About 50 million viewers tuned into the vice presidential debate Wednesday night, according to preliminary figures from the 16 largest television markets released today by A. C. Nielsen Co.
All three networks and CNN carried the debate between Sens. Lloyd Bentsen and Dan Quayle live from Omaha. ABC had a rating of 14.1, NBC had a 12.1 and CBS had 8.8. A National League playoff game between the L.A. Dodgers and New York Mets followed the debate on ABC.