Some 65 million people tuned in to the first debate between US President Donald Trump and his White House challenger Joe Biden.
The TV viewership for Tuesday’s clash was lower than the 2016 debates, but final streaming counts are pending.
The 2016 showdown between Mr Trump and Hillary Clinton broke TV records, pulling in 84 million viewers.
That one shattered the previous viewership record of 80.6 million set in the 1980 Reagan-Carter debate.
On Tuesday night, around 64.7 million people tuned in on eight channels for the first primetime political duel between the White House contenders, according to Nielsen.
Mr Trump on Wednesday responded to the preliminary numbers by saying “some day these Fake Media Companies are going to miss me, very badly”. (BBC)