CNN’s simplified debate ratings dropped from previous highly watched ones

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CNN’s coverage of the pared down Democratic debate between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders didn’t get the ratings boom that might have been expected given recent increased ratings and the fact many people are stuck at home thanks to the coronavirus outbreak.

The debate only attracted about 10.8 million viewers — just slightly beating CBS’s “60 Minutes,” which was the highest rated program Sunday, March 15, 2020.

9.9 million of those viewers were on CNN while 848,000 watched on Univision in Spanish and another 80,000 on CNN en Español.

An average of 608,000 people watched via streaming, which would have brought the total to over 11 million.

NBC’s coverage of the Las Vegas debate Feb. 19, 2020 racked up 19.7 million viewers, which was a record for Democratic primary debates and also beat out this year’s Grammys and Golden Globes.

Te Vegas debate marked former candidate Mike Bloomberg’s first time on the debate stage.

CNN kicked off its March 15 debate addressing the coronavirus outbreak.

The debate was originally planned for Phoenix, Arizona. Amid COVID-19 concerns, the DNC and CNN first announced the debate would be produced without an audience.

Later, the two organizations announced the decision to relocate the debate to CNN’s Washington, D.C. studios in order to cut down on travel for both he candidates and moderators.

Univision’s Jorge Ramos was slated to moderate alongside CNN’s Jake Tapper and Dana Bash, but opted to step aside after he learned he may have been exposed to the virus, with Ilia Calderón stepping in for him.