The final presidential debate was seen by fewer Americans than the second debate, according to preliminary ratings released by Nielsen.

About 38 percent of households in the top 56 local television markets saw the third and final debate Wednesday. The second debate was seen by 42 percent of households in those markets. The first debate was seen by less than 35 percent of households, which was the lowest rating.

Nielsen said that the ratings could have dropped on Wednesday because of the Game 5 of the National League Championship Series. In Philadelphia, home of the pennant-winning Phillies, about a third of households watched the baseball game while another third watched the debate.

The markets with the highest ratings were Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and St. Louis, while the places with the lowest ratings were New Orleans, Los Angeles, and Sacramento, Calif.