First US Democratic presidential debate draws large TV audience

First US Democratic presidential debate draws large TV audience

US presidential candidates
Candidates participate in the first US 2020 presidential election Democratic candidates debate in Miami, Florida. (Photo: Reuters)

MIAMI, Florida: About 15.3 million TV viewers watched Wednesday's debate among Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke and eight other candidates vying for the Democratic nomination for US president, according to Nielsen data released by NBC News.

The viewership for the first televised face-off of Democratic contenders, which did not include frontrunners Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, was bigger than many analysts predicted and in line with the large audience that tuned in for the first Democratic debate of the 2016 election cycle.

Wednesday's debate was broadcast live on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo, networks all owned by Comcast Corp. More than nine million additional viewers watched live streams on the internet, NBC said.

The TV audience did not reach the all-time primary record set in 2016 when 24 million viewers tuned in for the first performance by Donald Trump in a Republican candidates' debate on Fox News Channel.

A second debate with 10 other Democratic presidential contenders, including Biden and Sanders, is scheduled for Thursday.

Source: Reuters/de