The (TV ratings) race for the White House
As far as TV ratings go, last week’s presidential debate was a loser, drawing the one of the smaller audiences in modern history. It should be a different story for tonight’s vice-presidential debate.
For one thing, the presidential debate between John McCain and Barack Obama, which drew just 52 million people, took place on a Friday night, never a great night for TV viewing. By contrast, the match-up between Sarah Palin and Joe Biden comes on a Thursday night, usually a big TV viewing night.
Besides, even though Katie Couric’s interviews with Palin only had a modest impact on CBS News ratings, as the New York Times points out, there is nonetheless a great deal of interest in the Republican vice presidential candidate.
“This is going to be a hugely rated debate,” said Chuck Todd, political director of NBC News, told the Hollywood Reporter. ”Whether you’re a fan of hers or you’re not a fan, it’s a white-knuckle affair.”
The Associated Press tells us: “The most-watched vice presidential debate ever was in 1984, when 56.7 million people watched Vice President Bush take on Geraldine Ferraro, the first woman on a major party ticket.”
We’ll soon see how tonight’s numbers stack up.
Keep an eye on:
- Advertising group WPP declared its offer for bid target Taylor Nelson Sofres final and will not increase it (Reuters)
- Playboy magazine is launching a search for models to pose for its upcoming feature, “Women of Wall Street” (Reuters)
- News and information publisher Thomson Reuters reaffirmed its full-year outlook although it said the financial crisis hitting many customer banks would hurt the company in the short term (Reuters)