Los Angeles: A few weeks before the US presidential election on November 3, former Vice President Joe Biden led US President Donald Trump in a television ratings battle, and the two held a city hall that competed with voters.
According to ratings data released by Nielsen on Friday, Biden had an average of 15.1 million viewers during a 90-minute discussion on Walt Disney Co.’s ABC broadcast network. Trump earned $13.5 million in revenue from a 60-minute event conducted by Comcast Corp’s broadcaster NBC and its MSNBC and CNBC cable channels.
In an hour when both Trump and Biden aired, Biden’s average score was 14.3 million, while Trump’s was 13.5 million.
The prime-time city hall was arranged after canceling the debate originally scheduled at the same time. After changing to the virtual format, Trump withdrew from the debate.
Biden attacked Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic during an ABC event. At NBC, Trump defended the government’s response to the virus and personal actions.
NBC has been criticized for arranging Trump to face Biden after ABC has set up its events, forcing voters to choose candidates to watch the live broadcast. Trump often brags about his TV audience numbers.
In some markets, there is no direct competition. For example, in Los Angeles, ABC broadcasted Biden’s event live at 5 pm. Pacific time, and NBC played Trump’s recording at 8 pm Pacific time.