A huge audience -- an estimated 67.2 million people -- watched the first presidential debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney on Wednesday, according to ratings firm Nielsen.
The crowd levels represent a 28% increase over viewership for the first debate four years ago between then-Sen. Obama and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). That debate, in September 2008, garnered an audience of 52.4 million viewers.
Wednesday night's event was carried live from the University of Denver in Colorado across nearly a dozen channels. Romney was credited for a strong performance during the forum, moderated by Jim Lehrer, host of "NewsHour" on PBS.
Four television networks -- ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox News Channel -- each attracted more than 10 million viewers to their telecasts.