Trump got slapped around all night long, at some point he looked lost looking everywhere trying to find some help, he is not an intelligent man he is a conman, liar, misogynist and a racist.

Melvin McClure
Melvin McClure

Yes, a racist because he opposes *illegal* immigration.

Issac Reid
Issac Reid

Melvin McClure did u really make this statement or did some sort of deranged ghost take over

Marlin Thompson
Marlin Thompson

Trump was never called a racist until he ran against the race baiting Democrats.

Will Dou Jones Boswell
Will Dou Jones Boswell

He's racist because he prevented blacks from getting housing in the 70s and discriminated against the Mexican judge from Indiana.

Marlin Thompson
Marlin Thompson

Oh was that the law suit that was brought against almost every white developer of the time ?

D.j. Turner
D.j. Turner

You stated "he was never called a racist until he ran against a Democrat" and then just dismissed something because it was "over 40 freaking years ago". Your logic is impeccable.

Rosa Lyn
Rosa Lyn

You can't argue with foolish people

Marlin Thompson
Marlin Thompson

No I researched back, he was chumming with the likes of Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson back then so he probably wasn't being called a racist then either.

Thomas K. Shea
Thomas K. Shea

and maybe only 7 people changed their minds on who to vote for, you have a Billionaire Boob with a successful track record, and a career Lier, Thief, Crooked Murderous money grubbing political failure. What great choices America, you get what you deserve.

Andre Folsom
Andre Folsom

How do you know he is successful? The con man won't release his taxes. Deplorable.

Polly Shedd
Polly Shedd

It certainly didn't have a thing to do with Hag Hillary...we tuned in for Trump ONLY!!

Stewart Maxwell III
Stewart Maxwell III

I didn't watch that trash and the only reason anyone else did was because they wanted to see Jerry Springer-like entertainment. If you don't know by now who you are going to vote for, then you shouldn't be voting. The two candidates aren't going to say anything new.

Keith Pflepsen
Keith Pflepsen

Hillary is a very polished politician. No one disputes she does not cAre about average people.

Thomas K. Shea
Thomas K. Shea

She could careless about you, all you are to her is a vote and a sucker to find her bank account. Educate yourself, her past is is the deal breaker.

Keith Pflepsen
Keith Pflepsen

Sheila Shelnutt yes he does. All his projects depend on workers. He is taking a huge pay cut to do this and has invested millions in this campaign. Trumps entire platform is based on helping working class. Hillary has done nothing for average people and serves her donors.

Abby Larimer Crosby
Abby Larimer Crosby

His projects depend on workers- and then he doesn't pay them. He's made his feelings about the working class perfectly clear through his actions

Thomas Palam
Thomas Palam

It was clear to see, one of them obviously isn't a professional Debater/Politician, and also has not been repeating the same tired lines for 30 years, with no results.The Change We need. Trump.

Thomas Palam
Thomas Palam

How so man?, that's how I see it. You may differently, that's ok.

D.j. Turner
D.j. Turner

To think that a single individual can change and sculpt 30 years of politics, especially without having already been a president, is laughable. Just like blaming someone for just about everything that goes wrong, even things beyond their individual control, while taking credit for everything that goes right, even when you didn't have any significant impact on the outcome.

Thomas Palam
Thomas Palam

I can respect others opinions without the need to name call. Everyone's experience is different.

Kathy Copp
Kathy Copp

Most watched THANKS TO MR. TRUMP :)

Kathy Copp
Kathy Copp

The robot with rhetoric full of promises not kept lost. Trump won.