Republican Convention Draws 15.9 Million TV Viewers, Down 28% From 2016
The first night of the Republican National Convention averaged 15.9 million viewers on Monday, a sharp drop of 28% from 2016.
The audience figure from Nielsen was also below the opening night of last week’s Democratic National Convention which averaged 18.7 million viewers over the three major English language broadcast networks and three leading cable news channels. The audience for the Democrats on the first night of their convention was also down about 28% from 2016.
With additional channels added, the final total was 19.7 million for the Democrats on Aug. 17. A total for coverage of the Republicans’ proceedings on Monday will be issued later today.
Fox News was the most watched channel for coverage between 10 and 11 p.m. Eastern, with an average of 7.1 million viewers, followed by CNN (2 million), ABC (1.97 million), NBC (1.7 million), MSNBC (1.6 million) and CBS (1.5 million).
For the conservative leaning Fox News, it was the largest audience for opening night convention coverage ever for a cable news network.
Fox News, regularly the prime-time destination for Trump fans who tune in to see the president’s chief media supporter Sean Hannity, routinely leads in the ratings during Republican convention weeks.
“Hannity,” which aired at 9 p.m. Eastern, averaged 6.8 million viewers, the second largest audience ever for the program.
Coverage was also carried on PBS, Fox Business Network and Newsy.
The hour featured speeches by former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina.
The decline from 2016, when Trump was first nominated, is comparable to what the Democratic convention experienced last week. The cancellation of most live events at the convention sites changed the nature of the events to a series of virtual speeches.
The drop can also be attributed to the continued decline in television usage especially among viewers under age 50.
The Democratic National Committee said there was an increase in the number of people watching convention events on streaming platforms — with 35 million live video streams across four nights.
The ratings for cable news coverage reflected the political bent of the channels’ prime-time viewers. MSNBC, with its lineup of progressive opinion hosts, was the most-watched network for Democratic National Convention coverage last week.
©2020 Los Angeles Times
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
In The News
Democrat Rita Hart threw in the towel Wednesday afternoon, giving up her bid to represent Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District, and effectively ending the 2020 election cycle. Hart, who had been challenging the outcome of the race before the Committee on House Administration, said in a brief... Read More
Dominion Voting Systems on Friday filed a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News, arguing the cable news company sought to boost faltering ratings by falsely claiming the voting machine company had rigged the 2020 election. The company, which is headquartered in Toronto, Canada and Denver,... Read More
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Election systems in the Deep South in 2020 suffered from numerous shortcomings, making it harder for many voters -- particularly those from communities of color -- to safely cast their ballots, states a new analysis by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The report... Read More
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a bid by former President Donald Trump to nullify his election loss in Wisconsin, rejecting the last remaining appeal seeking to overturn Joe Biden’s victory. In an unsigned order, the justices declined to take up Trump’s lawsuit... Read More
Former Rep. Anthony Brindisi, D-N.Y., a star among moderates in his party, has conceded to Republican challenger and former Rep. Claudia Tenney, at long last ending the 2020 election cycle. Brindisi had been expected to appeal a New York State Supreme Court order that all eight... Read More
WASHINGTON - Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., has been named to four subcommittees that will ensure she's a leading voice on national security, the continuing federal response to COVID-19, and international trade. The Winter Park Democrat is the only Florida Democrat who currently serves on either the... Read More