US & Canada Television

Democratic Debate Bags 8.3 Million Viewers for CNN


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The CNN/New York Times Democratic Presidential Debate on 15th October attracted 8.3 million viewers on CNN and 9.4 million live streams.

On television, 8.336 million total viewers watched the debate live from the campus of Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio. Among adults 25-54, 2.378 million tuned in. The debate peaked on television from 9:15-9:30 pm with 9.215 million total viewers and from 9:45-10 pm among adults 25-54 with 2.660 million.

The live stream audience for the CNN and The New York Times’ Democratic Presidential Debate saw 4 million total live stream starts on CNN and The New York Times’ digital platforms, surpassing each CNN Detroit debate. Additionally, the debate recorded 5.4 million total Facebook live starts on that platform, for a grand total of 9.4 million across CNN, The New York Times and CNN Facebook Pages, where the debate streamed exclusively. The debate was the most-watched CNN debate online ever with 9.4 million live stream starts across exclusive streaming platforms.

The audio of the debate also streamed on CNN’s channels on Amazon Echo, SiriusXM and Westwood One Radio Network. Additionally, 398 NPR Member stations with an estimated reach of 1.3 million listeners carried the debate live, according to NPR (based on Nielsen).



CNN and The Times had 440K people live streaming the average minute of the debate (which is equivalent to the way TV ratings are calculated). On debate day, CNN Digital saw more than 25 million unique multiplatform visitors and 20 million total video starts across its desktop, mobile and OTT devices.

The three hour debate (8-11pm) was moderated by CNN’s Erin Burnett, anchor Erin Burnett Outfront, Anderson Cooper, anchor Anderson Cooper 360 and The New York Times national editor Marc Lacey.

The debate included a record number of presidential candidates: former Vice President Joe Biden; Sen. Cory Booker (NJ); Mayor Pete Buttigieg (South Bend, IN); former HUD Secretary Julián Castro; Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI); Sen. Kamala Harris (CA); Sen. Amy Klobuchar (MN); former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (TX); Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT); businessman Tom Steyer, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA), and entrepreneur Andrew Yang.