Americans tuned out Thursday’s final presidential debate between Joe Biden and President Trump in Nashville, Tenn. — perhaps fearing a repeat of the shambolic shouting match between the two septuagenarians last month.
Early ratings figures from the big four networks ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX averaged 21.4 million viewers during the 90-minute-plus slugfest, according to Deadline, down 21 percent from their first face-to-face brawl in Cleveland, Oh.
Those numbers are likely to increase when cable networks CNN, MSNBC and Fox News Channel report their audience totals later Friday but the Nielsen figures are way down compared to the blockbuster showdowns between Trump and Hillary Clinton four years ago.
ABC took the top spot for the second time, drawing in 8.9 million viewers.
Thursday evening’s figures were depressed by FOX playing Thursday Night Football’s showdown between the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles where the Giants continued their losing streak.
Even with FOX removed from the mix, the numbers across CBS, NBC and ABC were still down 6 percent.
One factor could be the fact that more than 40 million Americans have cast their votes and have already made up their minds about who they will support.
The Nashville debate was a far more civil affair than the chaotic showdown in Cleveland with NBC moderator Kristen Welker maintaining much more order than Fox News’ Chris Wallace.
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