The simulcast -- the first of its kind since Ross Perot ran a political telecast on the eve of Election Day in 1996 -- aired on CBS, FOX, NBC, Univision, BET, MSNBC, and TV One between 8pm and 8:30pm EDT.
Perot's 1996 telecast drew almost 22.7 million viewers.
On an average Wednesday night, the networks that aired Obama's telecast draw a combined average of 30.3 million average viewers during that half-hour daypart.
In comparison, the final debate between the two presidential candidates drew 56.5 million U.S. viewers on October 15. The candidates’ first debate on September 26 drew 52.4 million viewers; their second debate, on October 7, drew 63.2 million viewers.
View the full media alert.
Read coverage of Nielsen's findings by Reuters and the Associated Press, as well as in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, the Baltimore Sun, The Hollywood Reporter, Adweek, Ad Age, Multichannel News, Broadcasting & Cable, Media Life, and Media Post.