More than 26 million people watch first night of Democratic National Convention in prime time
More than 26 million people watched the last hour of the Democratic National Convention's first night Tuesday, according to ratings figures just released by Nielsen Co.
That's about 4 million more people than the 22-million who watched the first night of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, according to Nielsen.
Here's how Nielsen's numbers stack up, for the 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. hour, when nine different TV outlets were covering the DNC:
Category Rating number of viewers
Persons 2+ 9.1 26,245,000
Persons 18-34 4.7 3,163,000
Persons 35-54 8.6 6,923,000
Persons 55+ 19.5 15,219,000
All Households 17.3 19,707,000
According to Nielsen's record, in 2008, when the Democrats held a four-day convention, their opening night coverage drew 22.2 million people on eight different networks.
Nielsen doesn't report ratings for individual networks. But CNN provided figures from Nielsen's "fast nationals" data -- early information which will change when more definitive figures are made available -- indicating that liberal-oriented cable TV channel MSNBC topped all other cable channels in total viewers and in the key demographic advertisers enjoy.
That indicates viewing of political conventions has begun to reflect the partisan flavor of cable TV news; Fox News Channel topped the ratings for the RNC last week.
NBC 5.002M 1.929M
MSNBC 4.107M 1.432M
CNN 3.888M 1.368M
CBS 3.269M 1.057M
ABC 3.237M 1.143M
FOX NEWS 2.398M 550k
According to TV Newser, ratings for the last day of the RNC last week were: "From 10-until around 11:20PM, when all of the networks were televising the RNC, Fox News averaged 9.06 million total viewers, including 2.56 million adults 25-54. ABC News overtook NBC for the number two slot, averaging 4.44 million viewers including 1.61 million adults 25-54. NBC was next with 3.85 million viewers, including 1.46 million adults 25-54, followed by CBS with 3.73 million viewers, including 1.51 million adults 25-54. CNN drew 2.33 million total viewers and 903,838 adults 25-54, with MSNBC bringing in 1.88 million viewers, including 625,712 adults 25-54."