Democratic Convention Ratings Fall From 2004

Aug 26, 2008  •  Post A Comment

The first night of the Democratic National Convention, featuring an address by Michelle Obama, drew fewer broadcast television viewers than the event four years ago, when former President Bill Clinton kicked things off.
ABC, CBS and NBC brought in 12.1 million viewers in the 10 p.m. hour, down one million from 2004, according to preliminary, fast-national data from Nielsen Media Research. NBC scored the largest audience.
Later in the day, when final broadcast and cable ratings came in, it became clear that the cable news networks’ blanket coverage pushed audiences much higher.
Only ABC News’s convention special gained over its entertainment lead-in, picking up 1.6 million viewers following “Samantha Who?” to average 3.78 million viewers for the hour anchored by Charles Gibson, George Stephanopoulos and Diane Sawyer.
ABC finished second in the head-to-head competition to NBC News’s hour anchored by Brian Williams, which averaged 4.85 million viewers, down 2.6 million from the lead-in supplied by “America’s Toughest Jobs.”
In third place was the CBS News Hour anchored by Katie Couric, Bob Schieffer and Jeff Greenfield, which averaged 3.52 million viewers, down 3 million viewers from “The New Adventures of Old Christine.”
In other programming, NBC rolled out the season premiere of “Deal or No Deal” (2.8/8), finishing behind a repeat of CBS’s “Two and a Half Men,” to place second in adults 18-49. NBC’s launch of “America’s Toughest Jobs” scored a 2.6/7, winning the hour, but the program fell off 31% from its “Deal” lead-in in total viewers to 7.5 million.
NBC finished the night in first with a 2.3/6.
CBS took second with its repeats, and ended with a 1.8/5. Fox placed third with a 1.5/4, and ABC took fourth with a 0.8/2.
The CW was a close fifth with a 0.7/2.
(Editor: Baumann)

89 Comments

  1. Are you surprised? The first two hours were a yawn. You forgot to mention “Uncle Teddy” Kennedy’s surprise appearance, that was the highlight.
    And saving Obama’s wife to the very last was a stunt that just didn’t work. Hope Clinton does better tonight.

  2. Or maybe they watched unbiased full coverage without commentary on C-Spann and enjoyed all presentations instead of the selected few that were chosen and discussed to death by the major players w/affiliations

  3. Nobama’s novelty has waned.
    He is an inexperienced Socialist with an extreme Liberal running mate. What a great change for America.

  4. Although I am in no way endorse any pro-homo, pro-abortion candidate(regardless of party). The ratings change could be due to people watching from cable channels instead of the big 3. So I wouldnt read much into the rating drop… yet.

  5. To be honest I am hoping the ratings go way up when the fights break out between each minority group.
    The best thing the democratic party can do for America is implode! Republicans are not far behind them either…. we need a solid 3rd party to run against both of them…

  6. The Olympics had saturation viewing. . . perhaps folks just were worn out watching and have had to take a break. . .

  7. Melly Could not have said it better myself.

  8. Where’s the numbers for online streaming and time shifted DVR viewings?

  9. Waiting for a third-party ticket? Are you joking? McCain is a true third-party member, despite his running on the Republican ticket. If he chooses Lieberman, then, my God, that couldn’t be more of a perfect third-party ticket. It would be as if Nader were running on the Democrat ticket.

  10. Everyone is out working so they can buy gasoline and food! Does anyone really care about the same old crap these fools sling around every four years!

  11. Anybody that would DVR that mess would Tivo infomercials.

  12. I’m with John.

  13. People have been watching the Olympics for 2 weeks where everyone embraced “love of country”. The last thing they want to do now is watch people bash it.

  14. I’m with John! I vote you for President.

  15. We can’t have a third party until they change the election laws. Remember Clinton getting elected with only 46% of the vote because of Perot? Didn’t hear any Democrats complaining about that did you :^)?! What we need is a run off election where the two candidates that get the most votes go on the the general election. Otherwise people will be afraid to vote third party. Guess what the likelihood of seeing a law passed like that is……

  16. I’d like to see if the ratings went up for CSPAN.
    I watched CSPAN because I didn’t feel the need to listen to pontificating talking heads.
    There was nothing these self involved blowhards could add that wasn’t something they have already said, probably ad nauseum.
    It’s a crime in my humble opinion that the media under the guise of ‘reporting the news’ decides what the news is and then guides it whichever direction that most benefits whatever networks coffers.
    Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…

  17. Nobody cares about those out of touch elitists.

  18. What a disaster this is for us! We nominated another “savior” that can’t be elected!! We had Hillary who would be up 3 points by now all ready to go and we nominate a child! I want a Dem to win, but I won’t reward Obama for what he did to Hillary. And, in fact, I do think, when I’m honest with my self, McCain is a better man than Obama.

