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The opening night of the Republican National Convention was down in the ratings compared to 2016 — falling by a similar percentage as did the Democratic convention last week.
Across the six major commercial networks carrying coverage at 10 p.m. ET — ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News and MSNBC — the convention averaged 15.85 million viewers, per Nielsen. That’s off by about 30 percent from the RNC’s opening night four years ago, which drew 22.53 million.
The first night of the Democratic gathering a week ago drew 18.69 million people across the six channels, dow 28 percent compared to 2016.
As was the case last week, the cable news networks brought in the majority of viewers. Fox News led the coverage by a wide margin, drawing 7.06 million viewers in the 10 o’clock hour, about 5 million more than second place CNN (2.02 million). ABC drew 1.98 million viewers, followed by NBC (1.74 million), MSNBC (1.57 million) and CBS (1.48 million).
Fox News also dominated the key news demographic of adults 25-54 with 1.57 million. CNN was a distant second with 600,000 people in the demo.
The cable rankings are an inversion of last week’s numbers for the Democratic convention, when MSNBC — whose primetime opinion hosts lean left — led all four days in total viewers at 10 p.m. and Fox News was a distant third. CNN led the 25-54 demo during the DNC.
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