Insights

Primetime Broadcast Ratings, October 15, 2008
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Primetime Broadcast Ratings, October 15, 2008

NBC’s post-debate analysis of the final presidential debate between Senators John McCain and Barack Obama edged past ABC’s post-debate coverage to claim the number one spot in Nielsen’s ranking of the top primetime telecasts on broadcast TV for Wednesday, October 15, 2008.

FOX, which aired live coverage of Game 5 of Major League Baseball’s National League Championship Series — instead of the debate, rounded out the top three.

CBS’s post-debate analysis also made the top ten.

RANK PROGRAM NETWORK VIEWERS (P2+)
1 DECISION ’08:PRES ANALYS3(S)-10/15/2008 NBC 9,091,000
2 VOTE2008:ANALYSIS-WED(S)-10/15/2008 ABC 8,864,000
3 FOX MLB NLCS GAME 5(S)-10/15/2008 FOX 8,029,000
4 OLD CHRISTINE CBS 7,613,000
5 GARY UNMARRIED CBS 7,529,000
6 KNIGHT RIDER NBC 7,470,000
7 CAMPAIGN ’08-DEBATE ANL-3(S)-10/15/2008 CBS 7,189,000
8 PUSHING DAISIES ABC 6,108,000
9 FOX MLB NLCS GAME 5 PRE(S)-10/15/2008 FOX 5,113,000
10 AMERICA’S TOP MODEL-5 CW 3,207,000
Source: The Nielsen Company (October 15, 2008).

Overall, NBC won the night with an average audience of almost 8 million viewers, while FOX took second place with almost 7.8 million average viewers. CBS and ABC claimed third and fourth places with roughly 7.4 million and 7 million average viewers, respectively. Univision and the CW followed in fifth and sixth places with average audiences of roughly 2.8 million and 2.4 million viewers, respectively.