An estimated 67.2 million people watched Democratic incumbent President Barack Obama debate Republican challenger Gov. Mitt Romney in the first presidential debate on Wednesday, October 3.
The debate was carried live from the University of Denver in Colorado across 11 networks and was moderated by Jim Lehrer, host of NewsHour on PBS.
While coverage varied by network, 11 networks aired live coverage from approximately 9:00 PM to 10:30 PM while Telemundo aired coverage on tape delay. The chart below highlights the sum of the average audience for these networks.
Viewership to last night’s debate was up 28 percent compared to the first presidential debate in 2008 between then Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain.
2012 Networks Included:
Debate 1 – ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, TEL, UNI, PBS, CNN, FOXNC, MSNBC, CurrentTV and CNBC
2008 Networks Included:
Debate 1 – ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, Telefutura, Telemundo, BBC-America, CNBC, CNN, FOX News, MSNBC