FNC Coverage of the First Presidential Debate Tops All Cable and Broadcast Networks in Total Viewers and Adults 25-54

Categories: Cable News Ratings

Written By

October 4th, 2012

The numbers are in for last night's Presidential Debate. FOX News Channel (FNC) beat both  the broadcast networks and the other cable news networks in Total Viewers and adults 25-54, averaging 10.4 million viewers from 9-10:30PM during the actual debate making it FNC's high-rated presidential debate ever.  FNC also beat CBS, ABC and NBC during the actual debate.

CNN was the number 2 cable news network with an audience of 6.0 million viewers. MSNBC came in third with 4.7 million Total Viewers.


9:00-10:30PM (actual debate)


FNC: 10,421,380 in total viewers (2,932,907 in 25-54)

CNN: 6,045,109 in total viewers (2,368,589 in 25-54)

MSNBC: 4,710,511 in total viewers (1,852,629 in 25-54)


Broadcast Fast Nationals 9-10:30PM:


CBS 10,176,000

ABC 10,117,000

NBC 9,914,000

FOX 6,977,000


8:00-11:00PM (primetime coverage)


FNC: 8,181,448 in total viewers (2,159,809 in 25-54)

CNN: 4,763,003 in total viewers (1,851,207 in 25-54)

MSNBC: 3,913,759 in total viewers (1,481,901 in 25-54)

  • clinging to my guns and god

    GO FOX!!!!!!! Tingles looked like he was going to heave…between the great performance by Romney and the drubbing Fox heaped on MSNBC, it was a great night for Fox and Republicans….OK libs. ready, set WWWHHIIINNNEEE

  • Larry


  • clinging to my guns and god

    Where are Beyonce and your telepromter when you need them…looks like Moochelle was right,even the wife knows hubby has always been an empty suit, unlike the rest of us, she actually saw his school records…you can’t be marked on a curve in debates…

  • Babygate

    Seriously, the MSNBC folks looked suicidal. Maddow was beyond words and Matthews looked like a lunatic. Let the spinning begin. Wow for Fox. Topped every single network and MSNBC was dead last. They are like a crazy drunk uncle, entertaining to watch but no one can take them seriously and once they start heaving you have to walk away…kind of pathetic…


    Romney ruled the debate last night, he lead, he took charged. Obama seemed like he didn’t want to be there, not even looking at Romney while he was talking, but instead looking down the whole time. Energy and momentum is def. on the Republicans side

  • Ralph Hahn

    Not only did Fox News Network beat all cable and broadcast networks covering the debate last night, it beat its broadcast network FOX.

    FNC already won with 10,421,389 on cable, add another nearly seven million people to the above, people who watched the debate on Fox Broadcasting. That’s about 17.4 million people. Fox News won total viewers and demos 25-54.

  • Ralph Hahn

    I GOTTA watch Letterman tonight. Watch TV-Boy weasel out of making any jokes about Romney creaming Obama.

  • DryedMangoez

    Was the debate broadcast on Fox Business too? Maybe good for another couple hundred thousand?

    So about 60 million viewers for last night’s debate. That’s good.

  • Grets

    Who cares who had more viewers during the actual debate. They all aired the same exact thing. You people need to get a life. I dont get this fixation about Fox News vs. MSNBC. Its pretty pathetic that people who have no vested interest in either station belittle others. I’m belittling all of you because its the most absurd thing I’ve heard off. Get a life!!

  • Ratboy

    here is what Letterman can talk about after all he was one of the important issues! :lol: :lol:

    Dem. Congresswoman: Obama Isn’t Lazy, He’s Just Tired From Dealing With Important Issues

    Colorado congresswoman Diana Degette appeared on MSNBC Thursday afternoon, where host Andrea Mitchell asked her “what happened” to Barack Obama during the previous night’s Denver debate

  • LiberalGuy

    Deceitful, flip-flopping Romney lied through his teeth at the debate, if you czall that a win. He still gets creamed in the election.

  • Max Vrany

    They’re using the fast nationals for the broadcast networks. Those ratings include the filler programming on the west coast.

  • Chris

    Just added up the viewer numbers and I got 58,361,000. By the way a couple of others, including PBS, CNBC, FBN, and C-SPAN also carried the debate — wonder what their numbers were?

  • betty

    ….FOX NEWS, Big Winner.
    ….MsNBC, Comic Relief.

  • Ralph Hahn

    @Grets: Sounds like YOU need to get a life. Why put all that negative energy together just to tell us, in your opinion, that we’re obsessed with Fox v. MSNBC? As far as “Who Cares…” Maybe folks such as you who probably watch a lot of reality TV and all of those “Housewives” shows, following TV News would be boring and not your cup of tea.

    You can’t belittle anyone as far as I can see. I’ll betcha that you can name every American Idol winner since the show began. lol

  • Ralph Hahn

    ..and Grets, if you’re interested in TV news ratings, WHY are you even on this page?

  • Ralph Hahn

    …if you’re NOT interested…

  • Coffee Steve

    Impressive numbers for Fox and CNN, I am sokewhat surprised MSNBC did not get higher numbers than they did, but still respectable

  • Ralph Hahn

    Impressive numbers for MSNBC even though they came in third. Gotta give props to MSNBC!

  • Dave

    really enjoyed the complete and utter meltdown from the talking twits on MSLSD after the debate, downright histerical…

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