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Debate Ratings Update: Final Numbers Boost Broadcasters, As ABC Tops All Networks

Fast National Numbers from Nielsen moved the needle upward from the preliminary numbers we reported earlier, much to the benefit of the broadcast news organizations. All told 63.5 million Americans watched the debate last night on ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, Univision and Telemundo.

Update: Nielsen now says that 67.2 million people watched the debates on the rated TV networks, the most for the first debate since 1980.  That number does not include viewers watching online, or on unrated networks like C-SPAN.

In the latest debate ratings, ABC was the most-watched network during the debate, followed by NBC and CBS, with Fox News Channel fourth.

9-10:30 PM Debate:

ABC: 11.25 million total viewers

NBC: 11.07 million total viewers

CBS: 10.58 million total viewers

Fox: 6.89 million total viewers

10:30-11 PM Post-debate:

ABC: 8.86 million total viewers

NBC: 8.72 million total viewers

CBS: 7.01 million total viewers

You can see the cable debate ratings here.

2.6 million viewers watched the debate on Univision, and 248,000 on Telemundo.

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