PBS NewsHour Democratic Primary Debate Reaches a Combined Television Audience of 8.03 Million Viewers

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More than 900,000 Views of PBS NewsHour Debate Live Stream


WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 12, 2016) – PBS NewsHour’s Democratic Primary Debate moderated by Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff reached a gross average audience of 8.03 millionviewers on PBS and simulcast on CNN. According to Nielsen Fast National Data, the debate’s broadcast on PBS stations nationwide reached more than 3.9 million viewers (2.5 household rating), and was seen on CNN by 4.1 million viewers (2.6 household rating). PBS NewsHour’s livestream of the debate generated more than 900,000 total views. 

The PBS audience for the debate was double the PBS season-to-date primetime average (Persons 2+ delivery, Live+Same Day).

The debate between Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton was the first since the New Hampshire Primary on Tuesday, February 9, 2016 and was sanctioned by the Democratic National Committee. It was held at the Helen Bader Concert Hall in the Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts on the main campus of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. 

About PBS Election 2016
PBS Election 2016 is a year-long, cross-platform initiative that brings together PBS’ news, public affairs, documentary and digital programming to create a comprehensive look at the 2016 election cycle. Acclaimed series PBS NewsHour, Frontline and Washington Weekwith Gwen Ifill, as well as new and returning series and specials such as 16 for ’16 and America by the Numbers, will cover breaking news, provide context for political issues and explore behind-the-scenes stories of the candidates and the election process. PBS Election 2016 also includes a partnership with NPR in which the two organizations will share information across broadcast, radio and digital platforms.

About PBS
PBS, with over 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month PBS reaches more than 103 million people through television and over 33 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear the diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and its website, pbskids.org, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.

About WETA
WETA is one of the largest producing stations of news content for public television in the United States and serves Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia with educational initiatives and with high-quality programming on four digital television channels. WETA productions and co-productions include PBS NewsHour, Washington Week with Gwen Ifill, America After Charleston, The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize, The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song and documentaries by filmmaker Ken Burns, including The Roosevelts: An Intimate History and the April 2016 premiere of Jackie Robinson. WETA studios and administrative offices are located in Arlington, Virginia. More information on WETA and its programs and services is available at www.weta.org.

About PBS NewsHour
PBS NewsHour is seen by over four million weekly viewers and is also available online, via public radio in select markets, and via podcast. PBS NewsHour is a production of NewsHour Productions LLC, a wholly-owned non-profit subsidiary of WETA Washington, D.C., in association with WNET in New York. Major funding for PBS NewsHour is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS and public television viewers. Major corporate funding is provided by BNSF and Lincoln Financial Group, with additional support from Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, the J. Paul Getty Trust, the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Lemelson Foundation, National Science Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Ford Foundation, Skoll Foundation, Friends of the NewsHour and others. More information on PBS NewsHour is available at www.pbs.org/newshour. On social media, visit NewsHouron Facebook or follow @NewsHour on Twitter.

Media Contacts:

Nick Massella, PBS NewsHour


Carrie Johnson, PBS

David Helfenbein, DKC News 

Chris Pigott, DKC News