Pence-Harris debate draws 11.3 million viewers on Fox News, 50.5 million overall

Pence confronts Harris, asks her if Dems will pack Supreme Court

Fox News Channel set another ratings record on Wednesday when a staggering 11.3 million viewers tuned in to the vice presidential debate between Sen. Kamala Harris and Mike Pence.

The turnout made the event the most-watched vice presidential debate on a single network in television history, topping the prior record that Fox News set in 2008 when 11.1 million tuned in to see then-Sen. Joe Biden face off with Sarah Palin.

As President Trump battles coronavirus, there’s no guarantee that either the second or third presidential debates between Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden – originally scheduled for Oct. 15 and 22 – will take place. As a result, the Harris-Pence showdown – moderated by USA Today’s Susan Page – surged in importance but fell short of previous records for viewers across all networks.

FOX NEWS FINISHES HISTORIC THIRD QUARTER ATOP BROADCAST NETWORKS IN KEY CATEGORY

The Harris-Pence debate averaged 50.5 million total viewers across Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX broadcast, failing to top the 2008 Biden-Palin event, which averaged 69.9 million total viewers.

ABC averaged 9.4 million viewers from 9-10:45 p.m. ET to finish second, followed by CNN’s 7.3 million viewers. Fox News accounted for 22 percent of the audience across seven networks and 45 percent of cable news viewers.

Fox News’ total was up 85 percent compared to the 2016 vice presidential debate between Pence and Tim Kaine.

All vice-presidential debate data is courtesy of early Nielsen Media Research.

Fox News Channel wrapped up a historic third quarter last month as the first cable network ever to surpass all broadcast networks in total weekday prime-time viewers for an entire three-month period.

FOX NEWS CHANNEL DRAWS 17.8 MILLION VIEWERS FOR FIRST TRUMP-BIDEN DEBATE

Fox News averaged four million weekday prime-time viewers, beating out leading broadcast network NBC (3.6 million viewer average). Between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m., Fox News averaged 3.5 million viewers to finish No. 1 in basic cable. MSNBC placed second with an average of 2.1 million viewers.

“Hannity” recorded its best-ever quarter to finish as the No. 1 program on cable news, averaging a whopping 4.5 million nightly viewers. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” finished a close second, averaging 4.4 million viewers as FNC’s popular primetime lineup dominated competitors.

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Last week, the first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden averaged 68.1 million viewers across eight broadcast and cable networks, with Fox News leading the way by attracting 17.8 million Americans.

The debate, which was moderated by "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace, was the highest-rated in cable news history.

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