Combined Total of 17.6 Million Viewers and 5.7 Million Adults 25-54 Tune to NBC News and MSNBC, Leading All Cable and Broadcast

NBC News Tops Broadcast Nets in Key A25-54 & A18-49 Demos; Only Network to Increase in Total Viewers Compared to the First Debate

Plus: More than 17 Million Views Across NBC News Digital Platforms

October 23, 2020 — NBC News and MSNBC together topped all other networks for coverage of the final 2020 presidential debate. The two networks drew a combined 17.554 million in total viewers with 5.683 million in the key A25-54 demo and 4.560 million in A18-49 (9:00-10:36pm), according to Nielsen Media Research.

Additionally, NBC News surpassed all other broadcast networks among the key A25-54 and A18-49 demos, averaging 4.099 million and 3.398 million, respectively. It was also the only network to increase in total viewers (9.685 million, up +10%) compared to the first presidential debate held last month, while also improving 2% over the final debate in 2016. On the cable side, MSNBC posted 6.929 million in total viewers, with 1.584 million in A25-54 and 1.162 in A18-49.

Additionally, NBC News Digital saw more than 17 million views of debate coverage live and on-demand last night across all platforms, including more than 8 million live viewers on NBC News NOW. Also, 1.6 million Generation Z viewers tuned in to NBC Stay Tuned on Snapchat for coverage and highlights of the debate. In total, NBC News Digital saw an increase of over 100% in unique visitors compared to the 2016 final Presidential debate. 

The second and final presidential debate of the general election was moderated by NBC News White House Correspondent and Co-anchor of Weekend TODAY Kristen Welker. The first Black woman to moderate a general election presidential debate since 1992, Welker identified the six topics for the 90-minute debate earlier this month that included Fighting Covid-19, American Families, Race in America, Climate Change, National Security, and Leadership.


More Americans watch NBC News and MSNBC than any news organization in the world. NBC News’ award-winning television news broadcasts include TODAY, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, Meet the Press with Chuck Todd and Dateline NBC. Additionally, NBC News produces Third Hour of TODAY, TODAY with Hoda and Jenna and Sunday TODAY with Willie Geist, as well as primetime specials and breaking news reports. NBC News also operates NBC News Studios, a new unit producing premium documentaries, docuseries, select scripted programming, and content for emerging platforms, and the NBC NewsChannel affiliate news service. MSNBC is the premier cable destination for breaking and live news coverage, in-depth analysis, and influential voices – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The rapidly-growing NBC News Digital Group, including its streaming news service NBC News NOW, along with the SiriusXM TODAY Show and MSNBC radio channels and NBC News Radio on the iHeartMedia 24/7 News Network, provides continuous content to consumers wherever they are, whenever they want it

 NBC News and MSNBC are part of the NBCUniversal News Group, a division of NBCUniversal, which is owned by Comcast Corporation.  For more information about NBCUniversal, please visit www.NBCUniversal.com.


Dana Klinghoffer
NBC News
e: dana.klinghoffer@nbcuni.com

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