Sunday 25 September 2016

Donald Trump factor helps Fox News shatter ratings record

Published 07/08/2015 | 20:29

Republican 2016 U.S. presidential candidate and businessman Donald Trump REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Republican 2016 U.S. presidential candidate and businessman Donald Trump REUTERS/Brian Snyder

An estimated 24 million Americans watched Fox News Channel's prime-time debate with the top 10 Republican presidential candidates, the highest-rated broadcast in the network's history.

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Thursday's debate ratings more than doubled Fox News's best ratings in the past, for election night 2012, the Nielsen company said. A debate with seven lower-polling candidates earlier in the day had 6.1 million viewers.

The debate turned into a slugfest, with front-runner Donald Trump in particular feeling the heat.

Read more: Billionaire businessman Donald Trump refuses to rule out running for White House as an independent

He tweeted out criticism of the network's three moderators as "not very good or professional" and retweeted a message from a supporter who called the network's Megyn Kelly a "bimbo".

Fox News chairman Roger Ailes defended his moderators, calling them "the best political debate team ever put on television".

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