TV audience went down for second Trump-Clinton debate

TV audience went down for second Trump-Clinton debateThe television audience for the second debate between White House contenders Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton fell sharply from their first, record-breaking encounter, despite the drama caused by a 2005 video of Trump boasting about groping women, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

Nielsen data for 11 broadcast, cable and public television channels on Monday showed that some 66.5 million Americans tuned into the bitter 90-minute debate on Sunday, well below the record 84 million that watched the first face-off two weeks ago.

The figures do not include millions more who watched the debate online, through social media or in bars and restaurants.

Second presidential debates tend to attract smaller TV audiences, but attention was high going into Sunday's matchup after the emergence of the Trump video prompted several Republican politicians to abandon him.

However, the second debate took place in the same time slot as NBC's popular "Sunday Night Football," which was watched by about 15 million Americans, Nielsen data showed. NBC did not carry the debate.

Sunday's debate, the second of three before the Nov. 8 election, was remarkable for the brutal nature of the exchanges between Trump and Clinton, his Democratic rival.

The TV audience ranked below the nation's top 10 most-watched presidential encounters, and below that for President Barack Obama's first and second 2012 debates with Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

Last week's vice presidential debate between Republican Mike Pence and Democrat Tim Kaine drew 37 million Americans - the lowest audience for a VP debate since 2000.
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