Viewership for 2nd Trump-Biden debate drops to 63 million

By JONATHAN LANDRUM Jr. | Fri, October 23, 2020 07:15 EDT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The final presidential debate between President Donald Trump and his Democratic opponent Joe Biden drew 10 million fewer viewers than their first meeting.

An estimated 63 million viewers tuned into the debate featuring Trump and Biden Thursday night, the Nielsen company said Friday. The debate was hosted at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.

The numbers were tallied between 15 networks that aired the debate.

Fox News scored the most viewers compared to other networks with 14.7 million, according to Nielsen. The network topped ABC and NBC, which both pulled in more than 10 million viewers.

CNN attracted 7.2 million, MSNBC drew 6.7 million and CBS had 5.5 million.

Trump and Biden's first matchup last month was seen by 73.1 million people. The second debate was canceled after Trump’s coronavirus infection and replaced by dueling town halls on ABC and NBC — the viewership for both the presidential candidates together was 27.6 million.

The Biden town hall reached 14.1 million people, while Trump had 13.5 million.

On Thursday, the candidates debated mostly over health care, energy policy and how Trump handled the coronavirus pandemic. Both candidates also had an exchange words over the business endeavors of Biden's son.

In 2016, the first debate between Trump and Hillary Clinton garnered 84 million viewers, which is the most-watched debate ever. But their final debate had slightly less than 71.6 million, which was a higher number than their second matchup.

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