GOP debate meets its match against sports events
November 14th, 2011
01:42 PM ET
2 years ago

GOP debate meets its match against sports events

(CNN) - More than 5 million households tuned in to the CBS Republican debate Saturday night, but the presidential faceoff was trumped by two major sports events.

ABC won the 8 p.m. ET hour with a college football matchup between No. 4-ranked Stanford vs. No. 7-ranked Oregon. And 400,000 more viewers tuned in for the debut of UFC mixed martial arts on Fox than the debate.

CBS averaged 5.3 million households in the foreign policy-focused discussion co-hosted with National Journal, according to Nielsen's Fast Nationals while 5.7 million watched the UFC programming.

Viewership of the CBS debate outweighed that of CNBC's economic debate held three days prior, when 3.3 million viewers turned their attention to the GOP candidates. But although it seems network television may have drawn a bigger audience than cable, Nielsen ratings from the CNN Western Republican Presidential Debate held in October tell another story.

As the candidates sparred on issues from hostage negotiations to immigration, an average of 5.5 million households looked on-more than the tally for the network-hosted debate that aired Saturday.


Filed under: Debate
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    Did Nielsen give viewership numbers for the live broadcast of Saturday Night Live that night? Bill Hader was funny as Perry, but the little guy with the "floppy, bird arms" was funnier. "All of his pages are blank."

    November 14, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  2. Al-NY,NY

    People would rather watch two guys fight with fists than listen to the drivel being spouted by these pathological liars. What a surprise

    November 14, 2011 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  3. Seattle Sue

    These people sound more crazy with every debate.

    November 14, 2011 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  4. Rick McDaniel

    The people of this country are incapable of paying attention to what's important.

    Sports is the primary source of stupidity, in America. Just look at Obama.........he would rather watch a game, than attend to his official duties.

    November 14, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    CA wrote:
    You're missing the point. I don't want to pay for the Iraq war but thats not in the cards for me. Facts is we're ALREADY paying for others insurance through the system. A mandate just makes it more pronounced.
    -----------------------
    This is a textbook example of being taught what to think and say, followed by faithfully carrying out those instructions. I must confess that I miss the point of the above statement because it makes no logical point of debate.

    If we are already paying for others insurance, how would making those others pay "their fair share" make it (whatever it actually is) more pronounced. Yet, this same person would argue that the half the country pays no federal income taxes and should be forced to "pay something" so that those who do pay do not have to support those who don't pay federal income taxes.

    November 14, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  6. john/omaha

    gee some real news from cnn

    November 14, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  7. Donkey Party

    The only purpose the debates served, was to give sports fans some comedy relief during commercial breaks.

    November 14, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  8. Chris ~ Albany, NY

    Count me in as one who watched the sporting events...had no idea there was even a debate. Not that I would have watched it. If you've watched one you've seen them all because they never change with the same old tired garbage.

    November 14, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  9. SMSUSAF

    It was a bad time and date CBS did not think about this... still far left

    November 14, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  10. Woman In California

    As usual, I didn't watch and I didn't care. Too many other REALLY important things going on. None of these clowns belongs ANYWHERE near the WH.

    November 14, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  11. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    It would be nice to have more an audience. I don't mind the numbers there. What I have a lot more trouble with is the low numbers when it comes to how many people vote. It is a real sad story that we have so few Americans voting.

    November 14, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  12. sortakinda

    That picture looks like they're filling out their answers to "Final Jeopardy." They all guessed: "Who is Abraham Washington?"

    November 14, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  13. NC

    There was a Republican debate on Saturday night?

    November 14, 2011 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |