Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

A few buzzy zingers and testy exchanges during Night 2 of the second round of Democratic debates on Wednesday caused ratings to tick up from the previous evening.

By the numbers: More than 10 million people tuned into the second night on live television, according to preliminary numbers from Nielsen. That's higher than the 8.7 million that watched the night before.

  • An additional 3.1 million live-streamed the event on CNN’s digital properties, up from 2.7 million that live-streamed the program Tuesday.

Yes, but: Both debate nights for the second round saw audiences shrink compared to round 1, which aired in June and drew 15.3 million viewers Night 1, and another 18.1 million on Night 2.

It’s worth noting that the second round of Democratic primary debates attracted less viewership than the first round during the 2016 election cycle as well.

  • And CNN’s debate coverage only aired on CNN, while the first round of debates this cycle aired live across 3 networks: MSNBC, NBC and Telemundo.

Between the lines: CNN says Wednesday‘s debate surpassed Tuesday’s to become the network's second-highest Democratic primary debate for live viewership on record, next to its October 2015 Democratic debate in Las Vegas. It adds it was also its second most-watched debate on livestream.

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