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UPCOMING EVENTS

Republican Primary Debate on NBC Sees Less Than 7 Million Viewers

Despite a competitive night on television and despite the absence of its party’s frontrunner, a Republican presidential primary debate of the 2024 election cycle was still able to be the most-watched telecast of its prime time (the 8-11 p.m. window) based on live plus same-day data. The third GOP debate aired on NBC on Nov. 8 from 8-10 PM ET and drew 6.863 million total viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research.

It squeaked by ABC’s CMA Awards (6.84 million) on the night, although the awards overtook the debate when delayed viewing is included; in live plus seven-day, “CMA” 7.84 million, debate on NBC 7.156 million.

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It also picked up an additional 650,000 viewers (bringing the night’s tally to 7.51 million) when including the debate’s other available platforms NBC News Now, NBCNews.com, Peacock, Sky News, Universo, NoticiasTelemundo.com, and Noticias Telemundo’s social platforms.

Within the key 25-54 key demographic, the GOP debate posted 1.312 million; nearly evenly split among male (687,000) and female (625,000) viewers for NBC. (CMA Awards did top it in the demo with 1.669 million adults 25-54.)

Moderated by NBC Nightly News host Lester Holt, Meet the Press moderator Kristen Welker and talk radio host Hugh Hewitt, the third GOP debate was held at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County in Miami. It featured five candidates: former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina.

Unsurprisingly, the third Republican presidential debate lagged behind each of its two predecessors from Aug. 23 (13 million viewers, 2.82 million adults 25-54) and Sep. 27 (9.32 million viewers, 2 million adults 25-54).

NBC’s one-hour post-debate analysis at 10-11 PM ET delivered 3.195 million viewers. This represented a 46.5 percent retention from the debate which was slightly less than the 47 retained on Fox News (a special edition of Hannity following the debate posted 3.14 million viewers) back on Sep. 27. 

Back on Aug. 23; Fox News’ post-debate had drawn 4.39 million, out of the 11.06 million viewers; thus, then retaining 40 percent.

Once again, MSNBC and CNN offered their own post-debate coverages and each saw increases from its previous hour, as also had occurred in the recent past:

August 23, 2023

  • MSNBC 10-11 p.m.: 1.922 million viewers
  • MSNBC 11 p.m.-midnight: 2.720 million viewers (+41.5 percent)
  • CNN 10-11 p.m.: 0.736 million viewers
  • CNN 11 p.m.-midnight: 1.516 million viewers (+105.97 percent)

September 27, 2023

  • MSNBC 10-11 p.m.: 1.676 million viewers
  • MSNBC 11 p.m.-midnight: 2.203 million viewers (+31.4 percent)
  • CNN 10-11 p.m.: 0.529 million viewers
  • CNN 11 p.m.-midnight: 0.778 million viewers (+47.1 percent)

November 8, 2023

  • MSNBC 9-10 p.m.: 1.490 million viewers
  • MSNBC 10-11 p.m. 2.348 million viewers (+57.6 percent)
  • CNN 9-10 p.m.: 0.642 million viewers
  • CNN 10 p.m.-midnight: 0.853 million viewers (+32.9 percent)

On this Nov. 8 evening, so did Fox News Channel as the 10 p.m. “Gutfeld!” (1.971 million viewers, 317,000 adults 25-54) grew out of 9 p.m. “Hannity” (1.811 million viewers, 215,000 adults 25-54), although “Gutfeld!” rising in 25-54 from “Hannity” is a common occurrence.

As counter-programming to NBC’s debate, Newsmax televised a Donald Trump rally from the Miami Florida suburb of Hialeah. From 8:30-9:45 p.m. eastern, it posted 828,000 viewers and 87,000 within the key 25-54 demo; post-rally coverage from 9:45-11 p.m. drew 434,000 viewers and 49,000 adults 25-54.

One night earlier (Nov. 7), it was Election Night in the U.S. Among the key results were a ballot measure preserving abortion rights passing in the state of Ohio, Democrat Andy Beshear held onto his governorship In Arkansas, Democrats won a majority in the Virginia State Senate, former Biden White House aide Gabe Amo was elected as the first Black member of Congress representing the state of Rhode Island and Democrat Cherelle Parker was elected as Philadelphia’s first female mayor.

Due to election night coverage, CNN delivered a rare prime time win among adults 25-54 over its cable news competition with an average of 389,000 from 8-11 p.m. Fox News (335,000) was close behind with MSNBC (252,000) also potent; all three major cable news outlets drew well above its normal weeknight demo deliveries.

In total viewers in prime time on Nov. 7, usual cable leader Fox News (2.561 million) remained so, while MSNBC (2.042 million) and CNN (1.32 million) were each above-average.

Cable news averages for November 6-12, 2023:

Total Day (Nov. 6-12 @ 6 a.m.-5:59 a.m.)

  • Fox News Channel: 1.262 million viewers; 148,000 adults 25-54
  • MSNBC: 0.904 million viewers; 97,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 0.532 million viewers; 114,000 adults 25-54
  • Newsmax: 0.153 million viewers; 11,000 adults 25-54
  • HLN: 0.144 million viewers; 42,000 adults 25-54
  • CNBC: 0.117 million viewers; 28,000 adults 25-54
  • Fox Business Network: 0.114 million viewers; 12,000 adults 25-54
  • NewsNation: 0.074 million viewers; 12,000 adults 25-54
  • The Weather Channel: 0.072 million viewers; 14,000 adults 25-54
  • Court TV: 0.046 million viewers; 13,000 adults 25-54

Prime Time (Nov. 6-11 @ 8-11 p.m.; Nov. 12 @ 7-11 p.m.)

