An estimated 51.4 million people tuned in to watch the sole debate between sitting Democratic V.P Joe Biden and Republican V.P. hopeful Congressman Paul Ryan on Thursday, October 11.
The debate, hosted by Centre College in Kentucky and moderated by ABC News correspondent Martha Raddatz, was carried across 12 networks.
While coverage varied by network, 10 networks aired live coverage from approximately 9:00PM to 10:30PM while Univision and Telemundo aired coverage on tape delay. The chart below highlights the sum of the average audience for these networks.
In 2008, the Vice Presidential debate between then Sen. Joe Biden and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin drew over 18 million more viewers than last night’s debate. The 2008 Biden-Palin debate notwithstanding, last night’s political tête-à-tête had the highest V.P. debate viewership since the George H.W. Bush-Geraldine Ferarro debate in 1984. That debate nabbed 56.7 million viewers.
2012 Networks Included:
ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, PBS, Telemundo, Univision, CNBC, CNN, Current TV, FOX News and MSNBC
2008 Networks Included:
ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, Telefutura, Telemundo, BBC-America, CNBC, CNN, FOX News, MSNBC
For historical information on previous debates and additional political information from the current campaign, visit the Nielsen Wire Politics section at: http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/category/politics/