Update: Fast nationals for the debate are in. 24 million viewers, and nearly 8 million adults 25-54 watched the debate from 9-11PM EST. That’s about 8 times as many viewers as the firs Republican candidate of the 2012 election and more than double the number of viewers for FNC’s coverage of Obama and Romney’s final debate.
Thursday’s GOP presidential debate on FOX News, featuring Donald Trump, earned a 16.0 metered market household rating from 9-11PM per CNN money. By comparison, the presidential primary debates for the 2012 election ranged from a 4.0-5.0 metered market household rating. On a non-presidential debate night, FOX News typically delivers between a 1.0 and a 2.0 metered market household rating.
To underscore how gigantic that number is, another recent blockbuster live event, the FIFA Women’s World Cup finals, notched a preliminary 15.2 metered market household rating.
The final, more accurate cable numbers, which will include the entire duration of the debate and total viewer and demographic ratings, will be available this afternoon.