CNN and Univision’s Sanders vs. Biden Debate Scores 10.8 Million TV Viewers

Sunday’s debate also drew 3.9 million streams on digital platforms

Bernie Sanders

CNN and Univision drew 10.8 million total average viewers for Sunday night’s Democratic debate between Sen. Bernie Sanders and former vice president Joe Biden, handing CNN its most-watched debate of the election cycle, according to Nielsen Fast National data.

Among adults in the advertiser-coveted 25-54 age demographic, the number of viewers was 3.4 million. Those numbers were broken down across CNN, CNN en Español and Univision like this: On CNN, 9.9 million total viewers watched, with 3.0 million in the 25-54 demo. On CNN en Español, there were 800,000 total average viewers with 30,000 of them in the demo. On Univision, 848,000 total average viewers tuned in. Of those, 344,000 were between 25-54.

The debate was CNN Digital’s second-largest Democratic debate day in history and its biggest of the current cycle: There were 3.9 million total-day livestreams — 2.5 million of which took place during the debate — on CNN-owned platforms like,, CNNgo OTT apps and mobile apps, as well as the DNC’s digital platforms and Univision’s digital platforms.

The debate took place at 8 p.m. ET from CNN’s bureau in Washington, D.C. Originally, it was slated to take place in Arizona, which is one of the states that will have a primary this Tuesday, but was moved into a studio out of an abundance of caution because of the coronavirus. The debate had no in-studio audience and took place only in front of CNN’s Jake Tapper and Dana Bash and Univision’s Ilia Calderon. Calderon was named a moderator after Univision’s Jorge Ramos stepped down when it was discovered he had been in “proximity” with “someone who was in direct contact with a person that tested positive for coronavirus,” the DNC said.