Nielsen Says First Presidential Debate Drew 67.2 Million Viewers

Coverage drew 28 percent increase in viewership compared to 2008 October 5, 2012
NEW YORK–Viewership to the Oct. 3 presidential debate between President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney was up 28 percent as compared to the first presidential debate in 2008, according to Nielsen.

An estimated 67.2 million people watched the Democratic incumbent debate his Republican challenger from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Wednesday night, broadcast from the University of Denver.

The debate’s largest viewership came from persons 55 and older (30,811,000), followed by those 35-54 (19,929,000) and 18-34 (12,079,000). In total, all households drew in 46,242,000 viewers for the programming.

The debate was moderated by Jim Lehrer, host of PBS’s “NewsHour” and carried by 11 major networks: ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, TEL, UNI, PBS, CNN, FOXNC, MSNBC, CurrentTV and CNBC. Coverage varied by network, but Telemundo was the only one to air on tape delay.

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