The final night of the Republican National Convention, which was headlined by a rambling 70-minute speech from President Trump, failed to score a big boost from the previous nights, and lost out to the DNC and Joe Biden’s speech.
Trump’s speech averaged 13.5 million viewers across the three major cable news networks, while Biden’s speech last week averaged 14.7 million in the same 10-11 p.m. time frame and on the same networks.
Across all the broadcast and cable news networks which covered the RNC’s curtain call, around 20 million viewers tuned in, which is 2 million fewer viewers than the DNC’s final night. That also represents a 34% drop from Trump’s speech at the last convention in 2016, which drew over 30 million pairs of eyeballs.
Fox News drew by far the largest audience of Thursday night, scoring a massive 9.2 million viewers, the largest tally across all four nights. ABC came second with 2.6 million viewers, followed by NBC with 2.3 million, and CNN with 2.2 million. MSNBC’s coverage delivered 1.9 million viewers, with CBS finishing up in last place at 1.8 million.
Looking at the key news demographic of people aged 25-54, Fox News was obviously the big winner with 2.2 million, pretty much trebling its nearest competition. CNN came a distant second with 757,000 in the demo, followed closely by ABC and NBC with 725,000 and 722,000 respectively. CBS managed to reverse MSNBC with 460,000 in the demo to the latter’s 391,000.
Fox Business Network’s coverage notched 1.2 million total viewers and 327,000 in the key news demo.
Both the 2020 DNC and RNC were substantially down on the last editions, which isn’t necessarily surprising given that much of this year’s conventions are pre-taped, and that television viewership as a whole has declined significantly in the last four years.
Elsewhere on Thursday night, “Big Brother” continued its run at the top of the ratings charts, scoring a 1.0 among adults 18-49 and drawing just over 4 million total viewers. “Love Island” followed that up with a 0.4 and 1.7 million viewers, which represents an up tick in both metrics from last episode.
The CW aired a new episode of “Mysteries Decoded” to a 0.2 rating and 860,000 viewers, followed by a “Penn & Teller: Fool Us” replay, which scored a 0.1 and 732,000 viewers.