Final Night TV Audience Of RNC Trails DNC's By 3.3%

The network TV audience for the final night of the Republican National Convention was the highest-rated of the week, but nonetheless failed to match the fourth and final night of the Democratic National Convention by 3.3%.

The four-night average audience for the RNC (19.4 million viewers) was 10.2% lower than the four-night DNC average (21.6 million).

The fourth night of the RNC, which featured the President's nomination acceptance speech, was viewed by 23.8 million people, vs. 24.6 million who viewed the final night of the DNC, which featured Joe Biden's acceptance speech.

The RNC's fourth night was down 26% from the fourth RNC night in 2016, which was viewed by 32.2 million people.

Overall, all four nights of both parties conventions failed to deliver 2016 TV audience levels, most likely because more people were viewing online.

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4 comments about "Final Night TV Audience Of RNC Trails DNC's By 3.3%".
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  1. Joshua Chasin from VideoAmp, August 31, 2020 at 1:20 p.m.

    Naturally, the COVID conventions were less "ready for prime time" than traditional conventions. But I can't help but wonder if the shortfall against 2016 is to some extent due to the extent to which people were tuning in via OTT and other streaming/digital sources that fall outside of the traditional linear TV ratings.

  2. Joe Mandese from MediaPost, August 31, 2020 at 1:26 p.m.

    @Joshua Chasin: Makes sense. A number of peopel have implied that, including the President. Do you have any data to support that?

  3. Joshua Chasin from VideoAmp replied, August 31, 2020 at 1:38 p.m.

    Not yet... but given that Republican viewers skew older and the Democratic viewers skew younger; and given that the cord cutters and cord-nevers skew younger... I don't think this is a point that helps the president.

  4. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, August 31, 2020 at 1:56 p.m.

    What's lacking in these Nielsen tallys is the total audience or effective reach---viewed at least five or ten minutes---for each night's festivities on both sides. The average commercial minute ratings---or viewer estimates---are tiny compared to the total population, but the total reach figures might be more indicative as well as the relative amount of time sepnt tuned in---or "holding power"--- of these convention presentations. Even better would be an analysis of tune in variations---as well as tune-outs----for various segments of each show. For example, how did Trump fare while droning on for 65-70 minutes reading from his teleprompter? Did ratings peak, then fall off? Or, maybe, did they rise? If Nielsen is slow to provide such an analysis, perhaps ComScore could do it? Hint!

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