Top of the Ticket

Political commentary from the LA Times

« Previous Post | Top of the Ticket Home | Next Post »

What, you weren't watching?

September 11, 2007 |  7:40 pm

Sunday night's Spanish-language Democratic presidential debate carried by Univision drew 4.6 million viewers -- higher than the 4.3 million average for the English-language debates carried by CNN, Fox, ABC and MSNBC, Univision said.  And it was done without YouTube gimmickry.

Univision crowed that among adults aged 25 to 54, its debate drew 1.17 million viewers, compared with a 787,000 average in that key demographic range for the English-language debates. Granted, that's one Spanish debate against a seeming unending run of English debates (there are so many it's beginning to feel like professional baseball's game-a-day schedule).

"The enormous audience that tuned in to witness this historic event just goes to prove that Hispanics are eager to hear the presidential candidates speak directly to them about the issues they care most about," Univision CEO Joe Uva said in a news release.

The candidates were required to speak only in English.  When Bill Richardson, the only Latino in the field, began to answer in Spanish for the Spanish-language audience, he was cut off.

The viewership stats also indicate a radical difference in ages.  The median age watching Univision's debate was 36, "while the English-language networks’ viewer was 61,"  Univision said.

** Not so fast, says Variety, which disputes Univision's touting of the numbers.

-- Scott Martelle