Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s town hall on Thursday night averaged 1 million more viewers than President Donald Trump’s town hall, which was broadcast on NBC, CNBC, and MSNBC, media outlets report.
Biden’s town hall on ABC averaged 13.9 million viewers while Trump amassed around 13 million on three channels, CNN reported. ABC News staffers were surprised when the early ratings came in, according to the publication.
Nielsen ratings measure viewers on televisions, but both events were live-streamed online to computers, phones and other devices.
Biden’s ABC telecast also had more viewers than Trump’s on a live YouTube stream Thursday night, Variety reported.
NBC received criticism for airing a town hall with Trump at the same time as Biden’s event, which had been announced by ABC a week earlier.
Biden and Trump were originally scheduled to participate in a second presidential debate but Trump backed out after the Commission on Presidential Debates decided the event would be held virtually due to COVID-19 precautions.
More than 100 actors, directors, producers and writers signed a letter demanding Trump’s town hall be moved so people could watch both live.
Democrats and activists urged others through social media to boycott Trump’s town hall.
After the first presidential debate, Trump boasted about the ratings on Twitter, writing: “HIGHEST CABLE TELEVISION RATINGS OF ALL TIME. SECOND HIGHEST OVERALL TELEVISION RATINGS OF ALL TIME. Some day these Fake Media Companies are going to miss me, very badly!!!”
The final presidential debate between Trump and Biden is scheduled for next Thursday, Oct. 22 and will be moderated by NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker.