No record, but debate viewership likely up over last one

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, left, stands with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton before the first presidential debate at Hofstra University, Monday, Sept. 26, 2016, in Hempstead, N.Y. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, left, stands with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton before the first presidential debate at Hofstra University, Monday, Sept. 26, 2016, in Hempstead, N.Y. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

NEW YORK (AP) — The third presidential debate appears likely to land between the record-setting first match between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and the second in terms of the number of Americans who tuned in on television.

The Nielsen company expects its complete viewership estimate later Thursday.

But for the major commercial broadcast and cable news networks, Nielsen estimated there were some 63.7 million viewers. When estimates for other networks that aired the debate, including PBS, are added in, the final viewership tally should approach 70 million viewers.

The first debate reached 84 million people, the most ever for a presidential debate, and the second had 66.5 million.

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