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Sean Daly, Michelle Stark and Sharon Kennedy Wynne

CNN says 3.6-million people watched its tea party debate in Tampa, a No.1 rating

13

September

877-rep4c.st_.55.jpg273-dntte.st_.55.jpgCNN's partnership with the Tea Party Express bringing a GOP debate to Tampa Monday won its timeslot in cable news, drawing 3.6-million viewers, according to ratings figures from the newschannel.

The number advertisers care about was 1.1-million; the number of adults aged 25 to 54 who watched the debate, featuring eight top Republican candidates for president from the Florida State Fairgrounds. Both the total viewers and 25 to 54 number beat highly-rated rival Fox News Channel, which drew just 1.9-million viewers total and 370,000 people aged 25 to 54, according to CNN.

Pundits mostly pronounced the debate a boon to Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann, who succeeded in stunning front-runner Rick Perry with well-timed attacks from his right on issues of requiring HPV vaccines for young girls and allowing childrne of illegal immigrants educaton credits toward college. Perry's stumbles were mother's milk for a conflict-hungry media, slowing the drive to anoint him the inevitable nominee.

CNN brought a host of resources to the broadcast, inlcuding anchors Wolf Blitzer, John King, Don Lemon and Ali Velshi, who broadcast from the fairground in Tampa for the entire weekend before the debate.

Looks like it paid off. See CNN's release below:

CNN’S REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES DEBATE WAS #1 LAST NIGHT IN BOTH TOTAL VIEWERS AND DEMO 25-54; DRAWS 3.6 MILLION VIEWERS

CNN Digital Live Video of the Debate Triples New Hampshire

According to Nielsen Fast National data (8-10pm), CNN’s Tea Party Republican debate moderated by Wolf Blitzer delivered 3.6 million total viewers and 1.1 million among adults 25-54 last night, Monday, September 12.  CNN ranked first in both total viewers and among the P25-54, topping second place FNC by +88% in total viewers (3.6m vs. 1.9m) and by +204% in the key demo (1.1m vs. 370k).  CNN also out-rated third place MSNBC by +455% among total viewers (3.6m vs. 643k) and by +599% among 25-54 (1.1m vs. 161k). 

Compared to CNN’s recent New Hampshire GOP debate (June 13, 2011), this debate increased 13% in total viewers (3.6m vs. 3.2m)  and grew +23% in the key demo 25-54 (1.1m vs. 918k) despite other big events last night including the season debut of Monday Night Football and the U.S. Open Men’s Finals. 

CNN.com – Global – 8-10 p.m.

· CNN.com recorded 4.0 million global page views during the 8 – 10 p.m. hours when the Tampa debate was live, up 9% over the prior 4-Monday average and up 17% from New Hampshire debate levels.

· With 609 thousand total video starts, levels were more than twice as high as the prior 4 Monday benchmark and 75% higher than the New Hampshire performance

· Live video hit 444.2 thousand streams, nearly 150 times as high as the prior 4 Monday benchmark and more than three times as high the New Hampshire debate.
The #cnnteaparty hashtag was the #1 trending topic globally and in the U.S. from 8:15 – 9:59 pm.

[Last modified: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 3:39pm]

    

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