Washington: A staggering 24 million viewers tuned in to the first Republican debate of the US presidential election cycle, Fox News reported on Friday.
"Fox had 24 million viewers last night. That is an absolutely monster number," tweeted Fox media commentator Howard Kurtz.
Viewership of the prime-time debate, in which frontrunner billionaire Donald Trump squared off against nine of his top Republican challengers for the nomination, is by far the highest rating of any presidential primary debate.
"The debate was the highest-rated telecast in Fox News Channel history," Kurtz said, arguing that the sky-high viewership was a combination of "huge public interest, Trump, August lull and riveting television."