Trump-Clinton 2 Draws 66.5 Million Viewers, Far Behind First Debate

NBC sat this one out for “Sunday Night Football”

Donald Trump Debate 2 smirk at Hillary Clinton
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Trump-Clinton 2 was no Trump-Clinton 1.

The second 2016 presidential debate netted 66.5 million viewers, placing it far shy of the first one, which scored 84 million. This time around, however, NBC sat the simulcast out, instead airing its “Sunday Night Football.”

The overall drop from 2016’s first POTUS debate was about 21 percent.

Sunday night, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton argued to the second-biggest audience for a second debate, falling behind George H.W. Bush-Bill Clinton-Ross Perot in 1992 (69.9 million viewers).

Individually, CBS was top dog Sunday, with 16.5 million total viewers. That broadcaster was followed by ABC (11.5 million), CNN (11.3 million), Fox News Channel (9.9 million), Fox (5.6 million), MSNBC (5.5 million), PBS (2.9 million) Univision (2.4 million), Fox Business News (565,000), CNBC (395,000) and TV Azteca (43,000).

A few weeks ago, NBC landed 18.2 million overall audience members. Presumably, anyone who wanted to watch the debate over pro pigskin found it elsewhere in the large-scale simulcast.

Trump-Clinton No. 2 may not have broke Nielsen TV viewing records, but it did on Twitter and Facebook. On Twitter, the debate accounted for 17 million live tweets. Facebook saw 19.8 million U.S. users generate more than 92.4 million related likes, posts, comments and shares.

Sunday’s debate was moderated by Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz. NBC’s Lester Holt handled the first one.

Click here to see how broadcast nets did last night in fast national numbers. Here’s more detail from the cable news side.