How the DNC's TV Ratings Compare to 2016

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Posted: Aug 19, 2020 7:30 AM
How the DNC's TV Ratings Compare to 2016

Source: Democratic National Convention via AP

The ratings from the Democratic National Convention’s first night are in and the numbers were not as strong as they were in 2016.

During the 10 p.m. to 11:15 p.m. timeframe, the convention brought in approximately 25 percent fewer viewers than the last convention, Deadline reports citing Nielsen Media Research.

The convention drew 18.7 million viewers in the 10 PM ET to 11:15 PM ET timeframe, when the most networks were carrying the convention proceedings, highlighted by a speech by former First Lady Michelle Obama. That compares to about 25 million who watched ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, MSNBC and CNN in the same time period four years ago. The ratings information is from Nielsen Media and was released by Fox News and CNN.

The figures do not include viewers on other networks or on streaming and social media platforms, as the Democratic National Committee made a push to draw viewers to other feeds. According to TJ Ducklo, spokesman for Joe Biden’s campaign, 10.2 million watched via digital streams, surpassing the level of four years ago and bringing the total TV and online audience to 28.9 million. (Deadline)

There is a major difference between this year's convention and 2016, of course--the fact that it was a virtual event due to the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic. But despite having plenty of time to prepare and create a visually appealing package, it was poorly executed and painful to watch what amounted to a series of Zoom calls.

"I get that we're in a pandemic and it can't be like a normal convention but this made a PBS telethon look like New Year's Eve in Times Square," The Hill's media reporter Joe Concha told "Fox & Friends First" on Tuesday. "It was just beyond boring, for lack of a better term, and it just felt too homogenized. There didn't seem to be any authenticity to it.

Concha noted that even anti-Trump voices in the media characterized the convention as: "cringey, sad, slow, phoney, amateur, robotic, boring and painful."

No wonder liberal networks are so worried about the Republican National Convention.