A “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” lead-in helped ABC dominate the final night of the Democratic National Convention.
Following the hit gamer, ABC News’ 9-11 p.m. convention coverage averaged a 5.5 rating/10 share and 7.6 million viewers. While ABC and CBS kicked off convention coverage at 9 p.m. EST, NBC chose instead to air a repeat of “Will & Grace” in the 9 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. slot. Post-“Will & Grace,” NBC News’ 9:30-11 p.m. coverage averaged a 4.7/8 and 6.6 million viewers. With little help from a weak “Big Brother” lead-in, CBS News lagged behind with a 3.2/6 and 4.2 million viewers, according to Nielsen numbers.
On the 24-hour cable news nets front, CNN once again outperformed the competition in rating, delivery and total viewers from 8-11 p.m with a 1.7 rating in cable homes, equivalent to 1.4 million households. MSNBC ranked second with a 1.0 (620,000 households) and Fox News Channel came in a close third with a 1.0 (539,000).
Overall, the nets generally fared better with the Democrats than with the GOP. Comparing the four-day average for the conventions, ABC and NBC were up 6% and 7% respectively from the GOP to the Democrats, while CBS was flat. Both CNN (up 20% in households) and MSNBC (up 71%) attracted more viewers with the Dems than the Republicans, while Fox News dipped 28%.
Historically, the Democrats’ meets have attracted larger audiences than the Republicans. Since Nielsen Media Research started tracking the numbers in 1960, the Dems have outdrawn the Republicans at 9 out of 11 conventions.