Fox News Channel was the big winner of Wednesday’s final presidential debate, beating cable and broadcast competitors in both total viewers and the demo.
Fox News averaged 11.3 million viewers, while ABC finished second with 10.96 million. FNC beat ABC, CBS and NBC in viewers, but also beat cable rivals CNN and MSNBC in the key demo, averaging 3.5 million viewers age 25-54.
Moderator Chris Wallace, who has been widely praised for his performance, was the first Fox News journalist to ever referee a general election debate. He co-moderated three Republican primary debates with Megyn Kelly and Bret Baier, who anchored the network’s coverage of the final debate.
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump faced off during the live 90-minute affair in Las Vegas, which took place less than three weeks before Election Day, and was carried on ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, C-SPAN, CNN, Fox, Fox News, Fox Business, CNBC, MSNBC and Univision.
Back in 2004, Fox News beat the broadcast networks during the Republican Convention, marking the first time a cable news network had ever beaten a broadcast news network. Fox News also topped all broadcast networks during the GOP convention on July 21, 2016.
CNN beat MSNBC for second among cable news network, averaging 8.7 million viewers and 3.4 million in the demo compared to 5.5 million viewers and 1.8 million, respectively. Fox Business Network beat CNBC among business channels, averaging 714,000 viewers compared to 547,000.