News Corp. (NWSA:US)’s Fox News led cable networks in last night’s debate between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney with 10.4 million viewers.
Time Warner Inc. (TWC:US)’s CNN was second with 6.05 million viewers and Comcast Corp. (CMCSA:US)’s MSNBC was third with 4.71 million, according to Nielsen data released today by Atlanta-based CNN. Nielsen plans to release detailed results later today, including the ratings of major broadcast networks.
Last night’s face-off, held at the University of Denver and moderated by PBS’s Jim Lehrer, was the first of three presidential debates before the Nov. 4 general election. The Fox channel, the most-watched cable news network, held its ratings edge through the evening, averaging 6.45 million viewers from 7 p.m. to midnight, the data show. CNN drew 3.72 million during that period, with MSNBC attracting 3.1 million.
News Corp., controlled by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rupert Murdoch, gained 0.9 percent to $24.98 at 3:19 p.m. in New York. The Class A stock (NWSA:US) had climbed 39 percent this year as of yesterday.
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