CNN's YouTube debate draws impressive ratings

Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) listens while U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) responds to a question during the CNN/YouTube democratic candidates debate in Charleston, South Carolina on the campus of The Citadel July 23, 2007. REUTERS/Chris Keane

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - Monday’s CNN-YouTube debate brought in pretty good numbers, delivering the highest viewership for a debate among adults 18-34 in cable news history.

The two-hour debate featured answers from the Democratic candidates responding to videos from YouTube users. It was moderated by CNN’s Anderson Cooper live on Monday night from the Citadel in Charleston, S.C.

The debate averaged 2.6 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research, making it the second-most-watched debate so far this season. It was just behind CNN’s June 3 Democratic candidates debate in New Hampshire, which averaged 2.8 million viewers, and ahead of Fox News Channel’s May 15 GOP candidates debate, which averaged 2.5 million viewers.

Included in the latest viewership numbers were 407,000 viewers in the coveted adults 18-34 demographic, which topped the previous record of 368,000 for the New Hampshire debate. Both are higher than the previous record holders, CNN’s February 15, 2000, GOP debate (357,000), Fox News Channel’s January 22, 2004, Democratic candidates debate (340,000) and MSNBC’s South Carolina debate on April 26, 2007 (327,000).

Among adults 25-54, another prized demo, the YouTube debate averaged 890,000 compared with 1.1 million for CNN’s New Hampshire debate.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter