Withthe candidates at the top of the ticket setting an all-time audience mark withtheir initial confrontation, the vice presidential debate was not expected toapproach that viewership level and the war of words and manners betweenRepublican Mike Pence and Democrat Tim Kaine certainly did not measure up.
Accordingto live + same-day data from NielsenHoldings, nearly 37.2 million watched the Kaine-Pence debate onOct. 5 from Longwood University in Farmville, Va., across nine networks from 9p.m. to 10:30 p.m. ET. Elaine Quijano, a correspondent of News and anchor forstreaming news service CBSN,served as the moderator.
Thatwas a far cry from the record84.0 million who watched the first presidential debate on Sept. 26between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton across 13 networks, according to live+ same-day data from Nielsen. Their meeting last month at Hofstra Universitysupplanted the 80.6 million who watched Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter squareoff on Oct. 28, 1980 as the most-watched debate in U.S. history.
Pence-Kainealso came up 28% short of the 51.4 million average audience on 12 networks forthe Oct. 12, 2012 vice presidential debate matching Democrat Joe Biden andRepublican Paul Ryan, not to mention the 2008 forum featuring Biden and GOPcandidate Sarah Palin, which set the mark for such meetings with 69.9 millionwatchers across 11 networks.
TheOct. 4 telecast pitting Kaine, a senator from Virginia, and Pence, the governorof Indiana, was the least-watchedvice presidential debate since 29 million saw Republican Dick Cheney engagewith Democrat Joe Lieberman in 2000.
Thefigures for the debates exclude those who watched online, via social mediaoutlets, or such out-of-home venues as bars, restaurants, community centers anddormitories.
Whilevice presidential debates historically command less attention than those fromthe presidential nominees, the Pence-Kaine affair was also hamstrung to someextent because it had fewer outlets providing coverage. and Spanish-languagebroadcast networks Univision(US), Telemundo(US) and Azteca(US) did not televise the event, after airing Clinton-Trump.
Thesecond presidential debate, scheduled fromWashington University in St. Louis, will not be televised by , which will air the "SundayNight Football" matchup between two of the NFL's flagship franchises, theGreen Bay Packers and New York Giants. The upcoming Trump-Clinton showdowncould also encounter service disruptions emanating from Hurricane Matthew.