DNC Night 2 Ratings: CNN Remains No. 1, NBC Grows Total Audience

By A.J. Katz Comment

During the second night of the Democratic National Convention, CNN outperformed all cable and broadcast networks in both total viewers and A25-54 once again. The network won in prime time (8 – 11 p.m. ET), and in the 10 – 11:15 p.m. ET block, when the 42nd President of The United States Bill Clinton and actress Meryl Streep spoke.

CNN fell 4.5 percent in total viewers and 6.2 percent in the news demo compared to the 10 p.m. hour on opening night of the 2016 DNC. That said, the network was up 93.5 percent in total viewers and up 117 percent in the news demo compared to night 2 of the 2016 RNC (10 p.m. ET block). During prime time – CNN was down 9 percent in total viewers and down 10 percent in the news demo compared to night 1. The network improved 67 percent in total viewers and improved 89 percent in the demo compared to night 2 of the 2016 RNC. The network was up 60 percent in total viewers and up 60 percent in the news demo compared to night 2 of the 2012 DNC.

NBC won broadcast and finished No. 2 overall during the 10 p.m. ET block, out-performing sister net MSNBC in total viewers. NBC was the only news network, broadcast or cable, to see a bump from opening night of the convention: +23 percent in total viewers and +11 percent in the news demo. It’s important to note that America’s Got Talent was the lead-in for NBC’s coverage of the event. Nevertheless, NBC was up 13 percent in total viewers and up 23 percent in the news demo last night versus night 2 of the 2016 RNC, which also had AGT as a lead-in.

MSNBC finished No. 3 across broadcast and cable during the 10 p.m. block. The network was down 17 percent in total viewers and 16 percent in the demo compared to night 1. The network also fell 15 percent in prime time in both categories. Additionally, MSNBC was down 4 percent in total viewers and down 9 percent in the news demo compared to night 2 of the 2012 DNC.

ABC finished No. 4 last night, ahead of both CBS and Fox News for its 10 p.m. ET coverage. The network fell 16 percent in total viewers and fell 19 percent in the news demo compared to night 1. That said, the network was up 49 percent in total viewers and up 47 percent in the demo compared to night 2 of the 2016 RNC.

CBS finished No. 5 last night, both in total viewers and in the news demo for its 10 p.m. ET coverage. The Eye fell 8 percent in total viewers and fell 16 percent in the news demo compared to night 1. Similar to the other broadcast networks, CBS was up 16 percent in total viewers and up 12 percent in the news demo compared to night 2 of the 2016 RNC.

Fox News finished No.6 last night in the key categories, and it lost 29 percent of its opening night demo audience. That said, the network delivered a 9 percent improvement in total viewers compared to night 2 of the 2012 DNC, but was down 2 percent in the news demo compared to night 2 of the 2012 DNC.

In closing, there were 24.3 million total viewers who watched the 10 p.m. ET coverage across the six networks. That’s down from the 25.7 million who tuned in on night 1, but up from the 19.4 million who tuned into night 2 of the 2016 RNC. A combined 10.8 million total viewers tuned into CNN, MSNBC, Fox News during prime time last night, down from the 12.6 million who tuned in on Monday, but up from the combined 9.2 million who tuned into the three nets on night 2 of the RNC (+18 percent), and up from the combined 8.9 million who tuned in on night 2 of the 2012 DNC (+21 percent).

Got all that?

  • July 26: 10-11:15 p.m. ET | Total Viewers / A25-54 Demo

CNN: 5,929,000 / 2,051,000

NBC: 5,281,000 / 1,925,000

MSNBC: 3,834,000 / 1,170,000

ABC: 3,463,000 /  1,098,000

CBS: 2,945,000 / 888,000

Fox News: 2,851,000 /  634,000

 

  • July 25: 8- 11 p.m. ET | Total Viewers / A25-54 Demo

CNN: 4,668,000 / 1,539,000

MSNBC: 3,182,000 / 917,000

Fox News: 2,953,000 / 614,000

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