Americans love football. Nine out of the ten most popular TV shows in the United States were Super Bowl games. But, things are changing. According to Sling TV, an Internet TV aggregator, far more people watched the first Clinton-Trump presidential debate than Monday Night Football.
Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch said, "We know our customers love football, but last night it wasn't even close. At its peak, the debate had 68 percent more viewers than football -- Clinton versus Trump sacked football on Monday night. And just in case you were wondering just how popular these events were, we shattered all previous viewership records."
The last part isn't that surprising. Suspecting that Clinton vs Trump would be TV gold, Sling TV offered a special free sample of its Sling Orange service. Orange is Sling TV's single stream service. It features more than 25 channels for $20 per month. Sling Orange includes popular networks such as ESPN, CNN, AMC, Comedy Central, and Bloomberg Television.
People didn't just step in for a moment to watch the debate. Lynch noted that once viewers "started watching the debate, you couldn't stop. More than 10x as many people watched the debate in its entirety vs football on Sling Orange."
Even after the debate was over, people were tuning in for the news summaries. The news network's debate coverage actually peaked after the debate itself was over.
It wasn't just internet viewers who'd rather watch politics than pigskins. Nielsen Media Research TV ratings showed that the Atlanta Falcons/New Orleans Saints game earned a 5.7 overnight rating. That's not only miserable numbers for a football game, it's likely to be the least watched Monday Night Football game in the history of the event.
In the meantime, the debate had a combined 46.2 rating, approximately 83 million viewers, across nine broadcast and cable networks. That likely makes it the most watched political debate of all time.
The final scores: Atlanta Falcons 34, New Orleans Saints 32. Hilliary Clinton: 57 percent, Donald Trump 35 percent.