Obama’s 30-minute ad attracts 33 million viewers

Gold is a Times staff writer.

If Sen. Barack Obama were a television executive, he’d have a hit on his hands.

More than 33 million people watched Obama’s paid political ad Wednesday night on seven networks, Nielsen Media Research reported Thursday, delivering a larger audience for that time period than the usual viewership so far this season.

On an average Wednesday night, the same networks get an audience of 30.3 million people between 8 and 8:30 p.m.


The commercial, which ran on CBS, Fox, NBC, Univision, BET, MSNBC and TV One, drew an audience that was more than half the size as the one that tuned into the final debate between Obama and Sen. John McCain on Oct. 15. That forum had 56.5 million viewers.

The infomercial was especially popular among African American viewers, attracting 15.2% of that demographic. Overall, 11.6% of television viewers watched the ad.

Obama’s commercial fared better than the 15 paid telecasts that Ross Perot aired in 1992. An average of 11.6 million viewers watched those.