Americans tuned in to the Vice-Presidential debate, especially in key states

Blog Post by Jen Wiese, Content Marketing Manager

October 9st, 2020

Fewer people usually tune-in to watch Vice Presidential debates than Presidential debates but the 2020 U.S. election is proving to be anything but predictable.


In fact, interest was high for the Pence vs Harris debate this week, with just slightly lower viewership (0.5%) than the earlier high-profile Presidential debate between Trump vs Biden. Also worth noting: pre-debate traffic for the Vice-Presidential debate was 10% higher this year than seen for the first Presidential debate.


Limelight helped deliver live streaming to debate viewers worldwide this week with some different and interesting results. Compared to a typical Tuesday night, overall traffic volume was 30% higher, indicating unusually strong interest in the debates. We can also see peak traffic and then decline:

  • ◾ At 9:30pm EST traffic peaked, just 30 minutes after the start
  • ◾ After 9:30pm EST, traffic declined 1% every 10 minutes until the end of the debate.
  • ◾ In comparison, the first Presidential debate didn’t see traffic decline until 11pmEST


The data also indicates that the highest volume of Limelight traffic was coming from three key states of Maryland, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, plus the District of Columbia.


The votes were cast for device type preference and SmartTV won out as the primary device used (44%). One in three viewers watched the debate on their phone (34%), leading web browsers (22%), perhaps indicating they were multi-tasking while watching.


Stay tuned for more updates as the election season progresses!