AdImpact: 30% of Second GOP Presidential Primary Debate Viewers Streamed the Event

The second 2024 GOP Presidential Primary Debate on Sept. 27 from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., attracted about 30% of its 9.9 million viewers via Fox News-related streaming services, including SVOD platform Fox Nation, as well as online TV service YouTube TV, according to new data from AdImpact.

Courtesy of Fox Business Network

Co-moderated by FNC’s Dana Perino, co-host of “The Five” and co-anchor of “America’s Newsroom,” FBN’s “Varney & Co.,” host Stuart Varney and Univision’s Ilia Calderón,

Seven Republican presidential candidates, including Ron DeSantis, Vivek Ramaswamy, Nikki Haley, Tim Scott, Doug Burgum, Mike Pence, and Chris Christie, engaged in heated discussions about their ability to challenge President Biden in the upcoming election. Former President Donald Trump decided to skip the debate again.

Viewership did not surpass the 14.2 million viewers AdImpact estimated watched last month’s debate from Milwaukee. The debate viewership record was set at 23.9 million during the August 2015 Republican presidential debate.

The debate was also broadcast on Univision, which saw 1.2 million viewers at its peak. About 70% of viewers watched on cable, 13% on YouTube/YouTubeTV, and 17% utilized other streaming services.

Viewership peaked on Fox at 9:52 p.m. EST and at 9:39 p.m. EST on Univision. When the final question was asked around 10:46 p.m. EST, 8 million viewers were still tuned in.

Fox News Digital, according to Adobe Analytics, experienced a strong day of engagement across key performance indicators, notching double digit increases in key categories versus the average 2023 weekday. Across all Fox News Digital properties there were 22.8 million minutes watched between 9-11 PM/ET, marking the platform’s third highest day of engagement on the Fox News livestream this year. In terms of page views, Fox News Digital saw over 115 million views for the day. During the debate, Fox News Digital saw 702 thousand video starts, with users averaging 56 minutes per viewer. Across Fox News Digital properties the debate drove an average minute audience of nearly 200,000 between 9-11 PM/ET.

Additionally, Fox News’ livestream minutes were up 83% percent, video starts were up 65% percent and unique viewers were up 29% from the average 2023 weekday. Compared to the average 2023 weekday for Fox News Digital, overall video starts were up 22%, page views saw a 5% rise and total minutes were up 9%.

The third Republican debate will be held on Nov. 8 in Miami.

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Study: ‘Oppenheimer’ Most Marketed (TV Ads) Summer Theatrical Release

Universal Pictures’ biopic Oppenheimer, about the father of the atomic bomb John Robert Oppenheimer, proved to be a surprise summer box office hit despite the movie’s depressing theme.

To get the public to become moviegoers and consumers, Universal spent a lot on TV commercials marketing the Christopher Nolan-directed feature film’s theatrical and transactional VOD releases.

Of the 419,000 ad airings on television promoting 45 movies released between May 1 and Aug. 16, Oppenheimer saw the most ad airings on television — nearly double the airings of every other summer blockbuster, according to new data from AdImpact.

Out of the Top 10 movies based on ad airings, Disney distributed half of them, including Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3, Elemental, Indiana Jones, The Little Mermaid, and Haunted Mansion.

With Warner Bros. Pictures’ Barbie and Oppenheimer released on the same date, social media did the rest creating the “Barbenheimer” social phenomenon that contributed to both movies’ unexpected theatrical success.

When comparing both movies’ marketing, some interesting trends can be found. Oppenheimer had more than double Barbie’s ad airings on linear television and double Barbie’s television ad impressions. AdImpact found that Oppenheimer’s ads on connected televisions netted 28 million more impressions than Barbie’s CTV ads. However, while Oppenheimer more than doubled Barbie’s traditional ad airings, Barbie has made more than $1.34 billion at the global box office, compared to less than $800 million for Oppenheimer.

Barbie’s commercial success as the projected highest-grossing film released this year despite their television ad performance suggests a differentiated (non-TV ad) marketing focus with the movie’s reported $150 million marketing budget.

Notably, Oppenheimer had a marketing head start over Barbie. AdImpact found that Oppenheimer TV ads began appearing on traditional media beginning on March 12, with a 15-second ad highlighting the movie’s summer release. Comparatively, Barbie’s first ad dropped on May 21, with an ad that promised views that “if you love Barbie, this movie is for you. And “if you hate Barbie, this movie is for you.” After this point, Barbie’s ad airings on traditional media picked up steam, temporarily surpassing Oppenheimer’s ad airings until the movie nearly quadrupled its ad airings between July 2 and July 9. While Oppenheimer had more ad airings than Barbie, there are still ongoing ads for Barbie on traditional media as the movie chases the 2023 No. 1 theatrical box office title, while ads for Oppenheimer ended on July 30.

First GOP Presidential Primary Debate Attracts 14 Million Peak Viewers, Including Millions of Liberal Voters

The first GOP presidential primary debate of the 2024 election, held Aug. 23 in Milwaukee, generated an estimated 14.2 million viewers on Fox News at its peak, according to new data from AdImpact, which tracks data from a panel of 10 million smart TV devices.

Fox said “Democracy 24: Fox News Republican Primary Debate” notched 12.8 million viewers (citing Nielsen data) and was the highest-rated non-sports cable telecast of 2023, topping “Yellowstone,” which generated 8.2 million viewers on the Paramount Network. Fox said the debate drew a larger audience than the network’s previous debate in Iowa in January 2016 without then-candidate Donald Trump, which averaged 12.5 million total viewers.

