CNN only cabler to improve from Tuesday

A hard-hitting speech by VP nominee Joe Biden was not enough to prevent a ratings slip on night three of the Democratic National Convention.

Wednesday saw an average total viewership of 24 million, down from 25.9 million on the second night of the quadrennial gathering, according to Nielsen estimates.

CNN was again the big winner; it was the only cabler to improve its take over Tuesday, with 5.38 million viewers, up 12% vs. night two’s 4.8 million. MSNBC saw a 12% dropoff, while Fox News lost a chunky 22%.

“We’ve developed a reputation for down-the-middle analysis, and it’s paying off,” Jon Klein, the Atlanta-based cabler’s prexy, asserted. “We’re also in tune with the mood of the country, which is post-partisan.”

CNN and NBC wound up in a tussle over who actually won the 10 p.m. hour among total viewers.

NBC took the night for the broadcaster outlets with an average of 5.46 million viewers, but CNN noted that the Peacock’s tally went to 11:03 p.m. If just the 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. hour is measured, CNN narrowly beat NBC.

(Fox News Channel, meanwhile, said it didn’t matter – they already beat the broadcast nets during the Republican confab in 2004.)

Back to the convention numbers: CBS just beat ABC for No. 2 with 3.5 million. The Alphabet was again alone among the nets in increasing on its 9 p.m. lead-in. Its 3.48 million viewers edged out a “Supernanny” rerun, which drew 3.24 million, while the Peacock came off an original installment of “America’s Got Talent” (10.85 million) and the Eye led out of a previously aired “Criminal Minds” hour (7.18 million).

Unfortunately for the nets, the most electrifying moments of the night occurred before and just after Biden’s spotlight moment. The 9 o’clock hour — which was not covered by the nets — featured a rousing tubthumper from former President Bill Clinton, while nominee Barack Obama (who was officially crowned by roll call earlier in the evening) unexpectedly strode onstage at the conclusion of Biden’s address to say a few words and glad-hand the veep and his family.

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