The first night of the Republican National Convention was down in total viewership on both the 2016 edition, and the opening night of this year’s Democratic National Convention.
In total, just under 16 million people tuned in for night 1 of the RNC across the cable news and broadcast networks. That represents a 29% dip from the opening night four years ago, which drew around 22.5 million pairs of eyeballs. For comparison, the first night of last week’s DNC drew 18.7 million viewers (which was itself down 27% from 2016).
Looking at the networks individually, Fox News unsurprisingly came out on top by a mile, drawing 7.1 million viewers in the 10 to 11 p.m. time slot. CNN placed second with just over 2 million viewers, followed by ABC with just under 2 million. NBC drew 1.7 million viewers to its coverage, followed by MSNBC with 1.6 million, and finally CBS with 1.5 million.
Fox News also dominated the key news demographic of people aged 25-54, in which the network scored 1.6 million viewers. That’s around 1 million more than its closest rival CNN, which delivered 600,000 in the demo.
The fact that the 2020 DNC and RNC are on course to be substantially down on the last edition 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 the President spoke earlier in the day, the first night of the RNC featured speeches from Donald Trump, Jr., former ambassador Nikki Haley, Sen. Tim Scott and several other speakers.
Elsewhere on Monday night, the season 2 premiere of “Love Island” (the U.S. version), averaged a 0.4 rating across its two hours on CBS, and around 2 million total viewers. That’s pretty much on par with its first season, which averaged a 0.5 rating and 2.2 million viewers over 22 episodes.
Univision tied CBS and NBC in the overall broadcast rankings, thanks mainly to an episode of “Como Tu No Hay Dos,” which scored a 0.5 rating and 1.6 million viewers.