MSNBC gains, CNN tops in Dem coverage

Convention boosts news nets, ABC brings best b'cast numbers

NEW YORK — MSNBC benefited Tuesday night from NBC’s decision to pass on the Democratic National Convention.

From 8 to 11 p.m. EDT, the NBC-owned cabler — featuring Tom Brokaw and other NBC News biggies — posted a 0.9 rating with 531,000 households, up 78% from day two of the GOP meet, which got a half-hour of primetime coverage on NBC.

CNN, however, led the cable news network pack Tuesday night with a 1.4 rating (1.27 million households).

CNN’s ratings were flat from day two of the GOP convention, but its household delivery was down 29% from four years ago (1.56 million households), according to Nielsen numbers. The news cabler’s coverage peaked from 10-11 p.m., garnering a 1.8 rating (1.42 million households) while Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, Sen. Ted Kennedy and former presidential candidate Bill Bradley addressed the convention.

Fox News, which wasn’t around last convention season, sank 37% in delivery from day two of the GOP convention, with a 0.6 rating (329,000 households).

But ratings (based on the number of cable households) at all three news nets were significantly up from what they would normally garner from an average night in primetime, based on July stats. CNN saw a 180% increase in ratings and delivery compared with its primetime average for July, while MSNBC was boosted by 155% and Fox News jumped 46%.

ABC delivered the broadcast nets’ most-watched convention coverage, with a 4.2 rating/7 share and an average of 5.8 million viewers. Packaging its convention coverage within an edition of “60 Minutes II” gave CBS a 3.8/7 with 4.74 million viewers.

PBS estimates that it earned a 2.2/4, attracting an average of 3 million viewers from 8-11 p.m.

NBC’s strategy of eschewing the convention for newsmag “Dateline” paid off, as the Peacock was the most-watched net in the 10 p.m. hour (7.8/14 rating, 11.08 million viewers).

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