Democratic National Convention TV Viewership Plummets On First Night Vs. 2016 In Bad Sign For Biden

The Democrats spent most of the first night of their big convention bashing Trump. They all took their shots at POTUS, some warranted and others decidedly not.

But the people, of course, have the final say in our system and what they told the Dems last night should terrify them as the ratings sank like a stone for the first night of the convention.

The first night of the Democratic National Convention drew almost a third fewer viewers when compared with 2016.


That is a big drop in enthusiasm. From Deadline:

The convention drew 18.7 million viewers in the 10 PM ET to 11:15 PM ET timeframe, when the most networks were carrying the convention proceedings, highlighted by a speech by former First Lady Michelle Obama.

That compares to about 25 million who watched ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, MSNBC and CNN in the same time period four years ago. The ratings information is from Nielsen Media and was released by Fox News and CNN.

The figures do not include viewers on other networks or on streaming and social media platforms, as the Democratic National Committee made a push to draw viewers to other feeds.

MSNBC topped coverage with 5.1 million viewers, followed by 4.8 million for CNN, 2.4 million for ABC, 2.3 million for NBC, 2.1 million for Fox News and 2 million for CBS. CNN topped in the 25-54 demographic with 1.5 million, to 1 million for MSNBC, 676,000 for NBC, 650,000 for ABC, 438,000 for Fox News and 425,000 for CBS.

From Bloomberg:

The unusual four-day program, which was moved online due to the coronavirus, began with urgent calls from Democrats to elect former Vice President Joe Biden and push President Donald Trump out of office.

It featured music videos and speeches from popular figures such as former first lady Michelle Obama and Senator Bernie Sanders.

The results speak to the overall trouble regularly scheduled TV has had in competing with on-demand viewing and other diversions.

While live events are still considered to be big draws, this year’s convention likely suffered from that as well.

The Nielsen figures don’t include online streaming viewership through the convention’s website and elsewhere.

CNN said it had 73,000 live-stream viewers on its online platforms in an average minute from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., up 28% from 2016.