Thursday’s GOP Debate Marks Second Highest-Rated Telecast in Network History

Shatters Previous Live Stream Audience Record for a Primary Debate

According to early Nielsen ratings, FOX News Channel’s (FNC) GOP Presidential primary debate last night scored 16.9 million viewers, marking the highest-rated debate of 2016. Moderated by Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly and Chris Wallace, the debate also broke the previous debate demo record for the year, delivering 5.5 million in the all-important younger 25-54 demo.

Telecast live from the FOX Theatre in downtown Detroit, the debate ranks as the fourth-highest primary debate in history. Additionally, the matchup between the four remaining candidates notched the second highest-rated telecast in FNC’s nearly 20 year history. FNC holds the record for the highest-rated non-sports cable telecast of all time with the August 6th GOP presidential primary debate also moderated by Baier, Kelly and Wallace. A special post-debate The O’Reilly Factor last night (11pm-12am) delivered 7.4 million viewers, marking the show’s highest-rated telecast of the year.

On the digital side, the Fox News debate live stream had 2.4 million video starts and peaked at 1,489,937 concurrent streams, according to Omniture and Akamai. This marks the most-watched primary event ever, via live stream. CNN drew under one million concurrent streams (708,000) for the most recent February 25th GOP debate. In a first for a TV news anchor, Bret Baier was featured on the official Instagram account and blog garnering nearly 430,000 likes. Instagram featured a behind the scenes look at the FOX News debate through the work of several photojournalists on the ground in Detroit.

***all must be attributed to Early Nielsen Research

16,851,588 in P2+ and 5,462,025 in 25-54

FNC’s Special edition of The O’Reilly Factor 11PM/ET Post-debate
7,404,149 in P2+ and 2,439,365 in 25-54

FNC 11PM/ET-2AM/ET (Post-debate Programming)
4,047,256 in P2+ and 1,349,341 in 25-54

FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news service dedicated to delivering breaking news as well as political and business news.  A top five cable network, FNC has been the most-watched news channel in the country for more than14 years and according to a Suffolk University/USA Today poll, is the most trusted television news source in the country. Owned by 21st Century Fox, FNC is available in more than 90 million homes and dominates the cable news landscape, routinely notching the top ten programs in the genre.


FNC Media Contacts:

Carly Shanahan/212-301-3851

Jamie Rokus/212-301-3294