Ratings Slip For Third Debate
With foreign policy as its principal topic and facing competition against Monday Night Football on ESPN and game 7 of the National League playoffs on Fox TV, the latest presidential debate attracted 59.2 million viewers on ten broadcast and cable networks, down from 67.2 million for the first debate and 65.6 million for the second. NBC drew the largest number of viewers -- 12.4 million -- followed by ABC with 11.7 million, according to Nielsen Research. Surprisingly, Fox News drew nearly as many viewers, 11.5 million, making it the biggest audience ever to watch a Fox News program and 37 percent higher than CBS's, which numbered 8.4 million. Younger viewers, who made up the smallest segment of the audience for the first two debates, made up an even smaller one for the third. Meanwhile, 10.7 million tuned in to ESPN for the football game and 8.1 million to Fox for the baseball game.