Shutterstock image

Fox News Digital, according to Adobe Analytics, experienced a record day of engagement across its various platforms, including the Fox Nation subscription streaming service. The company’s digital properties drove an average minute audience of nearly 200,000 between 9-11 pm/EST, marking the platform’s highest day of minutes watched on the Fox News livestream this year.

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In terms of page views, Fox News Digital saw more than 125 million views for the day and during the debate, garnered more than 20 million minutes watched, with users averaging about 30 minutes per viewer. Additionally, Fox News’ livestream minutes (223%), video starts (285%) and unique viewers (205%), were all up triple digits from the average 2023 weekday.

Eight candidates took the stage last night, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former VP Mike Pence, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, and current South Carolina Senator Tim Scott. Other contenders included tech businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, North Dakota Gov. Doug  Burgum, former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, and former Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson. Former President Donald Trump skipped the debate.

Viewership peaked at 10:08 p.m. EST, around the time the debate moderators asked the candidates if they would support Trump as the party’s nominee even if he is convicted in a court of law, according to AdImpact.

When closing statements began at 10:53 pm EST, viewership ranged from 12 million to 11 million by the end of the debate. Of the TVs tuned in for at least 15 minutes, 72% watched on cable and 28% on various apps, with YouTube/YouTube TV the most prevalent.

Notably, 60% more liberal households (defined as supporting liberal causes) watched the debate than conservatives, according to Samba TV, which tracks viewership intel across 48 million connected televisions worldwide.

Samba attributed the imbalance to the fact that Trump opted out of the debate, and instead conducted a pre-taped interview with Tucker Carlson on the X (formerly Twitter) social media platform.

Despite being outnumbered in viewers, conservative households spent 3 more minutes on average watching the debate than liberal households. Of the households that watched, older (Aged 64+) households, white households, and more wealthy households (household income more than $200,000) generated the largest index in viewership.

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States that achieved the highest average minutes watched included Arkansas, Wyoming, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kentucky, Kansas, Idaho, and Rhode Island — each with at least 81 total average minutes watched, according to Samba.

States with the highest portion of viewers among its state consisted of Wyoming and West Virginia (both states had 10% of households tune in), followed by South Carolina (9% of households), then followed by Florida, Washington D.C., Iowa, Wisconson, Nebraska, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania, each with 8%.

The second Republican presidential primary debate will take place Sept. 27 on Fox  Business.

AdImpact: Super Bowl LVII Viewership Ballooned to 124 Million Ahead of Halftime Show

While Fox Sports said the average TV viewership for the Feb. 12 Super Bowl LVII between the victorious Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles reached 113 million, up about 1% over Super Bowl LVI, new data from AdImpact suggests the NFL’s annual championship game actually generated much higher viewership.

Citing quarter-by-quarter game data, AdImpact said a peak 124 million viewers tuned in during the second quarter after Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes re-injured his right ankle and ahead of the halftime show featuring singer Rhianna. Notably, viewership declined in the last quarter despite the close score.

During the national anthem, around 6:30 p.m. ET, viewership was at 77 million. By kickoff at 6:43 p.m. ET, 98.8 million fans were watching. With the ball in play, 104 million people watched as the Eagles’ scored their first touchdown.

Following the commercial break, the Chiefs bounced back, scoring their first touchdown less than 10 minutes later with 107.8 million viewers watching. Viewership continued to grow, with 114.6 million tuning in by the end of the first quarter.

In the second quarter, viewership continued to climb higher as the Eagles’ and Chiefs’ both traded touchdowns. The Eagles’ scored their third touchdown with 120 million viewers watching.

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Viewership peaked at the end of the second quarter shortly after the Eagles’ catch was challenged and overturned. Although viewership slightly decreased by 1 million at halftime, 123.5 million people tuned in to watch Rihanna’s show, which was notable as it was her first performance in six-plus years.

As the halftime performance wound down, viewership stood at 121 million to start the third quarter, with the Chiefs gaining possession. In the third quarter, viewership was defined by the beginning of the Chiefs’ comeback.

Viewership in Q3 peaked at 122 million views around 8:56 p.m. ET, around the same time the Chiefs scored their third touchdown. After the ad break, a key Eagles catch was challenged at 9:09 p.m. ET with 121.5 million watching. By the end of the quarter, 120 million viewers still tuned into the game.

In the fourth quarter, viewership slightly decreased to 119 million viewers. However, the game remained competitive. The Chiefs scored their fourth touchdown with 120 million watching. Following an Eagles’ touchdown and a two-point conversion, the game was tied at 35-35 with viewership at 118.9 million. Viewership would remain steady until it dropped to 109 million viewers at 10:04 p.m. ET, around the two-minute warning.

Following the two-minute warning, the viewership picked back up to 115 million as the Chiefs had possession and were nearing the goal line to claim the lead with a minute and a half to spare. Viewership began to steadily decline at 10:10 p.m. following a defensive holding call on the Eagles, allowing the Chiefs to run down the clock and seemingly close the door on the Eagles clinching the Lombardi trophy.

At the end of the game, 113.6 million viewers were watching. By the time of the Lombardi trophy celebration, viewership stood at 75.9 million.

“Viewership was 20% higher than last year’s Super Bowl,” Rick McGuire, director of sales at AdImpact, said in a statement. “The combination of a close game and a younger-skewed halftime show, made for the perfect combination to keep viewers interest right to the final seconds.”