Back to top

Comcast NBC: Record-High Viewers for Presidential Debate

Read MoreHide Full Article

Comcast Corporation’s (CMCSA - Free Report) NBC broadcasting network has outshined rivals in terms of viewership numbers for the first presidential debate of the year. The channel recorded a total of 18.2 million viewers, marking the highest count since 1992. Moreover, adding NBS’s MSNBC coverage reached the tally to about 23.1 million. The high viewership numbers meant that NBC led the Nielsen ratings for the coverage. Interestingly, this year’s presidential debate has been the most-watched one in history, per Nielsen ratings.

How Did the Rivals Fare?

The Walt Disney Company (DIS - Free Report) -owned American Broadcasting Company (ABC) and CBS Corporation (CBS - Free Report) saw 13.5 million and 12.1 million viewers, respectively, lagging NBC’s figures by a wide margin. NBC also scored high in the 25–54 demographic, where its tally of 8.3 million viewers outpaced ABC‘s 4.75 million and CBS’ 4.8 million. Notably, the 25–54 age bracket serves as a key demographic indicator for advertisers, especially during coverage of presidential debates and elections.

Cable Network Figures

In the basic cable network category, Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc.’s Fox News emerged a winner with 11.36 million viewers. Meanwhile, The Cable News Network (CNN) managed the second position with 9.3 million viewers. MSNBC averaged 4.9 million viewers, taking NBC’s total to 23.1 million which trumped the count of all other networks. In the 25–54 age group, CNN took the lead with 4.4 million viewers, while Fox News and MSNBC recorded 3.5 million and 1.9 million, respectively.

The Bottom Line

Of late, NBC has been raising quite a hue and cry over viewership ratings. Recently, the company recorded 21 successive Nielsen nightly rating wins, mainly driven by the broadcast of the Summer Olympics in Rio. We believe that continual positive ratings for the network will attract advertisers in the coming debates which will boost the top line significantly. This is sure to help Comcast put a check on the cord cutting it has been witnessing in the pay TV industry.

Comcast currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Confidential from Zacks

Beyond this Analyst Blog, would you like to see Zacks' best recommendations that are not available to the public? Our Executive VP, Steve Reitmeister, knows when key trades are about to be triggered and which of our experts has the hottest hand. Click to see them now>>

In-Depth Zacks Research for the Tickers Above

Normally $25 each - click below to receive one report FREE:

CBS Corporation (CBS) - free report >>

Walt Disney Company (The) (DIS) - free report >>

Comcast Corporation (CMCSA) - free report >>

More from Zacks Analyst Blog

You May Like