Home / Top Story / Audience for Clinton vs. Trump could shatter records

Audience for Clinton vs. Trump could shatter records

Audience for Clinton vs. Trump could shatter records

The ratings should be through the roof for Donald Trump's first clash with Hillary Clinton. 

The ratings should be through the roof for Donald Trump’s first clash with Hillary Clinton. 

(Evan Vucci/AP)

Don Kaplan

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Monday, September 26, 2016, 6:16 PM

There’s no debate here — the televised matchup between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is likely to draw a Super Bowl-sized audience — or more.

With more than 100 million viewers expected to tune in and watch one of the world’s most noxious reality TV stars square off against one of the world’s most noxious politicians, the telecast is likely to go down in history as one of the most-watched television events ever.

And that’s a big deal in our current media landscape that’s crowded with hundreds of cable channels and millions of web sites.

To put this all in perspective, this is going to be, as Trump would say, “yuge” — especially given all the emotional interest the Trump/Clinton throwdown has already generated, and that it’s set to unfold across no less than 11 broadcast and cable networks.

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In terms of presidential debates, the first 2012 matchup between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney drew a whopping 59.2 million viewers when it was broadcast on the most networks ever.

A SEPT. 15, 2016, PHOTO

Hillary Clinton will get her first crack at Trump on Monday. 

(Andrew Harnik/AP)

Factor in the people who watched “all or part of” the debate and that number swelled to about 67 million. Back then it was the most watched debate since 1992, when about 69.9 million people tuned in to watch George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Ross Perot.

In terms of overall exposure, we can expect that number to be left in the dust this year, due the enormous potential for a Clinton or Trump trainwreck and the exponential exposure on livestreams and web sites.

It may even approach or exceed the audience for the single most watched show ever: The 1983 series finale of “M*A*S*H,” which was seen by an estimated 105.9 million people.

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That’s about 15 million people short of the entire population of Mexico.

Could the audience for Trump vs. Clinton top the 112 million who tuned for the 2016 Super Bowl?

Could the audience for Trump vs. Clinton top the 112 million who tuned for the 2016 Super Bowl?

(Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Could the debate rank among the most-watched live broadcasts of all time?

Possibly.

But so far that distinction is held by the 2016 Super Bowl when nearly 112 million people watched the Denver Broncos defeat the Carolina Panthers 24-10, according to Nielsen.

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By Tuesday morning there will be lots of different “ratings” floating around. Among them will be at least one massive number that, while a little misleading, will encompasses an estimate of people who tune in for “all or part” or a telecast.

With 105.9 million viewers the 1983 series finale of "M*A*S*H" is the most watched televsion episode.

With 105.9 million viewers the 1983 series finale of “M*A*S*H” is the most watched televsion episode.

This will be the big one because if someone tunes in to the broadcast for even a few minutes, they will be measured.

So while last year’s Super Bowl drew about 112 million for the duration of the game, it also went down in history for pulling in roughly 170 million viewers — even if they didn’t watch more than a couple of the commercials.

That’s the equivalent to the entire population of Nigeria, the seventh most populated country on the planet, according to a recent UN estimate.

Tags:
donald trump
hillary clinton
2016 election
presidential debates

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