Debate's TV Ratings

An average 56% of the audience in 17 major cities watched the second presidential debate on the three major networks, the A.C. Nielsen Co. said Friday.

Initial figures showed that Thursday's debate was seen in 13.4 million homes in the 17 cities, averaging a 37.1 rating.

But the three-network rating and audience share were lower in Los Angeles, where the 90-minute debate was held. The debate was seen in 1.6 million homes here, averaged a 51% share of the audience and got a 32.3 rating.

National ratings for the debate aren't due until Monday or Tuesday, a Nielsen spokeswoman said.

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