Advanced Television

Nielsen: 84m watch US Presidential debate

September 28, 2016

The US Presidential debate between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump on September 26th drew 84 million US television viewers according to Nielsen, a record for such an event and numbers rarely seen on TV in the age of digital streaming.

The audience for the debate beat the 1980 record of 80.6 million set by the Jimmy Carter-Ronald Reagan face off.

The estimated ratings figure included people who watched the encounter across 13 US cable and broadcast networks and public television station PBS. The TV figures did not include millions of people who watched the debate online through social media, or in public arenas such as bars and restaurants.

YouTube reported nearly 2 million live concurrent streams of the debate on its platform.

The National Football League’s annual Super Bowl attracts more than 100 million viewers, making it the biggest U.S. TV event.

Monday’s debate was the first of three scheduled between Clinton and Trump before the November 8th election. The other two are set for October 9th and Octoebr 19th.

Meanwhile, CDN specialist Akamai has revealed that the Presedential debate saw streaming traffic peak at levels close to the 2016 Rio Olympics. In a statement, the company said: “Live video streaming traffic from [the] Presidential debate peaked at 4.4 Tbps on the Akamai platform, nearing the Rio games’ highest single event peak of 4.5 Tbps during the women’s team gymnastics final.”

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