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Presidential Debate #1

Limelight Viewership Up 48% Compared to Typical Tuesday Night Traffic

Blog Post by Jen Wiese, Content Marketing Manager

October 1st, 2020

Presidential Debate #1: Limelight Viewership Up 48% Compared to Typical Tuesday Night Traffic

People who expected fireworks at the first presidential debate of 2020 last night weren’t disappointed, but the early numbers from the broadcast networks show a far smaller audience watched than anticipated.

 

Early figures are running well behind the record-setting debate from 2016. Fast national ratings for the broadcast networks show the debate with President Trump and Joe Biden had 28.82 million viewers across ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox, which is a decline of 36 percent from 2016. Four years ago, the big four networks totaled 45.3 million viewers in the preliminary ratings.

 

Limelight helped deliver live streaming to viewers worldwide last night with some different and interesting results. Compared to a typical Tuesday night, overall traffic volume was 33% higher and at one point, viewership peaked at 48% higher than average, indicating unusually strong interest. We can also see peak traffic periods that correlate with when two key issues were discussed:

 

  • ◾ At 9:45pm traffic spiked when the candidates discussed racial issues
  • ◾ At 10:20pm traffic spiked when the candidates discussed climate change

 

The data also indicates that the highest volume of Limelight traffic was coming from four battleground states: California, Texas, Florida and New York. In Florida, traffic dropped off during the second hour, while California, Texas and New York sustained their high viewership for the entire debate.

 

Stay tuned—literally—for more data and insights following the next debates, October 15 and October 22.