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Debate Averages More than 15.34 Million Viewers Across CBS, BET and BET Her

CBSN Delivers Best Day of All Time for Streams and Unique Viewers

CBS News delivered the largest single-network broadcast of a Democratic presidential debate this cycle, according to Nielsen live plus same day ratings for Tuesday, Feb. 25.

The CBS News Democratic debate was watched by 15.34 million viewers across CBS, BET and BET Her from 8:00 PM to 10:08 PM. It was CBS’ strongest Tuesday night of the season.

A record 14.78 million viewers with 3.85 million adults in the 25-54 demographic watched the debate on the CBS Television Network. BET and BET Her, subsidiaries of ViacomCBS, delivered an additional 556,000 viewers with 210,000 in the advertiser-desired adults 25-54 demographic.

CBSN, CBS News’ 24/7 digital streaming news service, set new all-time viewership records on Tuesday, Feb. 25. CBSN drew a record 21.8 million streams and 15.1 million unique viewers for the day. On OTT platforms, the average watch time was 90 minutes per viewer for the day.

The debate was moderated by CBS EVENING NEWS anchor and managing editor Norah O’Donnell and CBS THIS MORNING co-host Gayle King, who were joined in the questioning by FACE THE NATION moderator and CBS News senior foreign affairs correspondent Margaret Brennan, chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett and 60 MINUTES correspondent Bill Whitaker.

The post-debate program on CBS, produced by CBSN, delivered 5.6 million viewers, with 1.4 million of them adults 25-54.

The debate was presented in partnership with the Congressional Black Caucus Institute. Twitter was a debate partner. The debate featured the candidates: former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg; former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg; Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren; Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders; former Vice President Joe Biden; Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar; and businessman Tom Steyer. Candidates faced a wide range of questions on issues ranging from education, public health, race, foreign policy and military affairs, national security, gun control, health care and the economy.

The debate and the post-event program were presented on CBS and CBSN. The post-debate coverage was produced by CBSN and anchored by Elaine Quijano and included interviews with Biden, Sanders, Warren, Klobuchar, Buttigieg and Steyer.

The CBS News debate was the final faceoff for the candidates before the key South Carolina primary and Super Tuesday.

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Press Contacts:

Christa Robinson


Lance Frank


Annie Rohrs