Republican debate pulls higher ratings Fox News
Fox News attracted 12.8 million viewers during the first Republican primary debate, boosting its viewership significantly.
On Wednesday night, Fox News achieved a significant milestone in viewership during the first Republican primary debate in Milwaukee. The debate featured eight out of the 13 Republican candidates, with the notable absence of front-runner Donald Trump. Interestingly, Trump had also protested against Fox News during the 2016 debate in Iowa, which had fewer viewers compared to Wednesday night's event, with a total of 12.5 million viewers.
One noteworthy aspect of the evening was the one-on-one interview between former Fox News host Tucker Carlson and Donald Trump, which aired simultaneously with the debate. This interview received an impressive 263 million views as of Thursday, along with 705,000 likes and over 184,000 shares on the social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter).
The debate proved to be a significant boost in viewership for Fox News, as it attracted between 2,166,000 and 984,000 viewers during the same time frame the previous Wednesday. Typically, the network garners anywhere between 200,000 and 300,000 viewers within the 25-54 age range. However, the debate managed to attract over 2 million viewers within that demographic, showcasing the event's impact.
Fox News continues to maintain its position as the most-watched cable news network, with MSNBC following in second place and CNN in third. Fox News imposed strict restrictions on the rebroadcast of the debate, limiting any clips to a maximum of three minutes. Consequently, other news outlets opted to provide commentary on the debate after it aired and stuck to their regular programming for Wednesday night.
Before the debate, MSNBC had just over 1.7 million viewers during its coverage, while CNN began the night with over 900,000 viewers, which decreased to 754,000 as the night progressed. However, both networks experienced a surge in viewership after the debate, with MSNBC reaching a total of 2.1 million viewers and CNN averaging 1.2 million viewers.
The Republican National Committee worked in collaboration with Fox News to host the event, with anchors Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum serving as the moderators. In the previous week, Baier's program attracted over 1.7 million viewers at 6 p.m., while MacCallum's program is the 16th most popular on the network and typically sees slightly fewer viewers.
Overall, Fox News achieved a significant milestone in viewership during the Republican primary debate in Milwaukee. The event showcased the network's ability to attract a large audience, even without the presence of front-runner Donald Trump. The success of the debate highlights Fox News' position as the leading cable news network, while other networks experienced a surge in viewership after the event.