Guess Who Won the Ratings War for the Last Night of Each Convention?

Written by Philip Hodges

The last night of the GOP convention had more viewers than the last night of the DNC. From Deadline:

With figures in from NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC, the ex-Secretary of State’s historic acceptance speech as the first woman to be the Presidential nominee for a major American political party drew 27.8 million viewers. That 10 PM – 11:40 PM ET coverage is down 2.4 million from what Trump and the RNC got on the same outlets on July 21 from 10 – 11:45 PM ET.

Or to put that in percentile perspective, last night’s DNC numbers on the broadcasters and top cable newsers saw an 8% dip in total viewers from what the RNC snagged the week before.

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When you add the coverage on Fox Business Network, CNBC, Univision and NBC Universo, the RNC figure goes up to 32.2 million.


[UPDATE]: With all the numbers in from all the outlets, including PBS, the last night of the 2016 DNC had 33.3 million viewers to the RNC closing night’s 34.9 million. Which means Donald Trump’s speech of July 21 beat Hillary Clinton’s of last night by 5% in total eyeballs.

Media networks love presidential campaigns. They’re big money-makers.

They know millions of people are going to be tuned in, and that translates into higher ratings. The higher the ratings, the more money they make in ad revenue.

They make a ton of money during primetime – Monday through Friday, 8-11pm. And wouldn’t you know it, that’s when all the convention madness was going on – from both major parties.

The media try to make it as entertaining as possible to keep people tuned in, covering it like they would a major sporting event, complete with commentators who make stupid remarks the entire time.

Network viewership is just numbers, but depending on which major party you identify with, they can be spun differently. Winning the ratings war could be interpreted to be a positive thing or a negative thing.

If Hillary had won more viewers during the DNC’s final night, the Democrats and the media would have hailed that as a testament to how many people love her.

But since Donald Trump happened to garner more viewers on the big night, the narrative will probably be something like, “Yeah, people wanted to watch Trump for the same reason they slow down on the highway to see the aftermath of a fatal car crash.”

In other words, since Trump won, it’s bad for Trump and good for Hillary. If Hillary had won, it would have also been bad for Trump and good for Hillary.


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Philip Hodges

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