The second, and more combative, presidential debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney attracted an audience of more than 65.6 million people, according to Nielsen.
Ratings were up nearly 4% for Tuesday night's debate at Hofstra University in New York, moderated by Candy Crowley, when compared with the second debate in 2008 between Obama and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz).
However, it was about 1.5 million fewer people than watched the first debate between Romney and Obama two weeks ago, when observers gave Obama low marks for his performance.
Ten television networks carried the debate live. NBC mustered the largest crowd with more than 13.8 million viewers. ABC News, part of the Walt Disney Co., had the second-most-popular telecast with 12.5 million viewers.