Debate Ratings: CNN Dominates Fox News, MSNBC With 11.2 Million Viewers

CNN also wins the key demo of adults age 25-54

CNN dominated Fox News and MSNBC during the second presidential debate on Sunday night, winning total viewers and the key demo of adults age 25-54.

CNN averaged 11.2 million viewers during the debate, while Fox News trailed with 9.9 million and MSNBC averaged 5.5 million. CNN and MSNBC each gained 13 percent compared to the first debate, while Fox News lost 14 percent. CBS won broadcast networks with 16.5 million viewers and NBC opted to air “Sunday Night Football” over the debate.

CNN not only beat cable competition, but it almost surpassed ABC’s broadcast, which averaged 11.5 million viewers. Among the key demo, CNN averaged 4.8 million viewers while Fox News averaged 2.9 million and MSNBC picked up 1.76 million viewers. Fox News dropped 17 percent from the first debate.

Perhaps CNN attracted additional viewers because Anderson Cooper was a co-moderator of the debate. The network gained seven percent in the demo while Fox News declined. Meanwhile, MSNBC drew its largest audience for a presidential debate ever, despite finishing third in both categories.

Among business networks, Fox Business averaged 564,000 total viewers, compared to 391,000 for CNBC. However, CNBC won the demo with 187,000 viewers, compared to 151,000 for FBN.

The second presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton was a huge hit on social media, breaking a Twitter record with more than 17 million related tweets sent last night. Facebook also enjoyed its most-talked-about debate to date, as 19.8 million U.S. users generated more than 92.4 million related likes, posts, comments and shares.

Fox News was the most engaged news brand across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram yesterday, according to Crowdtangle.