More than 800,000 viewers tune in to TV3/Newstalk leaders’ debate

576,000 wiewers tuned in to TONIGHT With Ivan Yates for post-debate analysis

viewers, tv3, newstalk, leaders, debate


Over 800,000 viewers tuned in to the TV3/Newstalk leaders’ debate on Thursday night, which aired from 9pm to 10.30pm and featured the leaders of the four largest political parties as part of TV3’s VOTE 2016 general election coverage.

An average of 430,000 watched the first big national TV debate which peaked at 502,000 viewers just after 10pm.

It was broadcast live and streamed online from the Virgin Media TV3 HD Studio in Dublin in association with Newstalk.

The debate was moderated by Newstalk’s Pat Kenny and Newstalk's/TV3’s Colette Fitzpatrick.

The highly charged 90 minute debate saw Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Tánaiste Joan Burton, Micheál Martin of Fianna Fáil and Gerry Adams of Sinn Féin appearing together for the first major TV debate of the 2016 general election campaign.

In TV3’s post-debate TONIGHT programme with Newstalk Breakfast and Sunday AM presenter Ivan Yates, 576,000 people tuned in between 10.30pm and midnight for analysis and discussion by a panel of experts who expressed their views on how the leaders’ performed in the earlier debate.

An average of 224,000 people watched this programme.

Commenting on the figures, TV3 Director of News & Information Programming Andrew Hanlon said: “What is so pleasing about the huge viewing figures is that they demonstrate the voracious appetite the Irish people have for engaging in lively political debate and that TV3 can provide free-to-air top class public service broadcasting when it really matters.”