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Town hall ratings: More people watched Biden on ABC than Trump on NBC, CNBC and MSNBC

ABC's live town hall event with Joe Biden Thursday night drew 14.1 million viewers, surpassing the final Nielsen ratings for NBC's town hall with President Trump, which was aired across NBC, MSNBC and CNBC and drew 13.5 million viewers in the same hour.

Why it matters: The president's lively hour-long town hall, moderated by Savannah Guthrie, was expected to trounce Biden's more calm, policy-focused hour and a half town hall event moderated by ABC's George Stephanopoulos.

Be smart: Nielsen's ratings include viewership on broadcast and cable channels that aired each town hall (ABC for Biden and NBC, MSNBC and CNBC for Trump), as well as viewership of those channels on internet-connected TVs and out-of-home viewership (viewership at bars, restaurants, etc.)

Between the lines: Prior to Thursday night's Trump town hall, NBC was slammed for agreeing to air its town hall at the same time as the ABC event.

  • “Today” host Guthrie drew both praise and criticism for her hard-hitting interrogation-style line of questioning to Trump.
  • The Biden town hall was comparatively very postured. It ran for a half hour longer than the Trump town hall.

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