CNBC lagged behind other debate broadcasts—but had more viewers than the World Series
Fewer people watched Wednesday night’s Republican presidential debate than any other this campaign.
The broadcast set a record for CNBC, averaging 14.0 million total viewers and proving that the GOP debate is popular television. But the third debate between Republicans fell short of the markers set by the first two—Fox News averaged 24 million viewers in August, while CNN averaged 23 million in September.
More viewers, however, tuned into the CNBC debate than watch the second game of the World Series between the New York Mets and the Kansas City Royals, which had about 13.7 million viewers, according to Nielsen.
CNBC’s previous viewership record of 3.9 million was set during the 2002 Winter Olympics, according to CNN. The debate was moderated by CNBC’s John Harwood, Becky Quick and Carl Quintanilla.
Many of the candidates on the stage at the University of Colorado Boulder were harsh on the CNBC moderators. Texas Senator Ted Cruz lambasted them for shying away from the “substantive issues that people care about.” His comments were the most talked about moment on Twitter and Facebook.
Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus echoed Cruz, sending a tweet after the debate condemning the broadcast.