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59.2 Million Viewers Watch Final Presidential Debate

Monday's Showdown Lowest-rated of Three, but Faced NFL, MLB Competition 10/23/2012 2:21 PM Eastern

An average of 59.2 million viewers watched the third and final presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney on Monday, according to Nielsen.

The foreign-policy debate, which aired live on 10 networks from approximately 9-10:30 p.m., was down 10% from the second debate this cycle, however it was up 5% from 2008's third presidential debate between Obama and Sen. John McCain.

It should should be noted that Monday's debate faced stiff competition from both ESPN's Monday Night Football (10.7M viewers) and Fox's coverage of Game 7 of the National League Championship Series, which drew 8.1 million viewers.

NBC led the broadcast net's with 12.4 million total viewers, followed by ABC (11.7 million) and CBS (8.4 million). Over on the cable networks, Fox News set a network record with 11.5 million, followed by CNN (5.81 million) and MSNBC (3.3 million).

September