Fox Business Network Sets Records With GOP Debate

Tuesday night was a great night for the Fox Business Network as over  13.5 mllion people watched the Republican debate on the cable outlet.Clearly it was the biggest audience to watch a program on FBN and no doubt there were plenty of first time viewers of the network.  The number’s on television as well as those streaming the events were eye popping.

According to numbers provided to News Talk Florida by FBN  the  primetime Republican presidential primary debate, presented along with the Wall Street Journal, delivered 13.5 million total viewers and 3.7 million in the key age 25-54 demo according to Nielsen Media Research, making it the highest rated program in the network’s history.

The debate was also the most watched livestreaming primary event ever, peaking with more than 1.4 million concurrent streams according to Akamai, beating out NBC’s 2015 Super Bowl which saw 1.3 million concurrent livestreams and CNN’s 921,000 concurrent streams for the September 16th GOP debate.

FBN also scored big numbers in the under card debate, moderated by FBN’s Sandra Smith, Trish Regan, and WSJ’s Gerald Seib, averaged 4.7 million total viewers and 866,000 viewers in the A25-54 demo, which topped rival CNBC’s early debate by 188 percent.

Going deeper into FBN coverage the combined event was also a driving force on social media. Nielsen Social TV ratings ranked the debate as the number one event on Twitter last night with 6 million tweets and 180 million impressions, beating out all other programs across the board. Additionally, FBN hit all-time record highs in Interactions on Twitter including Total Interactions, Retweets, Favorites and Replies according to Socialbakers.

Among the news media, FBN scored the night’s top social post. Fox Business generated nearly 65,000 total actions for its Facebook post promoting the start of the debate. Additionally, total actions for FOX Business increased 1009% from Monday to Tuesday, more than other news media organizations covering the debate, according to Shareablee.

Thus far the Republican presidential debates overall have been a ratings bonanza for networks.

Tuesday’s debate represented the smallest stage yet, with four candidates in the undercard debate and eight candidates, including front-runner Donald Trump, in the two-hour prime-time event.

A 4

Republicans candidates were very pleased with the Fox Business moderators for their handling of the debate. To their credit Maria Bartiromo, Neil Cavuto, and Gerard Baker of the Wall Street Journal were on point all night.

Cavuto set a very different tone at the beginning by asking Donald Trump about calls for a higher minimum wage. He asked, “Are you sympathetic to the protesters’ cause, since a $15 wage works out to about $31,000 a year?” Meanwhile, if you compare that to CNBC’s first question that was about each candidate’s “biggest weakness,” so you can see how the GOP contenders were happier with FBN.


Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.