Final TV debate draws 59.2 million viewers

Down from first and second, but still a big number

October 23, 2012|By David Zurawik | The Baltimore Sun

The final presidential debate drew a TV audience of 59.2 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media.

That's down from the 67.2 million and 65.6 million for the first and second debates, respectively. But it still shows huge interest -- particularly when you consider that the debate was up against a game seven in the National League Championshop series and"Monday Night Football," each of which together drew more than 18 million viewers.

That old dinosaur, the medium of television, is still drawing a few viewers, hey?

Here's the release from Nielsen:

An estimated 59.2 million people tuned in to watch the third and final debate between President Barack Obama and Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney on Monday, October 22.

The foreign policy-focused debate, hosted by Lynn University in Florida and moderated by CBS’ Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer, was carried across 11 networks.

While coverage varied by network, 10 networks aired live coverage from approximately 9:00PM to 10:30PM while Telemundo aired coverage on tape delay.

The debate was up against two sporting events—Monday Night Football on ESPN, which had 10.7 million people (P2+) tuning in and Game 7 of the MLB NLCS on FOX, which had 8.1 million people watching.

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