NBC debate down on linear, but sees positive streaming numbers

By Michael P. Hill Article may include affiliate links

NBC News‘ live broadcast of the third Republican presidential primary debate captured a total of 7.51 million viewers across linear TV, digital and streaming.

Of those, about 6.86 million watched on NBC’s linear feed, according to Nielsen.

When counting just NBC linear, the debate had an estimated 6.86 million viewers, slightly up from Fox’s Sept. 27, 2023, coverage that drew 6.69 million on its primary cable channel feed.

The Nov. 8, 2023, debate from NBC did not air on sister networks MSNBC or CNBC, but was carried later in the evening on Telemundo in Spanish. Fox, meanwhile, aired its Sept. 27 debate on Fox Business and Univision carried a Spanish-language feed.

However, when viewers across all of linear, digital and streaming are counted using data from Adobe Analytics and other platforms, Fox outpaced NBC’s debate with 9.5 million compared to 7.51 million.

When looking at streaming only, NBC’s Nov. 8 debate was the most-streamed debate of the election cycle so far and came out ahead of Fox’s streaming numbers.

That said, the broadcast on just the NBC network was the most-watched program in linear primetime Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023, slightly outranking the Country Music Awards on ABC between 8 and 10 p.m. eastern. That broadcast had 6.84 million average viewers.

Streamer NBC News Now averaged its largest primetime audience ever across core platforms and its highest peak audience on record.

On NBCNews.com, mobile and OTT apps, NBC News Now drove one of its strongest days this year with gains of over 140% with users watching for an hour on OTT.

From 8 to 10 p.m., NBC News Now reached its largest audience ever on Peacock with 35-times more viewers than average, marking its strongest day this year with lifts of over 400%. On digital, NBCNews.com saw double-digit gains versus norms across all key metrics.