Clinton-Trump Debate Was Most-Watched Ever More than 80M people watched Monday's showdown By Michael Harthorne, Newser Staff Posted Sep 27, 2016 3:43 PM CDT 208 comments Comments TV screens show the live broadcast of Monday's presidential debate in Seoul, South Korea. (Hong Hae-in/Yonhap via AP)TV screens show the live broadcast of Monday's presidential debate in Seoul, South Korea. (Hong Hae-in/Yonhap via AP) (Newser) – It's official: America loves the odd-couple pairing of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. CNN reports Monday's first presidential debate between the two was the most-watched showdown in six decades of televised presidential debates. Initial Nielsen numbers show it averaging 80.9 million viewers with little drop-off in viewership as it went on. However, these early numbers don't include people watching on C-SPAN, PBS, or online. More than 2.5 million people streamed the debate on YouTube alone. When the final numbers are in, the Clinton-Trump debate should easily beat the 81 million people who watched the 1980 Carter-Reagan debate. But Entertainment Weekly points out it's unlikely to reach Super Bowl-level popularity, which would require 100 million or so viewers.