TV Ratings: Republican Convention Declines on Night 3

Mike Pence - RNC - Getty - H - 2020
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Mike Pence

After rising on Tuesday, ratings for the Republican National Convention took a hit on Wednesday night.

The six major networks covering the convention averaged about 15.7 million viewers in the 10 p.m. ET hour. Wednesday was the least watched night of the two major party conventions this year, and five of the six networks — ABC, NBC, CNN, Fox News and MSNBC — lost viewers compared to Tuesday (which averaged 18 million across all six). CBS had an uptick of about 260,000 viewers, thanks to a somewhat better lead-in at 9 p.m.

The 15.7 million viewers Wednesday is also down sharply from the same night four years ago, when the same six outlets drew 22.81 million viewers. That's a 31 percent drop. Last week's Democratic convention brought in 21.46 million viewers on its third night.

Fox News retained its dominant No. 1 position for RNC coverage, averaging 7.07 million viewers from 10 to 11:15 p.m. ET. No other network got above 2 million viewers: NBC finished second with 1.97 million viewers, followed by ABC (1.9 million), CBS (1.78 million), CNN (1.52 million) and MSNBC (1.48 million).

Among adults 25-54, the prime news demographic, Fox News delivered 1.38 million viewers, more than doubling the 595,000 for second-place NBC.

Through three days, the RNC is averaging 16.52 million viewers across the six networks, off by 23 percent from 2016. The Democratic convention was down by 21 percent over its first three days (19.57 million vs. 24.74 million in 2016).

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