Chalk it up to presidential debate fatigue, broader political fatigue, or post-impeachment hearing fatigue, but Wednesday night’s Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by MSNBC earned the lowest ratings of the seven debates this year.
According to early Nielsen numbers, more than 6.5 million viewers tuned in to watch the November 20th debate in Atlanta, including 1.6 million in the advertiser coveted 25-54 demo. That’s a lot of viewers. But it’s a marked downturn from the 8.5 million viewers that CNN earned from the October 15th debate, with 2.4 million from the target 25-54 demo.
MSNBC caught some bad luck in the timing of Wednesday’s debate, as the dayside was filled with wall-to-wall coverage of perhaps the most compelling testimony in the ongoing House impeachment inquiry hearings. The morning session featured Ambassador Gordon Sondland, who’s bombshell opening testimony led to questioning that ran well into the afternoon.
Afternoon impeachment hearings were less newsworthy, but even the most politically-minded news obsessed were pressed to have the stamina for the Democratic debate that started at 9 p.m. and ran past 11 p.m.
The most watch Democratic debate thus far? The second day of NBC’s two-day affair in June, the first debate, which drew a whopping 18 million overall viewers, from which more than 5 million were in the target demo.
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