Ratings: Second Debate Down Sharply vs. First Debate, Once Ticks Up

The second Presidential debate was down double digits compared to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s first showdown, and it appears football is the culprit.

UPDATE: The final numbers are in, and Debate No. 2 pulled in 60.3 million viewers across CBS, ABC, Fox, CNN, Fox News  Channel and MSNBC, off sharply versus the 84 million that watched the first debate.

ORIGINAL STORY: With NBC forgoing debate coverage in favor of its regularly scheduled Sunday Night Football, Sunday’s slugfest notched a 37.2 household rating and 53 share from the major networks — off 19 percent from the 46.2/63 overnight rating for Debate No. 1 (which ended up drawing a record 84 million viewers when the final numbers came in.)

CBS was the top broadcast draw with 10.4 rating, followed by ABC (7.3) and Fox (3.6). CNN, meanwhile, was tops among the cable networks with a 6.6.

Among the night’s very limited scripted offerings, Once Upon a Time enjoyed a nice uptick, attracting 4.6 million viewers and a 1.3 demo rating, a week-over-week gain of 24 and 18 percent, respectively.  ABC notes that Once scored its biggest audience since last November.

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