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

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 of viewers 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 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.

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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 also almost surpassed ABC’s broadcast, which averaged 11.5 million viewers.

Perhaps CNN attracted additional viewers because Anderson Cooper was a co-moderator but 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.

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.

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