CNN Draws Record Audience for a Democratic Primary Debate

This makes it cable's sixth highest non-sports program ever.

CNN’s strategy of downplaying expectations for the first Democratic primary debate was a success. Not only was there no loss of face as the inevitably lower audience numbers came out today, the network still managed to snag a record.

CNN’s 15.3 million viewers for last night’s debate makes this the most watched Democratic primary debate ever, taking the number one spot away from ABC’s 2008 Clinton/Obama primary debate. It also makes it cable’s sixth highest non-sports program.

In the A25-54 demo, CNN reached 4.8 million viewers, down from the previous two debates.

The network’s Democratic primary debate did manage to beat its Republican debate counterpart in concurrent livestreams, recording 980,000 concurrent live streams at its high point, compared to the 921,000 concurrent livestreams reached during the GOP debate.