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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Monday DNC Convention viewership up over 2004

Monday's convention was viewed by 22.3 million viewers. (For a sense of scale, that's about what American Idol got back in a standard week in April). From MarketWatch:
From 10-11 p.m. Eastern time, when ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, BET and TV One all carried live coverage of the convention, a combined total of nearly 22.3 million viewers tuned in, according to data from Nielsen Media Research.
An average of about 18 million watched six of those eight networks on July 26, 2004.
BET and TV One, which primarily target African-Americans, were not included in the 2004 data.
There was some question on last night's open thread as to why I was giving CNN's coverage additional play when many (myself included) feel overall the network has become a much more biased news outlet. Here's why:
There were significant gains for a number of cable networks, which had coverage throughout the evening. Among viewers 25-54 -- the news audience most coveted by advertisers -- CNN's audience jumped more than 125% to an average of about 1.37 million viewers, outpacing all cable news outlets. MSNBC's ratings in the demographic climbed 122% to an average of 847,000 viewers, while Fox News' ratings rose 42% to an average of 776,000.
With live news events, CNN usually leads the coverage. This was no exception. There were almost as many people watching CNN as MSNBC and Fox combined. I commented last night that it was unfortunate that Kennedy's speech didn't make the 10 PM hour. This is why:
Among the broadcast networks, NBC garnered the most viewers, with more than 4.7 million, representing a 4% gain over 2004.
When the networks preempt regular programming, audience grows dramatically. Last night, NBC in one hour had more viewers than all the cable networks combined. I will note that these numbers are for commercial television, and therefore won't include C-SPAN or visitors to the Democratic Convention website.

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