Fox News beats network, cable competitors in vice-presidential debate ratings

Fox News Channel again owned the overnight Nielsen ratings among its broadcast and cable news competition in a major presidential election event.

During Thursday’s vice presidential debate, Fox had over 10 million viewers from 9-10:30 p.m. ET, with over 3 million in the key 25-54 demographic.¬†Similar to last week’s presidential debate, the network also surpassed CNN and MSNBC combined in total viewers — 10 million versus 4.1 million for CNN and 4.4 million for MSNBC.

Against its broadcast competition, FNC beat the big three — ABC, CBS and NBC — according to the broadcast fast national data.¬†Below are the early ratings, according to Nielsen Media Research:

9-10:30PM (actual debate)

FNC: 10,019,827 in total viewers (3,057,099 in 25-54)
MSNBC: 4,378,671 in total viewers (1,619,542 in 25-54)
CNN: 4,145,951 in total viewers (1,523,882 in 25-54)

Broadcast Fast Nationals 9-10:30PM:

CBS: 8,308,421 in P2+ (3,400,620)
ABC: 8,287,610 in P2+ (2,995,352)
NBC: 7,851,757 in P2+ (3,560,307)

8:00-11:00PM (primetime coverage)

FNC: 8,052,332 in total viewers (2,283,719 in 25-54)
MSNBC: 3,516,671 in total viewers (1,275,399 in 25-54)
CNN: 3,265,598 in total viewers (1,164,117 in 25-54)

Overall, Thursday night’s numbers fell short of last week’s presidential debate. Only Fox came close to replicating their ratings during the Denver contest between President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

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