DNC Day Two Ratings: MSNBC Tops on Cable, ABC on Broadcast

By Chris Ariens 

On day two of the Democratic National Convention, which featured a 48-minute speech from former Pres. Bill Clinton, MSNBC was once again the top choice for cable news viewers, while ABC News was #1 at 10pm. NBC was the big winner of the night, however, as it broadcast the first game of the 2012 NFL season. In the 10pm hour, NBC averaged 20.2 million viewers watching the Giants-Cowboys, while the combined averages of ABC, CBS, MSNBC, FNC and CNN was 20.6 million.

While MSNBC led the cablers again, only Fox News grew its audience from Tuesday night, in both total viewers (+7%) and demo viewers (+14%).

  • Cable News Primetime , Sept. 5, 8-11pm

MSNBC: 3,307,740 viewers (1,003,068 in 25-54)
CNN: 2,919,265 viewers (961,695 in 25-54)
FNC: 2,699,098 viewers (629,025 in 25-54)

ABC eked out a win over CBS at 10pm, by just +4%. MSNBC was third in Total Viewers while CNN grabbed third (a cable win) in the demo. All the networks gained viewers from Tuesday in the hour, not unusual since there was one less outlet to watch (NBC).

  • DNC Day Two / Sept. 5, 10-11pm:

ABC: 4,587,224 viewers (1,728,724 in 25-54)
CBS: 4,410,140 viewers (1,723,928 in 25-54)
MSNBC: 4,387,567 viewers (1,419,115 in 25-54)
CNN: 4,134,662 viewers (1,543,771 in 25-54)
FNC: 3,102,606 viewers (813,816 in 25-54)

Compared to Day 2 of the DNC in 2008, ABC, CBS, MSNBC and FNC are up. The growth can be attributed to NBC passing on the DNC for the NFL, and the fact that CNN is down -23% in total viewers and down -33% in A25-54 viewers, vs. 2008.

And even with football on NBC, the 10pm hour of the DNC’s night two still topped night two of the RNC a week ago: 20,622,000 vs. 20,049,000

  • RNC Day Two / Aug. 29, 10-11pm:

FNC: 7,702,578 viewers (2,067,483 in 25-54)
NBC: 4,149,000 viewers (1,492,694 in 25-54)
ABC: 2,858,000 viewers (993,941 in 25-54)
CBS: 2,559,000 viewers (943,519 in 25-54)
MSNBC: 1,440,882 viewers (402,044 in 25-54)
CNN: 1,340,129 viewers (451,370 in 25-54)