Paul Ryan’s big moment at the Republican National Convention allowed Fox News Channel to open up an even bigger lead over the competition on the second night of the GOP confab.
In the 10-11 p.m. hour on Wednesday, Fox News averaged 7.70 million viewers, leaving MSNBC (1.49 mil) and CNN (1.34 mil) in the dust. Among broadcasters, NBC averaged 4.14 million viewers, followed by ABC (2.85 mil) and CBS (2.55 mil).
Compared to Tuesday’s opening night coverage, which featured speechifying from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Ann Romney, Fox News’ viewership spiked 12% in viewers and 23% in the adults 25-54 demo in the hour that encompassed the fiery 36-minute address by veep nominee Ryan and the speech by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Fox News’ aud peaked at 8.2 million viewers from 10:45-11 p.m.
Fox News had a commanding edge throughout its primetime coverage, averaging 5.84 million viewers from 8-11 p.m. compared to 1.29 million for MSNBC and 1.11 million for CNN. In a sign of the times, however, the vast majority of convention viewers across all networks are in the 55-plus age bracket. Only 1.4 million of Fox News’ primetime aud on Tuesday fell into the 25-54 demo. The proportions were similarly low for MSNBC (366,743) and CNN (341,758).
According to Nielsen, a total of 21.9 million tuned in to confab coverage across all the Big Three broadcasters and all-news cablers as well as CNBC, PBS and, Current. That’s a 41% drop from the 37 million-plus who turned out for the comparable night in the 2008 GOP powwow when Sarah Palin took the stage.