×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

GOP Debate Ratings: Fox Business Network Draws Record 13.5 Million Viewers

Channel easily outdraws all cablers for the night

Another primary debate, another network ratings record — this time for Fox Business Network.

Tuesday’s main GOP debate from Milwaukee averaged 13.5 million viewers from 9-11 p.m. ET, according to Nielsen estimates, down from recent debates on both the Republican and Democratic side but easily the most-watched program ever for the eight-year-old FBN. To put Tuesday’s ratings haul into perspective, consider that Fox Business Network averaged just 102,000 viewers per business day during October, according to Nielsen.

For the night, FBN was No. 1 among all cable networks and the debate’s average audience was second among all shows on the night — behind only CBS drama heavyweight “NCIS” (16.68 million). And in the key news demo of adults 25-54, the debate (3.7 million) ranked third behind only NBC’s “The Voice” and “NCIS.”

Fox Business Network is typically available in much fewer homes than previous debate networks Fox News Channel, CNN and CNBC, but some cable and satellite providers agreed to make Fox Business Network available to all subscribers for both of Tuesday’s debates. The debates were also streamed live at FoxBusiness.com and available via the Fox News app or the Fox News Election HQ 2016 app, with no authentication from a cable or satellite provider required.

FBN said Tuesday’s debate was the most-watched live-streaming primary event ever, peaking with more than 1.4 million concurrent streams, according to content delivery network Akamai, beating out NBC’s Super Bowl (1.3 million concurrent livestreams) and CNN’s 921,000 concurrent streams for the Sept. 16 GOP debate.

The primetime debate, hosted by FBN’s Neil Cavuto and Maria Bartiromo as well as Wall Stree Journal Editor-in-Chief Gerard Baker, featured eight presidential hopefuls who had scored at least 2.5% of the votes in an average of four recent polls. That left New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, both of whom had appeared in the first three GOP debates this election cycle, on the “undercard” stage with Bobby Jindal and Rick Santorum.

Earlier, FBN averaged 4.7 million viewers, including 866,000 adult 25-54. The debates ranked as the No. 1 event on Twitter last night with a unique audience of 6 million people seeing tweets and 180 million impressions, according to Nielsen Social.

The highest-rated primary debate of 2015 remains the first, when Fox News Channel averaged 24 million viewers for the Aug. 6 debate from Cleveland. CNN followed with 23.06 million for its first GOP debate on Sept. 16 and then 15.79 million for the first Democratic debate on Oct. 13. Two weeks ago, CNBC set ratings records of its own by drawing 14 million viewers for a Republican debate (despite going up against the World Series on Fox).

More TV

  • Lilly Burns Tony Hernandez

    Variety to Honor Jax Media Chiefs Tony Hernandez, Lilly Burns at New Leaders Event

    Emmy Award-winning producer Tony Hernandez and Emmy-nominated producer Lilly Burns will receive the Creative Leadership Award on behalf of Jax Media at the Variety New Leaders event presented by City National Bank, taking place Nov. 14 in New York City. As founders of Jax Media, Hernandez and Burns have produced shows and specials such as [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Virginia Leith, Female Lead in Stanley Kubrick's First Film, Dies at 94

    Actress and model Virginia Leith, who starred in Stanley Kubrick’s first film “Fear and Desire,” which he later disavowed, has died. She was 94. According to family spokesperson Jane Chalmers, Leith died after a brief illness at her home in Palm Springs, Calif. on Nov. 4. Born on Oct. 15, 1925, Leith met Kubrick in [...]

  • Friends

    'Friends' Reunion Special in Early Planning Stages at HBO Max

    More “Friends” could well be there for you when the HBO Max rain starts to fall. An unscripted “Friends” reunion special is in the works at the forthcoming WarnerMedia streamer, Variety has confirmed with sources. Sources say original cast members Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer are in discussions [...]

  • TC3_SM_060718_238A4600.cr2

    'The Crown' New Season: Netflix to Offer Opening Episode for Free in the U.K.

    When Olivia Colman steps into the royal shoes of Queen Elizabeth II, viewers in the U.K. and Ireland will be able to watch for free as Netflix makes the eagerly awaited Season 3 curtain-raiser available gratis. The streaming giant will launch the series opener on a dedicated site for a limited period starting Sunday, making it [...]

  • T.R. Knight

    TV News Roundup: T.R. Knight Joins HBO Max's 'The Flight Attendant'

    In today’s TV news roundup, “Grey’s Anatomy” star T.R. Knight joins HBO Max’s “The Flight Attendant” and BET renewed “Games People Play.” CASTING T.R Knight has been cast in HBO Max‘s dark comedy “The Flight Attendant.“ Knight will play Cassie’s (Kaley Cuoco) older brother, Davey. When Cassie’s life starts to unravel, Davey deals with the [...]

  • Days of Our Lives Bill Hayes

    'Days of Our Lives' Cast Members Released From Contracts

    The entire cast of the NBC soap opera “Days of Our Lives” have been released from their contracts, Variety has confirmed. The daytime drama has run for over 13,000 episodes since first debuting in 1965. The show will go on hiatus at the end of November, though it has shot enough episodes to last through the [...]

  • Live+7 Ratings Week of Oct. 28:

    Live+7 Ratings for Week of Oct. 28: ‘This Is Us,' 'Grey's Anatomy' Double

    “This Is Us” and “Grey’s Anatomy” were among the biggest TV ratings growers for the week of Oct. 28. Both the NBC drama and the ABC medical show doubled their ratings after seven days of delayed viewing, with the former ending up on a 2.8 among adults 18-49 (the highest rating for a non-football show [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content