DNC Viewership Drops 48 Percent, Second Night to See Big Decline

DNC Viewership Drops 48 Percent, Second Night to See Big Decline

On the second night of the convention, major broadcast and cable news networks ABC, CBS and NBC rallied about 6.13 million viewers, according to preliminary data -- a 48 percent drop compared to the same night at the convention in 2016.

 

Viewership for the Democratic National Convention experienced a massive drop, yet again.

On the second night of the convention, major broadcast and cable news networks ABC, CBS and NBC rallied about 6.13 million viewers, according to preliminary data -- a 48 percent drop compared to the same night at the convention in 2016.

 

The Nielsen Media Research figures from Tuesday come after the trio had a combined 6.7 million viewers for the first night of the convention, a 42 percent decrease from the same night at the 2016 convention.

About 18.8 million people tuned into ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News and MSNBC for the convention Monday night -- a 28 percent decline from about 25.8 million viewers four years ago, when former first lady Michelle Obama, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) spoke in support of Hillary Clinton.

The massive plummet in TV viewership is not surprising considering the event wasn’t live in a convention hall thanks to Coronavirus concerns and because there has been a steady decline in watching cable and other pay-tv news with the emergence of online streaming platforms.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s spokesperson, T.J. Ducklo tweeted Tuesday that digital viewership spiked in comparison to 2016 and the Biden campaign is “producing a digital convention, and people are watching.”

The Nielsen data doesn’t include online streaming viewership.

The second night of the convention featured speeches from Jill Biden, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and former President Bill Clinton.

The Republican National Convention is slated to take place next week, with President Donald Trump to give the party’s presidential nomination acceptance speech on the South Lawn at the White House, joined by a socially distanced crowd.

“We could have quite a group of people. It’s very big, a very big lawn. We could have a big group of people,” Trump told the New York Post.

The Democratic convention will proceed Wednesday night, including speeches from Warren, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and former President Barack Obama.

Rachel Bucchino is a reporter at the National Interest. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report and The Hill.