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Debate could get blockbuster ratings

Monday, September 26, 2016 - 01:41

TV networks could be the big winners from Monday's presidential debate because the event is expected to attract Super Bowl-sized ratings. Lisa Bernhard reports.

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A political slug-fest of Super Bowl proportions? That's the buzz ahead of Monday's first presidential debate. Media experts predicting a whopping 100 million viewers - not only blowing past prior feisty political match-ups but potentially rivaling the pigskin classic - traditionally the most-watched program of the year. Reuters entertainment reporter Jill Serjeant: SOUNDBITE: JILL SERJEANT, ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER, REUTERS, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "There's an element of danger here. Trump has proven himself to be a complete wild card. We just never know what he's going to come out with. And he's a showman: this is a guy who also made his name as a reality TV star. On the other hand, we have Hillary Clinton. She's the first female to be running for president in the US. So that makes it a really high-stakes event." At worst, viewership should still eclipse that of the all-time top-rated debate: 1980's face-off between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, which pulled in 80 million viewers. But remember: that face-off took place way before the internet, and even cable, splintered the viewing audience. By comparison, this year's Oscars - a ratings giant - pulled in a just 34 million viewers. The wildly optimistic predictions for the Clinton-Trump duel also stemming from the two having already spun some Nielsen gold: his GOP convention speech is the year's third most-watched event, her rival moment scored a 5th-place finish. The Trump-Clinton face-off will air from New York's Hofstra University across multiple networks for 90 minutes without commercial breaks.

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Debate could get blockbuster ratings

Monday, September 26, 2016 - 01:41