HomeEntertainmentPresidential Debates 2020: How Did TV Ratings Compare to ‘Monday Night Football’?

Presidential Debates 2020: How Did TV Ratings Compare to ‘Monday Night Football’?

by Matthew Wilson
Photo credit: Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The first 2020 presidential debate drew in big numbers compared to Monday Night Football. With 27.3 million viewers, the debate had over 13 million more viewers than the NFL. A marquee matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens drew 14.02 million viewers, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

While the debate had more overall viewers, ratings were down compared to the Donald Trump/Hillary Clinton debates in 2016. Meanwhile, Monday (Sept. 28) marked the second consecutive week of improvement in ratings for Monday Night Football. The NFL has struggled this year in total viewership numbers.

‘Monday Night Football’ had an increase in viewership.

According to THR, the Chiefs/Ravens game delivered a 36 percent gain compared to at the same time last year. Last year’s game only garnered 10.33 million viewers. The game also aired on ESPN instead of a major broadcast network. The game also scored a 4.6 rating among adults 18-49, double the number for any other primetime program. For the past two weeks, ratings for the NFL have been up by at least 30 percent.

Sept. 21 marked the 50th anniversary for Monday Night Football. For that night, the franchise drew 15.44 million people.

The presidential debate had lower ratings compared to 2016.

In comparison, the presidential debate was down compared to the 2016 election, according to Deadline. The outlet said the final viewership number would change as outlets reported their numbers. But, Deadline doesn’t expect the number to reach close to that year’s first debate. The first 2016 Trump vs Clinton debate drew 84 million viewers, compared to this year’s 27.3 million viewers.

For the night, the presidential debate scored a 7.1 rating among adults 18-49.

Fox News reporter Chris Wallace moderated last night’s debate against Trump and Biden. The event was live-streamed via YouTube as well as news stations and online outlets. Wallace discussed various topics with the two candidates including: “The Trump and Biden Records,” “The Supreme Court,” “COVID-19,” “The Economy,” “Race and Violence in our Cities,” as well as “The Integrity of the Election.”

[H/T: Deadline, Hollywood Reporter]