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Media Advisory: Final Presidential Debate of 2020 Draws 63 Million Viewers

2 minute read | October 2020

Television Audience Estimates

An estimated 63 million people tuned in to watch the final debate of the 2020 presidential election on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. The debate was hosted at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., and featured Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden and Republican Presidential Nominee and sitting President Donald Trump.

While coverage varied by network, 15 networks aired live coverage from approximately 9:00 p.m. ET to 11:00 p.m. ET. 

The chart below highlights the sum of the average viewing audience for these networks. It’s important to note that out-of-home (OOH) viewing as well as connected TV (CTV) viewing are included in the 2020 total figures for this advisory. Contribution coming from CTVs can be as much as 11% for televised political events.

About Nielsen

Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global measurement and data analytics company that provides the most complete and trusted view available of consumers and markets worldwide. Nielsen is divided into two business units. Nielsen Global Media provides media and advertising industries with unbiased and reliable metrics that create a shared understanding of the industry required for markets to function. Nielsen Global Connect provides consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers with accurate, actionable information and insights and a complete picture of the complex and changing marketplace that companies need to innovate and grow. Our approach marries proprietary Nielsen data with other data sources to help clients around the world understand what’s happening now, what’s happening next, and how to best act on this knowledge.

An S&P 500 company, Nielsen has operations in over 90 countries, covering more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit


Michael Receno

Sal Tuzzeo