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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon., Sept. 26) -- special debate edition


Drinking game: Republican Donald Trump hits his bottomless water glass for the first of many times during Monday night’s first of three presidential debates with Democrat Hillary Clinton. Photo: Ed Bark

@unclebarkycom on Twitter
The first one’s in the books and so are the D-FW Nielsen ratings for Monday night’s mega-hyped showdown between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Their 90-minute show-and-tell, the first of three, aired on a wide array of TV networks from 8 to 9:30 p.m. -- give or take a few minutes. Let’s break down what we have in both total viewers, advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds and those elusive but important 18-to-34-year-olds who both Trump and Cinton still can’t seem to enthuse. That is, if they even bother to vote.

(Note: Nielsen’s newly revised annual population estimates say each D-FW rating point is worth 72,711 total viewers, 32,071 in the 18-to-49 demographic and 16,913 in the 18-to-34 age range. All represent increases over the previous year, and we’ll be using them for the first time here.)

Total Viewers

NBC -- 428,995
Fox News Channel -- 305,386
ABC -- 298,115
Fox -- 290,844
CBS -- 218,133
CNN -- 174,506
Univision -- 72,711
Telemundo/PBS -- 58,169 each
MSNBC -- 50,898

That’s a grand total of 1,955,926 viewers. Dallas Cowboys playoff games, which admittedly have been rare in recent seasons, generally draw in excess of 2 million viewers in the D-FW area. The last one, a controversial January 2015 loss to the Green Bay Packers, averaged 2,210,758 viewers.


NBC -- 221,290
Fox -- 144,320
Fox News Channel -- 102,627
ABC -- 99,420
CBS -- 76,970
CNN -- 70,556
Univision -- 35,278
Telemundo -- 32,071
PBS -- 22,450
MSNBC -- 6,414

That’s a grand total of 811,396 viewers.


NBC -- 76,109
Fox -- 67,652
Fox News Channel -- 43,974
CNN -- 37,209
ABC -- 30,443
Univision -- 27,061
CBS -- 18,604
PBS -- 11,839
Telemundo -- 10,148
MSNBC -- 5,074

That’s a grand total of 328,113 viewers, or slightly over one-sixth of the total audience for the debate.

ESPN’s high-scoring Monday Night Football game between the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints averaged 196,320 total viewers, with 93,006 in the 18-to-49 age range and 35,625 in the 18-to-34-year-old demographic.

The first-place Texas Rangers’ home loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Fox Sports Southwest averaged 65,440 total viewers, with the audience declining sharply once the debate started at 8 p.m.

Here are Monday’s local news derby results.

NBC5 swept the 10 p.m. competitions in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 again ran the table at 6 a.m. and NBC5 did likewise at 5 p.m. The 6 p.m. golds went to TEGNA8 in total viewers and NBC5 among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net