Presidential Debate Ratings Are in — Most Watched Program in CNN History

The ratings are in, and the debate between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump has become the most-watched program in CNN’s history.

CNN announced on Friday that the debate was watched by 48 million viewers on television.

Mediaite reports, “It was also the network’s largest live-streamed event. There were a number of ways to watch the debate with other networks like Fox News and MSNBC simulcasting. The event also livestreamed through the Max streaming service.”

The report added:

According to early Nielsen ratings, CNN’s debate brought in 47.9 million viewers, including 12.6 million in the key 25-54 age demographic. The network announced it was the biggest day on record for both CNN and Max, doubling the last record. Thursday’s debate was broadcast from CNN’s studios in Atlanta, Georgia.

The total television viewers is still a far cry from past debates. The first debate between Trump and Hillary Clinton in 2016 brought in a record 84 million watchers while Trump’s first debate with Biden in 2020 drew 73 million.

Not everybody was watching through CNN and its companion platforms. A total of 8.7 million watched the debate on CNN, scoring three million viewers in the 25-54 demo. When counted with companion networks HLN and CNNE, a total of 9.04 million watched the debate with approximately 50,000 tuning into CNNE and more than 250,000 at HLN.

Another 8.8 million watched the debate on Fox News and just under four million watched on MSNBC.