Last night’s Republican debate was the most-watched show on CNN in its long history; the previous top show on CNN was an episode of Larry King Live where Al Gore and Ross Perot debated NAFTA, and it averaged 16.8 million viewers.
The debate averaged a household rating of 14.7, indicating that 1 in 7 Americans with TVs were watching, reports CNNMoney. A rating of 14.7 is going to translate into 20-million plus viewers. (Update: We now know, via Brian Stelter, CNN averaged 22.9 million viewers)
CNN also set a record for its live-stream last night, which peaked at 920,000 viewers.
Fox News’ debate, by comparison, had a preliminary household rating of 16, which translated into 24 million live viewers.
It seems Hugh Hewitt’s ratings prediction “that our audience is going to be bigger than the first debate” was slightly off, but frankly, not by much.