Its expected that over a 100M viewers will tune in for the first Trump Clinton presidential debate on Monday. If the aggregate viewing is over 100M viewers that would be only second in 2016 to the 2016 Superbowl with 111.9M average viewers. Which would be 49% higher than the first 2012 Obama Romney debate.
They say that love and hate works on television and “like” is death. From the Howard Stern Private Parts movie –
Researcher: The average radio listener listens for eighteen minutes. The average Howard Stern fan listens for – are you ready for this? – an hour and twenty minutes.
Pig Vomit: How can that be?
Researcher: Answer most commonly given? “I want to see what he’ll say next.”
Pig Vomit: Okay, fine. But what about the people who hate Stern?
Researcher: Good point. The average Stern hater listens for two and a half hours a day.
If you are for everything I stand for I’m not so concerned about you, but if I don’t like you I really want to know what controversial things you will say. I’m going to keep my eye on you. Because controversy is relative to your point of view.
Popular culture is the lingua franca that allows us to connect with people. Movies, TV, music, books, sports, celebrities or politics are our common touch stones. People want to be knowledgeable about important people or events because they are truly interested and/or they want to be able to discus these events with their similar minded friends
Or what might be more fun is tweak your friends with a fun soundbite that is controversial to them. That’s why sports are great because they are tribal. And what makes sports even better is when you have a polarizing figure at the center of the competition – Tom Brady, Muhammad Ali…
And that is what makes this debate so great. Like then or not they will bring the sound bites and controversy.