The Trump debate which offered the counter – programming stunt successfully stole viewers from the Presidential debate of the Republicans.
Thursday night saw a GOP debate which offered the second lowest ratings of the season. Donald Trump, on the other hand, became the most widely talked about presidential candidate without even bothering to be at the debate.
While people were hoping for a Trump debate in the aftermath of several controversies related to the presidential hopeful, he decided to make his mark by depriving the popular network of his rating magnetism.
Although, there was no Trump debate for the viewers, but his rivals – Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz – still attracted a big audience through their own debate suggesting that Donald Trump’s powers may have limits.
There were 12.5 million viewers of Fox Channel’s debate which was aired between 9 and 11 p.m.
Two cable channels that showed the fundraising event attended by Donald Trump. These events were covered in part by CNN and MSNBC, but they still managed to get around 3 million viewers. Some small channels also showed the Trump event but no credible data is available regarding the viewership.
In realistic terms, the Trump event had no chance of out rating the GOP debate. However, experts are saying that Donald Trump made an appearance in order to deprive Fox of some of its viewers.
Fox had reported 25 million viewers – a record breaking number – for the Trump debate last August. During the same event, Donald Trump had clashed with the Fox Moderator Megyn Kelly. Donald Trump may have skipped Thursday’s debate in order to avoid facing Kelly again.
There was no hope that Fox news channel will be able to break its own record of 25 million viewers which was recorded during the previous Trump debate, but it if Donald Trump had participated in the debate, there would have been more viewers.
“They say that if I participated in last night’s Fox debate, they would have had 12 million more & would have broken the all time record.” Donald Trump posted on a social media website
Notwithstanding Donald Trump’s bluster, Thursday’s viewership did prove to be a disappointment for Fox.
The debate was a high-stakes event which was to be aired only a few days before the caucuses in the state of Iowa. There was much hype about the debate as viewers contemplated whether Trump will debate or not. There was wide coverage of the debate which should have giving the ratings a boost.
There was disappointment for Donald Trump too since his competing event on the two big new channels did not succeed in attracting more viewers either.
The other five Republican Party debates – including the famous Trump debate – boasted 13.5 to 25 million viewers.
Donald Trump has been claiming victory over Fox news due to the low viewership of its GOP debate which does seem plausible to some extent. However, there is one thing which we will never know: how many more people had watched the GOP debate if Trump had taken part in it?