Obama’s simulcast is the first to be aired by a presidential candidate since Ross Perot ran a political telecast on the eve of Election Day in 1996. That program was watched by 16.8% of all households nationwide.
Ross Perot also ran a series of 15 political telecasts during the 1992 presidential election.
In comparison, the final debate between the two presidential candidates received a 38.3 household rating in the top 56 local TV markets. The candidates’ first debate on September 26 received a 34.7 household rating in the top 55 markets; their second debate, on October 7, received a 42.0 household rating in those markets.
Among the top 56 local metered markets, the Baltimore market had the largest TV audience, with a household rating of 31.3, while the Portland market had the lowest household rating: 14.2.
One rating point equals 1% of the total TV households in a given market.
(by H.H. rating)
|Market||Market Rank |
(by population size)
|Household Rating |
(% of U.S. households
that watched debate)
|3||West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce||38||28.0|
|7||Washington, DC (Hagrstwn)||9||26.8|
|10||Hartford & New Haven||30||25.1|
|Source: The Nielsen Company (October 29, 2008).|
View ratings for Nielsen’s 56 top local metered markets.Obama’s infomercial aired live on CBS, NBC, FOX, UNIVISION, MSNBC, and NY1 Wedne