NBC's debate with Harris and Biden is the highest democratic debate in history
About 18.1 million viewers turned on the debate over three television channels – NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo – according to Nielsen ( NLSN )
The previous record for one Democratic debate was set up in October 2015, when 15.5 million viewers received CNN for the first debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders to the high season.
As expected from political experts, the debate on Thursday sparked even more interest, probably because the highest-polled candidates were on stage together for the first time.
The high ratings have surpassed the expectations of NBC executives and others on television surprised industry. Democratic officials have cheered the news.
"The more people watching our candidates, the more people our candidates will like," said DNC Chairman Tom Perez of The Washington Post.
NBC clearly benefited from its decision to carry debate over three channels, including in Spanish via Telemundo.
And the two-day event benefited from a huge early interest in the presidential election.
Ratings still lag far behind Trump-fueled records for Republican primary debates Trump's first-ever debut in August 201
5 helped attract 24 million viewers to Fox News. His second time, the following month, brought in 23 million viewers on CNN.
All of these totals come from the Nielsen system for television ratings, counting viewers watching TV at home.
The vast majority of major events Viewing is still done this way, but online streaming is also playing an increasingly important role. This week's debates were broadcast live on YouTube, Facebook [ FB ) Twitter ( TWTR ), and NBC's own websites.
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