According to Hal Boedeker at the Orlando Sentinel, the cable news channel notched its most-watched telecast ever with the debate, which pulled in 11.5 million viewers, according to early ratings.
The previous high in the channel's 16-year history: 11.1 million viewers. Two telecasts reached that audience: the second presidential debate this year and the 2008 vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin.
FNC’s 11.5 million was also competitive with its broadcast competition, which was won by NBC with 12.4 million viewers, down from last week’s debate when NBC drew 13.8 million. NBC narrowly edged out ABC’s 11.7 million viewers, followed by CBS in a distant third-place with only 8.4 million.