Ratings: Democratic debate nets 10 million viewers for NBC in early numbers

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Higher Than Expected Ratings Democratic Debate

Sunday's Democratic debate on NBC pulled in approximately 10.2 million viewers, according to early Nielsen estimates

The meet up between Democratic Presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O'Malley, airing from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET, also drew an estimated 7.2 rating in the advertiser coveted adults 18-49 demographic. Additionally, nearly 1.2 million viewers streamed the event live on NBC News digital platforms.

However, debate broadcaster NBC cautioned that these early numbers do not reflect West Coast viewership and that these early estimates will likely be adjusted in the near future.

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Ratings: Democratic debate nets 10 million viewers for NBC in early numbers
Democratic presidential candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (R) arrive on stage for the NBC News -YouTube Democratic Candidates Debate on January 17, 2016 at the Gaillard Center in Charleston, South Carolina. / AFP / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate, former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley , left, Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton and Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt, stand together before the start of the NBC, YouTube Democratic presidential debate at the Gaillard Center, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016, in Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)
Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley greets members of the audience following the NBC News -YouTube Democratic Candidates Debate on January 17, 2016 at the Gaillard Center in Charleston, South Carolina. / AFP / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
CHARLESTON, SC - JANUARY 17: Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) participates in the Democratic Candidates Debate hosted by NBC News and YouTube on January 17, 2016 in Charleston, South Carolina. This is the final debate for the Democratic candidates before the Iowa caucuses. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., gestures towards Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton during the NBC, YouTube Democratic presidential debate at the Gaillard Center, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016, in Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/Mic Smith)
Martin O'Malley, former governor of Maryland and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, participates in the Democratic presidential candidate debate in Charleston, South Carolina, U.S., on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016. Hours before Sunday's Democratic debate, the two top Democratic contenders held a warm-up bout of sorts in multiple separate appearances on political talk shows, at a time when the polling gap between the pair has narrowed in early-voting states. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
CHARLESTON, SC - JANUARY 17: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton participates in the Democratic Candidates Debate hosted by NBC News and YouTube on January 17, 2016 in Charleston, South Carolina. This is the final debate for the Democratic candidates before the Iowa caucuses. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
CHARLESTON, SC - JANUARY 17: Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) participates in the Democratic Candidates Debate hosted by NBC News and YouTube on January 17, 2016 in Charleston, South Carolina. This is the final debate for the Democratic candidates before the Iowa caucuses. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
CHARLESTON, SC - JANUARY 17: Democratic presidential candidates Martin OMalley (L), Hillary Clinton (C) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) participate in the Democratic Candidates Debate hosted by NBC News and YouTube on January 17, 2016 in Charleston, South Carolina. This is the final debate for the Democratic candidates before the Iowa caucuses. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
CHARLESTON, SC - JANUARY 17: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton participates in the Democratic Candidates Debate hosted by NBC News and YouTube on January 17, 2016 in Charleston, South Carolina. This is the final debate for the Democratic candidates before the Iowa caucuses. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate, former Maryland governor Martin O'Malley arrives on stage for the NBC News -YouTube Democratic Candidates Debate on January 17, 2016 at the Gaillard Center in Charleston, South Carolina. / AFP / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
CHARLESTON, SC - JANUARY 17: Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton (L) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) participate in the Democratic Candidates Debate hosted by NBC News and YouTube on January 17, 2016 in Charleston, South Carolina. This is the final debate for the Democratic candidates before the Iowa caucuses. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton (L) and Bernie Sanders (R) confer during the NBC News -YouTube Democratic Candidates Debate on January 17, 2016 at the Gaillard Center in Charleston, South Carolina. / AFP / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
CHARLESTON, SC - JANUARY 17: Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley (L) chats with moderators Lester Holt (C) and Andrea Mitchell during a break at the Democratic Candidates Debate hosted by NBC News and YouTube on January 17, 2016 in Charleston, South Carolina. This is the final debate for the Democratic candidates before the Iowa caucuses. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
CHARLESTON, SC - JANUARY 17: Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton (L) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) participate in the Democratic Candidates Debate hosted by NBC News and YouTube on January 17, 2016 in Charleston, South Carolina. This is the final debate for the Democratic candidates before the Iowa caucuses. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidates, former Maryland governor Martin O'Malley (L), former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (C), and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (R) arrive on stage for the NBC News -YouTube Democratic Candidates Debate on January 17, 2016 at the Gaillard Center in Charleston, South Carolina. / AFP / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders steps away from the stage during a short break in NBC News -YouTube Democratic Candidates Debate on January 17, 2016 at the Gaillard Center in Charleston, South Carolina.. / AFP / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
CHARLESTON, SC - JANUARY 17: Lester Holt (L) and Andrea Mitchell moderate the Democratic Candidates Debate hosted by NBC News and YouTube on January 17, 2016 in Charleston, South Carolina. This is the final debate for the Democratic candidates before the Iowa caucuses. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
CHARLESTON, SC - JANUARY 17: Supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) rally outside the Gaillard Center before the start of the NBC News Democratic Candidates Debate on January 17, 2016 in Charleston, South Carolina. This is the final debate for the Democratic candidates before the Iowa caucus. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
A supporter waits outside the debate site to see Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton before the start of the NBC News -YouTube Democratic Candidates Debate on Sunday, January 17 at the Gaillard Center in Charleston, South Carolina. / AFP / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
A group of signs for Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton before the start of the NBC News -YouTube Democratic Candidates Debate on January 17 at the Gaillard Center in Charleston, South Carolina. / AFP / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
Supporters of Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, not pictured, cheer before the Democratic presidential candidate debate in Charleston, South Carolina, U.S., on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016. Hours before Sundays Democratic debate, the two top Democratic contenders held a warm-up bout of sorts in multiple separate appearances on political talk shows, at a time when the polling gap between the pair has narrowed in early-voting states. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
CHARLESTON, SC - JANUARY 17: The stage at the Gaillard Center is prepared for tonight's Democratic debate on January 17, 2016 in Charleston, South Carolina. Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley spent yesterday campaigning in South Carolina in lead up to tonight's debate. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
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The last Democratic debate on ABC averaged 8 million viewers. The CBS Democratic debate in Nov. attracted 8.5 million viewers. The most-watched Democratic debate of this election season was the CNN debate in Oct., which scored 15.1 million viewers, making it the most watched Democratic debate of all time.

On CBS, "60 Minutes" pulled in an estimated 20.3 million viewers and a 4.7 rating. The episode contained Charlie Rose's interview with Sean Penn regarding the actor's meeting with Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, which Penn famously recounted in an article for Rolling Stone.

Again, however, these numbers are early estimates that do not reflect West Coast viewing. They are specifically for the East Coast where "60 Minutes" aired at 8 p.m., while on the West Coast it aired at 7 p.m.

"60 Minutes" benefited from an NFL lead in, as the Pittsburgh Steelers took on the Denver Broncos in the AFC playoffs. The game pulled in a gargantuan 26.2 rating in the key demo, tying for the the highest-rated Sunday AFC Divisional Playoff game in 21 years.

Pittsburgh-Denver also is the highest-rated game of the 2015-16 season on any network in the metered markets.

Read original story Ratings: Democratic Debate Nets 10 Million Viewers for NBC in Early Numbers At TheWrap

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