The first presidential debate between President TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 committee chair says panel will issue a 'good number' of additional subpoenas Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by AM General — Pentagon officials prepare for grilling Biden nominates head of Africa CDC to lead global AIDS response MORE and Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenFord to bolster electric vehicle production in multi-billion dollar push Protesters demonstrate outside Manchin's houseboat over opposition to reconciliation package Alabama eyes using pandemic relief funds on prison system MORE was watched by an estimated 73.1 million people, according to final numbers from Nielsen Media Research, with Fox News attracting a general election debate record 17.8 million viewers.
The 73.1 million viewers for the event marked by dozens of interruptions and insults were almost 11 million fewer than the number who tuned into the first debate between Trump and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats worry negative images are defining White House Heller won't say if Biden won election Whitmer trailing GOP challenger by 6 points in Michigan governor race: poll MORE in September 2016, which drew 84 million.
The Fox News audience of 17.8 million was top among the major broadcast and cable news networks, with ABC second with 12.6 million and NBC third with 9.66 million. CNN was fourth with 8.29 million, followed by MSNBC with 7.19 million, CBS with 6.38 million and FOX-TV with 5.43 million.
In the 25-54 demographic that advertisers covet most, Fox News finished first with 5.3 million viewers. ABC was next in the category with 4.9 million, NBC with 4.11 million, CNN with 3.52 million, FOX-TV with 2.47 million, CBS with 2.18 million, and MSNBC with 1.73 million.
President Trump touted the numbers in a Wednesday tweet.
HIGHEST CABLE TELEVISION RATINGS OF ALL TIME. SECOND HIGHEST OVERALL TELEVISION RATINGS OF ALL TIME. Some day these Fake Media Companies are going to miss me, very badly!!!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2020
The next presidential debate takes place in Miami on Oct. 15, with C-SPAN's Steve Scully moderating.