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NewsNation and The CW Network Deliver More Than 4 Million Viewers for GOP Presidential Primary Debate

A Record of Nearly 1.6 Million Viewers Tune-In to NewsNation

More than 2.5 Million Watch Simulcast on The CW Network, Biggest Audience Since 2018

NewsNation and The CW Network combined to deliver more than 4 million viewers Wednesday night for the final GOP Presidential primary debate before the Iowa caucuses. NewsNation, the fastest-growing network in primetime cable news, garnered the largest audience in its history with nearly 1.6 million viewers across the United States tuning in; among adults 25 to 54, the debate was watched by more than 350,000 viewers, according to Nielsen Fast Nationals. The CW Network, which simulcast the debate, delivered more than 2.5 million viewers and nearly 500,000 viewers among adults 25 to 54, making the debate The CW’s most watched primetime program since 2018. In the New York City market, the nation’s largest DMA, WPIX-TV’s broadcast of the debate was #1 in primetime, drawing more than 300,000 total viewers.

“NewsNation was incredibly honored to host last night’s debate, and we are very pleased that so many viewers tuned-in and watched,” said Sean Compton, President of Networks for Nexstar Media. “This debate represents a remarkable achievement for a cable news network that is just barely three years old. We’re very proud of the NewsNation team, the great job done by the moderators, and the overall production. In the end, the real winners last night were the nation’s voters.”

NewsNation has been growing exponentially over the last year, according to Nielsen. In weekday primetime, the network is up 73% in total viewers and up 90% among adults 25 to 54, year-to-date, compared to the same time last year.

Prior to the debate, NewsNation aired “Countdown to the NewsNation Republican Primary Debate,” a two-hour news special hosted by Chris Cuomo and chief Washington anchor Leland Vittert. Mr. Cuomo and Mr. Vittert also hosted two hours of post-debate analysis and commentary from Political Editor Chris Stirewalt and a variety of NewsNation reporters and contributors. Ratings for those broadcasts are expected later today.

Preliminary digital results indicate that nearly 400,000 users livestreamed some portion of the debate via the NewsNation website or mobile app, with the app reaching record numbers.

About NewsNation

NewsNation, a Nexstar Media Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: NXST) property, is the fastest-growing national cable news network in primetime reaching nearly 70 million television households across the United States. Validated by independent watchdog groups, NewsNation is America’s source for engaging and unbiased news, which reflects the full range of perspectives across the country. The network draws on the local and national expertise of Nexstar Media Group’s 5,500 journalists in 110 newsrooms across the country. NewsNation is available on every major cable and satellite providers, streaming platforms including YouTubeTV, Hulu, DirecTV Stream, FuboTV and Sling, online at, and on the NewsNationNow app available on Android and iOS.

About The CW Network

The CW Network, LLC is one of America’s major broadcast networks and reaches 100% of US television households. The CW delivers 15 hours of primetime entertainment programming per week in addition to over 300 hours of sports per year as the broadcast home to LIV Golf, ACC football and basketball games, “Inside the NFL,” WWE NXT beginning in 2024 and NASCAR Xfinity Series beginning in 2025. The fully ad-supported CW App, with more than 96 million downloads to date, is available for free to consumers on all major platforms and is home to the latest episodes and seasons of The CW’s primetime programming, live streaming of LIV Golf tournaments and a library of entertaining film and television content for on-demand viewing. The CW is 75%-owned by Nexstar Media Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXST), a leading diversified media company and largest CW affiliate group with 42 CW and CW Plus affiliates, covering 39% of the population. For more information about The CW, please visit


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