GOP debate most-viewed of 2016

Getty Images

Bucking a trend in declining debate interest, Saturday night’s GOP primary debate on CBS drew the most viewers of 2016, the network said on Sunday.

The debate averaged 13.51 million viewers and finished with a 3.0 rating in the 25-54 adult demographic, which was also the highest among primary debates in the new year.

CBS said in a statement that the debate was Saturday night’s top primetime broadcast and peaked with 14.63 million viewers between 10:00 and 10:30 p.m.

The debate was also viewed by 5.1 million streams across multiple platforms online, including 2 million on CBSN, the network’s digital streaming news service.

Broadcast from Greenville, S.C., the debate came one week before that state's Feb. 20 GOP primary.

It featured all of the Republican contenders, including front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpObama reads mean tweet from Trump on ‘Kimmel’ 5 takeaways from the Pa. Senate debate Report: Clinton ordered operative to troll Trump with duck MORE, who claims he is causing a groundswell in ratings at the debates.

The Nov. 14 Democratic primary debate on CBS drew 8.5 million viewers.