Democratic National Convention Night 4 Early Ratings Soft Compared to 2012, on Par With 2016 RNC

Hillary Clinton Democratic National Convention 2
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

We won’t see the full picture of the ratings for the final night of the 2016 Democratic National Convention until later this afternoon, but the early broadcast ratings weren’t as historical as might be expected on a night when the first woman in America’s history was officially anointed her party’s candidate for president.

NBC, ABC, and CBS combined in the 10 p.m. hour for an average audience of 10.24 million viewers and a 2.5 rating in the 18-49 demographic. NBC drew the biggest portion of the audience, but by less than 500,000 total viewers. Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s acceptance speech ran almost to 11:30 p.m. on the East Coast, and the half-hour trends showed a building audience from 10 p.m. through 10:30 p.m., so the broadcast numbers will likely rise in the finals when viewership after 11 p.m. is taken into account.

Ratings for coverage on cable networks like CNN and MSNBC, which have thus far been bigger draws than the broadcasters, will be available later today.

However, in 2012, NBC, ABC, and CBS combined for 14.73 million total viewers in early ratings, with a 3.4 rating in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic. Once final numbers came in, they revealed 35.76 million viewers tuned in across 13 networks.

The final night of the 2016 RNC, during which Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump spoke for 76 minutes, drew a preliminary audience of 10.54 million across the three broadcasters covering it, notching a 2.5 rating in the demo. The final total audience for coverage across 10 networks for the final night of the RNC was 32.2 million.

Earlier in the evening on the broadcast nets, CBS’ new “Big Brother” at 9 p.m. drew a 1.8 demo rating and 5.81 million viewers. ABC’s “Battlebots” at 8 p.m. weighed in with a 0.8 and 3.39 million viewers. NBC had a new “Hollywood Game Night” at 9 p.m. that notched a 0.7 demo rating and a total audience of 2.78 million. Fox had two editions of “Home Free” that both pulled in around a 0.5 demo rating and 1.9 million viewers. “Beauty and the Beast” on The CW continued its final run with a 0.2 and 930,000 viewers.