The second night of the Democratic National Convention was down fractionally on the first in terms of total viewership.
Last night’s proceedings were watched by around 18.3 million total viewers across the broadcast and cable news networks, which is only 400,000 viewers fewer than day 1.
Looking at the individual networks, MSNBC once again won the night with 5.2 million viewers, up a tad from the 5.1 who tuned in on Monday night. CNN came second again with 4.2 million viewers, down over half a million from the previous day. Fox News was third among the cablers, drawing 2.1 million viewers to its coverage (exactly the same number who watched the night before).
NBC narrowly overtook ABC at the top of the broadcast table, with 2.3 million viewers to the Disney-owned network’s 2.2 million. CBS came last with 2.1 million viewers, losing narrowly for Fox News for the second night running.
In terms of the key news demographic of people aged 25-54, CNN reversed MSNBC with 1.3 million to 1 million. NBC and ABC were once again neck and neck with 592,000 and 584,000 respectively, while CBS managed to overtake Fox News this time around, scoring 482,000 viewers in the demo to FNC’s 430,000.
All told, the first night of the DNC delivered around 19 million total viewers, which represented a 27% dip from the previous convention in 2016.
However, the fact that the 2020 DNC will likely be substantially down on the last edition overall isn’t necessarily surprising given that much of this year’s convention is pre-taped and that television viewership as a whole has declined significantly in the last four years.
After Michelle Obama stole the show with a rousing speech on the first night, Tuesday saw Joe Biden officially announced as the Democrat choice to take on President Trump. Biden’s wife Jill Biden was arguably the highlight of the evening, delivering a speech from a classroom.
Speakers on both nights focused on the “three crises” Democrats are seeking to underscore: the pandemic, mass unemployment and the crisis of racial justice.