By Jessica Toonkel and Lisa Richwine
(Reuters) - The Republican presidential debate took over Twitter <TWTR.N> on Wednesday night, with #GOPdebate trending far more than #WorldSeries, according to data by social media analytics provider Hashtags.org.
The trend may indicate the debate among GOP hopefuls trumped the baseball World Series broadcast in TV viewership.
Throughout the debate, which began around 8:20 p.m. EDT on CNBC <CMCSA.O> and lasted two hours, #GOPdebate trended much higher than #WorldSeries, according to the data.
Game 2 of the World Series between the New York Mets and Kansas City Royals, which aired on Fox, finished about 40 minutes after the debate.
Industry observers expect the debates to be the highest-rated program in CNBC's 26-year history. TV ratings will be released later Thursday.
CNBC's average daily audience has totaled 153,000 over the past 12 months, according to Nielsen data provided by Horizon Media, down from 254,000 during the 2007-2008 financial crisis.
The network's prime-time viewership has been growing, averaging 333,000 in the past year.
CNBC, which sold all of its ad slots during the debate, charged advertisers $250,000 or more for a 30-second ad during the prime-time debate, according to a person familiar with the situation.
That compares to $200,000 that CNN charged for the last Republican debate and $100,000 that CNN charged for the Democratic debate, sources have told Reuters.
The Kansas City Royals beat the New York Mets in Game 2, 7-1.
(Reporting by Jessica Toonkel in New York and Lisa Richwine in Los Angeles; Additional reporting by Angela Moon in New York; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)