The ratings are in, and although Fox was definitely hurt by the absence of el Trumpo, they easily trounced the coverage of his anti-debate temper tantrum rally.
From CNN Money:
Donald Trump counter-programmed Thursday’s GOP primary debate with his own prime time event. So whose show scored a bigger audience?
Answer: Fox’s debate. But it was the second lowest rated debate of the season. So Trump is certain to take credit for hurting the channel’s total viewership.
The first hour of Fox’s Trump-less debate had an 8.4 household rating, according to early Nielsen data on so-called metered markets.
This means 8.4% of American homes with TV sets were watching the face-off.
The second hour had an 8.3 rating, which means the audience was loyal even though Trump was absent.
By comparison, two of the cable channels that showed parts of Trump’s event, CNN and MSNBC, had about a quarter of Fox’s audience combined.
The most recent GOP debate, televised two weeks ago on the Fox Business Network, had a household rating of 7.4.
So Thursday’s debate was bigger — but not by much.
The other five GOP debates of the cycle have had household ratings ranging from 8.9 to 15.9.
Actual viewership numbers will be available later in the day on Friday. Fox News likely had 11 million to 13 million viewers for the debate.
This isn’t really an honest comparison. If we want to do that, we need to compare to the ratings from GOP debates from the last presidential cycle.
Florida GOP Debate Boosts CNN; Cable News Ratings for Thursday, January 26, 2012 http://t.co/91yQyJ7g
— Screener-TVBTN (@TVbytheNumbers) January 27, 2012
…the debate on CNN averaged 5.357 million vewers and 1.741 million adults 25-54 between 8-10p…
Uh, so this debate gor more than twice what a similar debate did last election cycle, but what I’m already hearing is the press only comparing these numbers to the highest rated debate of this cycle.
So ask yourself this – if Trump is so anti-establishment and anti-media, why are they all shouting his praises all of a sudden?