America's TV viewers seem to be losing interest in the Republican Party's presidential debates. Though the audience for Tuesday's fourth Republican debate, which aired from Milwaukee on Fox Business Network, was comparable to that for the Oct. 28 debate that aired from Boulder, Colorado, on CNBC, the viewership for both of those was significantly lower than the 24 million people who tuned in to the first GOP debate in August.
Fox Business Network's debate attracted 13.5 million viewers in prime time, according to preliminary data, the Hollywood Reporter wrote Wednesday. That’s not much different than the 14 million viewers who watched the CNBC debate.
The debate Tuesday night on Fox Business broke a “guaranteed” record for the company. “The youngest cable news network and Fox News Channel sister has never approached such highs before,” THR noted.
Though it might be a new high for Fox Business, the viewership for debates remained on the decline. The first debate, held Aug. 6 in Cleveland and broadcast on Fox News Channel, drew a whopping 24 million viewers. There was a similar success for CNN in September, when it raked in 23 million viewers for a broadcast from Simi Valley, California.
However, by the time CNBC hosted the Boulder debate, viewership dropped by about 10 million. And although Fox Business might have broken a record for its channel, it continued the downward trend.
While the debate trend might be going down, the events will continue. The next GOP debate will take place Dec. 15 in Las Vegas. It will be hosted by CNN and Salem Media Group, and naturally, it will air on CNN.
It’s unknown what the lineup will be, but the debaters on the GOP stage might look different from last time. Some were shocked when New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee failed to make the prime-time lineup in Milwaukee. With a month of debating left before the fifth battle takes place, there’s a chance some more candidates might drop out if there is a change in their poll numbers.
Follow me on Twitter @mariamzzarella