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Obama-Romney debate tumbles in TV ratings as viewers favor sports

October 23, 2012|By Scott Collins
  • Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, left, and President Barack Obama arrive on stage for the third and final presidential debate, moderated by Bob Schieffer (back) of CBS, at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, left, and President Barack… (Saul Loeb / AFP/Getty Images )

Americans are still interested in the White House race, but maybe a little less so if it interrupts their favorite sports.

Monday's third and final debate between President Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney drew a total of 59.2 million viewers across 11 networks, according to Nielsen.

That was down sharply from the 65.6 million who tuned in for the second debate on Oct. 16, and the 67.2 million who watched the first meetup back on Oct. 3.

But this week the debate faced competition from not just one but two popular live sports telecasts. ESPN's "Monday Night Football" featuring Chicago vs. Detroit averaged 10.7 million viewers, deeply cutting in to the debate's audience. And Game 7 of the National League Championship Series - with the San Francisco Giants moving past the St. Louis Cardinals to grab a World Series spot - drew 8.1 million.

The most-watched network for the debate was NBC, with 12.4 million total viewers. Fox News, which came in third with 11.5 million, hit a record for its most-watched scheduled telecast ever.

What did you think of the debate?

ALSO:

Second Obama-Romney debate draws 65.6 million viewers

Over-prepared Obama, Romney not at their best in final debate

Nielsen: 67.2 million people watched the first Obama-Romney debate

Twitter: @scottcollinsLAT

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