TV Ratings: Democratic Convention Rises With Harris, Obama

Barack Obama DNC - Getty - H 2020
DNCC via Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama addresses the virtual Democratic National Convention.

Addresses by former vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris and former President Barack Obama on Wednesday helped the Democratic National Convention draw its largest audience so far in 2020 — though it still trails the 2016 event.

Across the six largest networks, Wednesday's coverage of the convention drew a combined 21.41 million viewers from 10-11:15 p.m. ET — up from 18.7 million and 18.6 million for the first two days. Wednesday also finished closer to the 2016 convention in viewers than either of the previous days — it was down by 11 percent from four years ago, whereas Monday and Tuesday were both more than 20 percent behind.

MSNBC led the 10 o'clock hour for the third straight night, and its 6.46 million viewers the most in primetime across all of cable and broadcast. It rose by about a million viewers vs. Tuesday. CNN's viewership also spiked to 5.79 million (from 4.34 million on Tuesday). NBC (2.53 million) and ABC (2.48 million) were both up a little, and Fox News (2.15 million) and CBS (1.99 million) were consistent with earlier in the week.

CNN topped the adults 25-54 demographic in the shared hour of coverage, as it has all week. It drew 1.7 million people in the key news demo, ahead of MSNBC's 1.3 million. NBC led the rest of the pack in adults 25-54 with 805,000 such viewers.

The convention closes Thursday night with Joe Biden accepting the party's nomination for president.

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