New York - An estimated 22.9 million people tuned in for Wednesday's second presidential primary debate on CNN.
Also read: "Hello" Las Vegas: Lionel Richie announces 20-show residency
The Nielsen company said the viewership fell short of Fox News Channel's 24 million for the first debate in August, but it still represented the largest audience in CNN's 35-year history. The previous high was the 16.8 million people who watched a "Larry King Live" episode in 1993 with Vice President Al Gore and Ross Perot.
The first two GOP debates have set new standards for interest in these contests. GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, suggesting he is the main factor in the ratings, said CNN donate advertising revenue to veterans group, a proposal the network never responded to.
With interest high, the CNN debate stretched to three hours.