Viewership for five of the six networks covering the first night of the 2012 Democratic National Convention in the 10 p.m. hour grew from the comparable night at last week's GOP affair.
NBC set the pace on Sept. 4 with coverage of speeches from San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and First Lady Michelle Obama from Charlotte, averaging 5.02 million viewers and 1.93 million adults 25 to 54 from 10 p.m. to 11:06 p.m., according to Nielsen data. MSNBC was second with almost 4.11 million watchers and 1.43 million in the demo. CNN was third with 3.89 million and 1.37 million among the news demo.
CBS was fourth with 3.27 million watchers from 10 p.m. to 11:07 p.m., 1.06 million in the 25-to-54 group, which stood fifth. For its part, ABC ranked fifth with an average audience of 3.24 million watchers from 10 p.m. to 11:08 p.m., including 1.14 million in the demo that was fourth in that metric. Fox News Channel was sixth with almost 2.4 million viewers and 550,149 in the news demo.
On Aug. 28, the first night of the Hurricane Isaac-shortened Republican National Convention from Tampa, Fox News was first in the 10 p.m. hour averaging 6.88 million viewers. Showing speeches by Mitt Romney's wife Ann and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, NBC (10 p.m. to 11:05 p.m.) was second with 4.77 million viewers, followed by CBS (10 p.m. to 11:03 p.m.) with 3.12 million. ABC was fourth with 2.86 million, ahead of CNN's 1.473 million and MSNBC's 1.468 million.
Among the news demo on Aug. 28 NBC was tops with 1.73 million of those viewers, versus 1.68 million for Fox News Channel. CBS and ABC were third and fourth, respectively, with 938,237 and 920,346, while CNN (413,467) and MSNBC (411,738) followed.
When Mrs. Obama spoke on the first night of the DNC in Denver during 2008, NBC averaged 4.7 million viewers, while CNN tallied 4.27 million. ABC (4.17 million), CBS (3.46 million), FNC (2.92 million) and MNBC (2.09 million) finished third through sixth, respectively. As such, two of the networks -- NBC and MSNBC -- registered gains, while the other four sustained declines in Charlotte from the opening DNC night in Denver.