Clinton-Trump first presidential debate is the most viewed ever

Patrons fill the Capitol Lounge two blocks from the U.S. Captiol to watch the first presidential debate between Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton September 26, 2016 in Washington, DC.
Getty Images
Patrons fill the Capitol Lounge two blocks from the U.S. Captiol to watch the first presidential debate between Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton September 26, 2016 in Washington, DC.

Monday night's presidential debate was the most watched ever on TV and digital.

Nielsen reported 84 million people tuned into the first presidential debate between nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on Monday evening. (C-SPAN is not rated.)

For comparison, the previous most watched debate was the 1980 debate between then Gov. Ronald Reagan and President Jimmy Carter with 80.6 million viewers. The most watched 2012 debate only brought in 67.2 million viewers.

The debate was also livestreamed on YouTube, and, for the first time, on Facebook and Twitter. Facebook reported that there were 55 million viewers of debate-related live videos on its platform, though it was unclear if all were watching the actual debate. The company reported that 18.6 million people in the U.S. created 73.8 million likes, posts, comments and shares on debate-related topics.

YouTube saw nearly 2 million live concurrent viewers, and 3 million live watch hours among the six news networks that used its platform to livestream. The debate was the most concurrently live viewed political event on YouTube, as well as one of its top livestreams. It received 88 million views on all of its debate-related videos.

This debate had a 14 times larger live viewership, five times higher watch time and 4 times larger peak concurrent viewers than when YouTube livestreamed the 2012 presidential debates, according to the company.

Twitter, which partnered with Bloomberg for its livestream, did not reveal its livestream numbers by the time of publication. Nielsen reported that there were 17.1 million Twitter interactions from 2.7 million people.