TV Ratings: Hillary Clinton's DNC Speech Falls Just Shy of Trump's With 33 Million Viewers

Two solid-ish weeks of political conventions culminated in Thursday's final outing for the Democrats. Hillary Clinton capped off the fourth night of the DNC with a history-making acceptance of her party's nomination during an address to the Philadelphia crowd — and a TV audience that came in just shy of Donald Trump's seven days earlier.

After a solid, if not spectacular, showing from the Republicans just a week ago, the DNC upped the ratings game by a strong margin over the first three days of its convention. It simultaneously outpaced its 2012 showing, albeit not by that much. Updated returns for Clinton's speech, delivered during the 10 o'clock hour on nearly all television networks, offer a tally of 33.7 million viewers from the four broadcast networks and three cablers with coverage. Trump brought in 34.9 million viewers across all nets carrying his speech.

CNN again led the pack with 7.5 million viewers during the speech's time period. MSNBC followed with 5.3 million viewers, with broadcast sister network NBC News just behind with 4.5 million viewers. (That makes for the eighth night of convention coverage in which the network topped its broadcast competition.) ABC News followed with 3.9 million, with CBS pacing third with 3.7 million. Fox News Channel grabbed 3 million viewers. An additional 1.5 million viewers came from Spanish-language net Univision. PBS channels surged to a convention high, bringing in 3.9 million viewers during Clinton's speech. (CNBC, Fox Business Network and NBC Universo contributed a small amount to the final sum as well.)

This has been a cable news convention cycle. CNN has handily topped every night of DNC coverage, while Fox News outpaced the pack in RNC ratings. The two networks, along with NBC News, leave these two weeks with the most bragging rights.

The finale keeps the Democrats 1.2 million viewers short of Trump's audience last week as the 2016 conventions high. Clinton's speech also did not outperform 2012 and 2008 DNC showings from Barack Obama. Those convention finales reached respective formidable tallies of 35.7 million and 38 million viewers.

2016 Convention Audiences
The below numbers reflect Nielsen sums of broadcast and cable coverage — as well as PBS stations.

DNC
Night 1 — 28.6 million 

Night 2 — 28 million

Night 3 — 27.3 million 

Night 4 — 33.7 million
 
Four-night DNC average = 29.4 million 
 
RNC 

Night 1 — 24.8 million

Night 2 — 21.1 million 
Night 3 — 24.7 million

Night 4 — 34.9 million 
 
Four-night RNC average = 26.4 million

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