On second night, 25.1 million viewers watch DNC coverage, hinting NFL game didn't hurt much
(UPDATE: The DNC scored 35.7 million viewers on its final night, during President Barack Obama's keynote speech; that's about 5 million more than for the night of GOP challenger Mitt Romney's speech. The totals by day: DNC Tuesday 26.2million, DNC Wednesday 25.1 million and DNC Thursday 35.7 million)
Is it possible that an NFL game which drew nearly 24 million viewers in prime time didn't really affect viewership of the Democratic National Convention?
I ask, only because the Nielsen Co. revealed today that 25.1 million people watched the second night of DNC coverage on nine news networks Wednesday night, featuring a well-received speech by former President Bill Clinton.
That total was just about 1 million viewers less than the 26.2 million people who showed up on Tuesday, when First Lady Michelle Obama topped the bill.
But Clinton earned his ratings against the biggest competition possible; the season-opening game of the NFL, currently the most popular programming on television.
According to Nielsen, 23.9 million people watched the game between the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys. Yet the DNC numbers only dipped by a million from Tuesday to Wednesday. And that happened despite ratings showing NBC was the highest-rated TV outlet carrying DNC overage on Tuesday, with about 5 million viewers at 10 p.m.
NBC is quick to point out its NFL contracts required airing the game, which the NFL moved from Thursday to avoid conflict with the President's speech. Of course, it doesn't hurt that football programming contains commercials which make money for NBC, while political coverage does not.
So perhaps, as President Obama delivers his convention-closing speech tonight, Democrats shouldn't have worried so much about when the NFL broadcast its game.
Looks possible that the DNC and the NFL are playing to two different audiences, anyway.