To say TV viewers were anticipating last night’s first official presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is an understatement, with this epic face-off racking up some unbelievable ratings.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, last night’s debate broke all records to become the most-watched presidential debate in history, with a whopping 83.7 million U.S. viewers tuning in (the previous record was set by Ronald Reagan debating Jimmy Carter in 1980, watched by 80 million, albeit in an era when the television landscape was significantly less competitive than it is today).
This puts the debate on track to be one of the year’s highest-rated television broadcasts, and will likely only be topped by Super Bowl 50, which drew a TV audience in excess of 100 million — although, to be fair, the Super Bowl had Beyonce.
However, the final numbers have yet to be tallied, notes THR; when streaming numbers are added (the debate was streamed online via outlets including Facebook, Twitter, CNN and Facebook) expect the history-making debate to have been watched by even more.
Trump and Clinton will return for a second debate on Monday, Oct. 9.