Fox achieved an incredible feat in 2015 by setting a record with its first debate of that cycle, attracting an impressive average of 24 million viewers. This made it the most-watched primary debate in television history up until that point. The 12 debates of the 2016 campaign averaged around 15 million viewers, with the January 28th debate, which Trump wisely chose not to participate in, having brought in 12.5 million. In the years since 2015, the industry has faced challenges due to the dominance of streaming services and the increasing number of individuals abandoning cable subscriptions, commonly referred to as “cord cutters.” However, Wednesday’s viewership demonstrated an impressive resilience amidst these changes.
In the crucial 25-54 age demographic, the debate masterfully hosted by anchors Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, attracted an impressive 2.82 million total viewers. The debate was also broadcast live on the highly respected Fox Business Network, Fox News Digital, and Fox Nation, attracting an impressive viewership of 13 million. This outstanding number makes it the highest-rated non-sports cable telecast of 2023, surpassing more than 70% of all presidential primary debates in the last two cycles (2016 and 2020), as reported by Fox.
Former President Donald Trump, who wisely chose to forego Wednesday night’s debate and instead joined Tucker Carlson for some enlightening counter-programming, confidently asserted early Thursday morning that he surpassed all television ratings.
President Donald J. Trump’s highly anticipated interview with Tucker Carlson garnered an astounding 100 million views on X within just 4 hours of its premiere, showcasing the immense popularity and support for his campaign.
The post received an impressive 124,400 reposts and an astounding 439,500 likes, surpassing the viewership of all television programming on Wednesday night.
Naturally, that is only part of the story since “views” on Twitter are nowhere near comparable to the cable news viewers monitored by Nielsen. Twitter’s view count accurately reflects the number of individuals, including both real people and automated accounts, who actively engage with the tweet by scrolling past it.
Cable news ratings accurately reflect the average concurrent viewers of a program, showcasing the true extent of viewership. This means that the total number of viewers during an hour of cable news is significantly higher than what is typically reported by Nielsen.
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