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Ratings: Democratic Debate Nets 10 Million Viewers for NBC

Showdown between Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley outperforms past debates on broadcast networks

Sunday’s Democratic debate on NBC pulled in approximately 10.2 million viewers, according to Nielsen estimates.

The meet up between Democratic Presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley, airing from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET, also drew an estimated 7.2 rating in the advertiser coveted adults 18-49 demographic. Additionally, nearly 1.2 million viewers streamed the event live on NBC News digital platforms.

The last Democratic debate on ABC averaged 8 million viewers. The CBS Democratic debate in Nov. attracted 8.5 million viewers. The most-watched Democratic debate of this election season was the CNN debate in Oct., which scored 15.1 million viewers, making it the most watched Democratic debate of all time.

On CBS, “60 Minutes” pulled in an estimated 20.3 million viewers and a 4.7 rating. The episode contained Charlie Rose’s interview with Sean Penn regarding the actor’s meeting with Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, which Penn famously recounted in an article for Rolling Stone.

Again, however, these numbers are early estimates that do not reflect West Coast viewing. They are specifically for the East Coast where “60 Minutes” aired at 8 p.m., while on the West Coast it aired at 7 p.m.

“60 Minutes” benefited from an NFL lead in, as the Pittsburgh Steelers took on the Denver Broncos in the AFC playoffs. The game pulled in a gargantuan 26.2 rating in the key demo, tying for the the highest-rated Sunday AFC Divisional Playoff game in 21 years.

Pittsburgh-Denver also is the highest-rated game of the 2015-16 season on any network in the metered markets.