NBC’s Nevada debate breaks season’s primary debate ratings record

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The Feb. 19, 2020 Democratic Debate in Las Vegas broke ratings records for this election cycle.

A combined 19.7 million viewers watched the debate across NBC, MSNBC and Universo.

That beat the 18.1 million that watched the June 2019 debate that aired on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo.

Prior to Feb. 19, 6 to 8 million viewers tuned in for debates that aired.

19.7 million viewers positions to debate in Las Vegas ahead of the Grammys on CBS with 18.7 million and Golden Globes on NBC at 18.3 million.

The debate likely benefited from the addition of Michael Bloomberg, who qualified for the debate just in time, as well as it being right after the Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire primary that narrowed the field and right before Nevada’s caucus Feb. 22.

Meanwhile, CBS News is preparing to air another debate Tuesday, Feb. 25, moderated by “CBS This Morning” anchor Gayle King and “CBS Evening News” anchor Norah O’Donnell.

NBCUniversal’s coverage of the debates did not break the all time primary viewership record, which still is held by the August 2015 outing that was Donald Trump’s first round in a debate. That debate, on Fox, drew 24 million viewers.