  • Fox News Channel: 1.877 million viewers; 230,000 adults 25-54
  • MSNBC: 1.353 million viewers; 141,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 0.684 million viewers; 169,000 adults 25-54
  • Newsmax: 0.266 million viewers; 23,000 adults 25-54
  • NewsNation: 0.091 million viewers; 15,000 adults 25-54

Top 10 most-watched cable news programs (and the top programs of other outlets with their respective associated ranks) in total viewers:

1. The Five (FOXNC, Tue. 11/7/2023 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.048 million viewers

2. The Five (FOXNC, Mon. 11/6/2023 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.046 million viewers

3. Jesse Watters Primetime (FOXNC, Tue. 11/7/2023 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.027 million viewers

4. The Five (FOXNC, Thu. 11/9/2023 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.018 million viewers

5. The Five (FOXNC, Wed. 11/8/2023 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.782 million viewers

6. The Five (FOXNC, Fri. 11/10/2023 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.724 million viewers

7. Jesse Watters Primetime (FOXNC, Mon. 11/6/2023 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.657 million viewers

8. Jesse Watters Primetime (FOXNC, Thu. 11/9/2023 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.632 million viewers

9. Hannity (FOXNC, Tue. 11/7/2023 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.499 million viewers

10. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Mon. 11/6/2023 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.454 million viewers

101. Election Night In America (CNN, Tue. 11/7/2023 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 1.380 million viewers

194. Trump Rally (NMX, Wed. 11/8/2023 8:30 PM, 75 min.) 0.828 million viewers

221. Real Time With Bill Maher (HBO, Fri. 11/10/2023 10:00 PM, 58 min.) 0.741 million viewers

311. Last Week Tonight (HBO, Sun. 11/12/2023 11:00 PM, 39 min.) 0.502 million viewers

402. The Daily Show “Nov 6, 23 – Sarah Silverman” (CMDY, Mon. 11/6/2023 11:00 PM, 30 min.) 0.345 million viewers

411. Forensic Files (HLN, late Sat. 11/11/2023 1:30 AM, 30 min.) 0.327 million viewers

437. Varney & Company (FBN, Mon. 11/6/2023 9:00 AM, 60 min.) 0.294 million viewers

462. Fast Money Halftime Report (CNBC, Wed. 11/8/2023 12:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.279 million viewers

703. Cuomo (NWSN, Fri. 11/10/2023 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.162 million viewers

741. Top 10 Amazing Moments “Spec68” (TWC, Sat. 11/11/2023 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.144 million viewers

834. FBI Files (COURT TV, Sun. 11/12/2023 11:00 AM, 60 min.) 0.114 million viewers

Top 10 cable news programs (and the top  programs of other outlets with their respective associated ranks) among adults 25-54:

1. Election Night In America (CNN, Tue. 11/7/2023 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.419 million adults 25-54

2. Election Night In America (CNN, Tue. 11/7/2023 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.406 million adults 25-54

3. Jesse Watters Primetime (FOXNC, Tue. 11/7/2023 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.366 million adults 25-54

4. Election Night In America (CNN, Tue. 11/7/2023 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.342 million adults 25-54

5. Gutfeld! (FOXNC, Tue. 11/7/2023 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.327 million adults 25-54

6. Hannity (FOXNC, Thu. 11/9/2023 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.324 million adults 25-54

7. Gutfeld! (FOXNC, Wed. 11/8/2023 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.317 million adults 25-54

8. Hannity (FOXNC, Tue. 11/7/2023 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.313 million adults 25-54

9. Gutfeld! (FOXNC, Thu. 11/9/2023 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.310 million adults 25-54

10. Jesse Watters Primetime (FOXNC, Mon. 11/6/2023 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.306 million adults 25-54

11. Alex Wagner Tonight “Election Day 2023” (MSNBC, Tue. 11/7/2023 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.290 million adults 25-54

126. Last Week Tonight (HBO, Sun. 11/12/2023 11:00 PM, 39 min.) 0.153 million adults 25-54

160. The Daily Show “Nov 9, 23 – Sarah Silverman” (CMDY, Thu. 11/9/2023 11:00 PM, 30 min.) 0.135 million adults 25-54

179. Real Time With Bill Maher (HBO, Fri. 11/10/2023 10:00 PM, 58 min.) 0.129 million adults 25-54

219. Forensic Files (HLN, late Fri. 11/10/2023 3:00 AM, 30 min.) 0.110 million adults 25-54

322. Trump Rally (NMX, Wed. 11/8/2023 8:30 PM, 75 min.) 0.087 million adults 25-54

471. Fast Money (CNBC, Wed. 11/8/2023 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.061 million adults 25-54

540. America’s Morning Headquarters (TWC, Wed. 11/8/2023 8:00 AM, 60 min.) 0.048 million adults 25-54

584. Cuomo (NWSN, Fri. 11/10/2023 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.042 million adults 25-54

682. Murderous Affairs (COURT TV, late Sat. 11/11/2023 5:00 AM, 30 min.) 0.030 million adults 25-54

751. Mornings with Maria Bartiromo (FBN, Mon. 11/6/2023 7:00 AM, 60 min.) 0.023 million adults 25-54

Source: Live+Same Day data, Nielsen Media Research

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