With Its Most-Watched Telecast In Its History, Fox News Channel Leads Cable News Coverage of Third Presidential Debate

Categories: Cable News Ratings

Written By

October 23rd, 2012

FOX News Channel notched its highest-rated telecast in the network’s 16-year history with its coverage of last night’s presidential debate. The debate averaged 11.5 million viewers – besting its previous record of 11.1 million viewers (the ’12 second presidential debate and the ‘08 VP debate between Palin/Biden ). Fox also edged out CBS in total viewers and had more viewership than the combined MSNBC & CNN (5.8 million for CNN and 4.1 million for MSNBC).

We'll have our regular cable news ratings post up later today, but below are the early ratings, according to Nielsen, including the fast national (preliminary) ratings for the broadcast networks:

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

FNC: 11,474,835 in total viewers (3,433,142 in 25-54)

CNN: 5,808,405 in total viewers (2,475,772 in 25-54)

MSNBC: 4,063,673 in total viewers (1,701,793 in 25-54)

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

FNC: 9,068,124 in total viewers (2,586,259 in 25-54)

CNN: 4,374,775 in total viewers (1,833,421 in 25-54)

MSNBC: 3,295,125 in total viewers (1,345,369 in 25-54)

Broadcast Fast Nationals 9-10:39PM:

NBC: 12,391,341 in P2+ (5,839,648)

ABC: 11,730,247 in P2+ (4,361,952)

CBS: 8,437,098 in P2+ (3,564,135)

 

 
  • Giz

    These are amazing results, and I fully expect they will translate to a victory for Romney when we all show up at the polls two weeks from today.

  • Survivor Fan

    Can we read into this that Romney has more support than Obama?

    Look:

    Most Conservative Network (FOX News): 11.5 Million
    Most Liberal Network (MSNBC): 4.1 Million

    Demos do not matter in an election, so 18-49 and 25-54 are irrelevant.

    Anyway, Go Romney!

  • Craig Debolt

    Interesting that CBS provided the moderator and had the lowest ratings – even below that of a cable channel. Old people must be over it.

  • Ted

    That is good considering the Broadcast Fox Network didn’t even show the debate (although I heard a few Fox stations broke into the NCLS game to locally cover the debate). Case and point, hopefully this translates into a Romney victory 2 weeks from today!

  • Jeff Michaels

    You people are idiots. Equating ratings and voting is moronic. But let’s follow your logic and prove just how dumb you are.

    I’m guessing you believe the mainstream media is all in the tank for Obama and 100% Liberal. So add ABC, NBC, CBS & CNN’s ratings to MSNBCs and you get more than 41 million views. Compared to Fox News 11.5 million. I guess it will be a landslide victory for Obama in November.

    You trolls are ridiculous. But thanks for the laugh.

  • Mark2

    LMAO…Fox News got beat by ABC and NBC…Fox News came in 3rd (Bronze Medal)

  • Mark2

    The headline should’ve been:

    NBC wins the night with over 12 Million viewers.

  • AppleStinx

    This thread could be fun if Drudge sent some commenters over. Congratulations to Fox News.

  • Sack

    @Jigga What – Really “Thinkless”? Would make another comment, but that would just be piling on.

  • Bill

    During regular shows MSNBC beats out CNN by large numbers…but for the debates…real politics…the MSNBC viewers go to CNN and Fox News…maybe MSNBC is not the place politics, just entertainment.

  • Deb

    Too bad their guy LOST!!!!!!!!

    Of course, I’ll bet Fox viewers thought he won, lollolololol

  • Coffee Steve

    Wow!

    Good show Fox

  • b

    FOX Derangement Syndrome – MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

  • Doug

    If you’re going to translate ratings into voters, I’d be thrilled if Romney only got 11.5 million votes :)

  • TVMAN

    Romney just needed to play it safe last night. And he did. He has the momentum right now, and Gallup still has him at 51%. Should be interesting to see what Donald Trump has on Obama, he says hes releasing something very big on Wendsday.

  • Ted

    Viewing ratings on these debates men nothing on the actual public polls. The University of Colorado Electoral College Map which has accurately predicted every election since 1980 and they have Romney winning with a landslide much like Obama in 2008. Gallup’s poll also has Romney leading at 53%. Every other poll is liberally biased and is doing all they can to skew in Obama’s favor. Even in a state like Ohio where I live, if you combine the three demographics, men, women, and young, Romney has the lead. The REAL ratings on this election come two weeks from tonight where the actual election takes place…

  • Doug Z

    Survivor Fan
    Posted October 23, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    Can we read into this that Romney has more support than Obama?

    Look:

    Most Conservative Network (FOX News): 11.5 Million
    Most Liberal Network (MSNBC): 4.1 Million

    Demos do not matter in an election, so 18-49 and 25-54 are irrelevant.

    Anyway, Go Romney!

    fox Mews–11.5 –Coservative

    All the rest are Liberal
    FNC: 9,068,124 in total viewers (2,586,259 in 25-54)

    CNN: 4,374,775 in total viewers (1,833,421 in 25-54)

    MSNBC: 3,295,125 in total viewers (1,345,369 in 25-54)

    Broadcast Fast Nationals 9-10:39PM:

    NBC: 12,391,341 in P2+ (5,839,648)

    ABC: 11,730,247 in P2+ (4,361,952)

    CBS: 8,437,098 in P2+ (3,564,135)

    Liberals–38,600 The Liberals win again

  • Ralph Hahn

    It feels so good it’s worth repeating:

    >>> FOX News Channel notched its highest-rated telecast in the network’s 16-year history with its coverage of last night’s presidential debate. The debate averaged 11.5 million viewers – besting its previous record of 11.1 million viewers (the ’12 second presidential debate and the ‘08 VP debate between Palin/Biden ). Fox also edged out CBS in total viewers and had more viewership than the combined MSNBC & CNN (5.8 million for CNN and 4.1 million for MSNBC). <<<

    As I always say: "Figures don't lie, but liars figure."

  • Ted

    These are also unfair comparisons to combine every channel that is not Fox News together because Fox News is the only truly conservative news channel.

  • Doug Z

    Jigga What
    Posted October 23, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    Ditto to what Jeff MIchaels said….Only the thinkless watch Fox News, if you even want to call them a news network. Add all the other networks using the theroy others in this post said and does not look impressive.

    Jigga is right

    Fox–11.5
    All the rest–38.6

    Libs win

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