Are people interested in the Democratic Party’s potential choices for president? If the ratings are any indication of where people stand, then at the very least viewers at home wanted to hear what candidates had to say Thursday night.
Per reporting from CNN’s Brian Stelter, the preliminary numbers from the debate, which aired on ABC network television, showed that the event earned a 10.7 Nielsen rating overall between the hours of 8:15 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. EST, when the bulk of the debate took place. It also aired on Univision, where it scored a 0.7 rating, for an overall rating between the two of 11.4.
That translates to at least 10 million Americans tuning into the Democratic debate to hear what the candidates had to say. According to reporting from Hollywood Reporter, the rating could also mean viewership as high as 15 million.
TV Ratings Thursday: Democratic Debate carries ABC to an easy victory https://t.co/pisSTVduYD
— TV by the Numbers (@TVbytheNumbers) September 13, 2019
Stelter noted that, from his anecdotal observations, people watching this debate were happier with a one-night format, as opposed to previous debates that required two nights to get through the crowded field of candidates.
“Judging from social media commentary, the shift from a two-night to one-night debate was a relief to many viewers, though political junkies said they wished for more time for questioning,” Stelter opined.
The ratings from this debate were lower than the first debate, which aired earlier this summer on NBC/MSNBC/Telemundo. Yet they were higher than the second debate, which aired on CNN, and higher than what’s typically seen from Nielsen in debates featuring Democratic candidates for president in the past.
The numbers for Thursday demonstrated that ABC had the highest ratings among television networks overall.