  19. I agree with cspanner, CSPAN is great. Like the line from the old Dragnet show, “just the facts, Ma’am.” I’m literally shocked whenever the commentators actually say something I didn’t already figure out myself. They literally add nothing to the show. We’ll except now I not only have to figure out what non-sense the politician is saying but the “newscaster” too.

  20. Hillary would be up 30 points by now

  21. It’s official: Barack Obama has received no bounce in voter support out of his selection of Sen. Joe Biden to be his vice presidential running mate.
    Gallup Poll Daily tracking from Aug. 23-25, the first three-day period falling entirely after Obama’s Saturday morning vice presidential announcement, shows 46% of national registered voters backing John McCain and 44% supporting Obama, not appreciably different from the previous week’s standing for both candidates.
    Say Hello to President McCain!

  22. Mary – We’ll have to see what happens at the convention. I would not count her out yet. People are starting to wonder about the wonderboy. When the Democrat party is doing “everything” it can to produce an image of unity – what does that say to you :^).

  23. Obama will be the nominee after this convention is over. But by mid-November the Clintons will still be running the party. And they won’t let another upstart knock them loose again.

  24. well, what did anyone expect? who the hell wants to listen to a bunch of left-wing, commie centric diatribes. oh, i know, welfare recipients who sit on their fat, blodded asses, wake up at noon, eat, sleep, eat and sleep. then pick up the welfare checks and the process is repeated.
    need i say more!

  25. Don’t worry, the Obamessiah will come inspire the great unwashed on Thursday night, and we will all live happily ever after. What a joke! Last night, at my house, the big question was, “Isn’t there a movie on or something?” We watched “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” for the umpteenth time.

  26. OBAMA IS AN EMPTY SHELL and his kool aid drinkers get heated trying to defend him because they know he doesnt really have any depth. Hillary got screwed, she was the better candidate. She has every reason to be mad and get even.
    OUT or McCain and Obama McCain is the best choice for America then in 4 years we will see if Hillary can close the deal.
    With Biased media (lets be honest) he hasnt been able to close the deal, he is horrible without his telepromter, his wife is off-putting, his voting record is shallow, rev wright (i know, but it matters to me and other dems, admit it), he comes off as a wuss, and he chose biden!
    NOBAMA 08

  27. 21.4 million people watched, if you add all the cable numbers. So go f–ck yourself, you anti-Obama trolls (to quote your VP Cheney).
    You progress haters can enjoy voting for an angry old man who wants more unending war, more corporate tax cuts and more unemployment, and definitely more pollution and environmental disaster.
    Obama is the man of the moment who will deliver us from Bush’s all-out EVIL.

  28. Joe Justice::
    I’m no fan of McCain. But who do you think ends up paying those evil corporate taxes? That’s right, *you* do! They pass this “cost of doing business” right on to you, the end consumer, in the form of higher prices for their product. Did you know that 45% of the cost of a new car is TAXES! The sneaky evil thing about corporate taxes is that the taxpayer (YOU) doesn’t know he’s paying it! It’s called “hidden taxes”. Make the taxpayer pay all the taxes out in the open, then you’ll see how much this socialist utopia is really costing you. Get rid of all taxes except a single national sales tax. Makes life simple.

  29. Please don’t tell that to Michelle! She’ll really scratch Bill Clinton eyes out this time!

  30. Watching this dog and pony show is like sitting in a classroom full of kindergarten teachers telling everyone to feel happy! Gin up the excitement! Blech.
    Just think. Four years of Nanny-statism and cheerleaders.

  31. This headline is totally wrong. Ratings are UP 20% overall compared to 2004. You can’t just look at the big three networks, who have been losing viewers for years. Adding in all the cable numbers gives the proper audience numbers. Poor choice of words by the writers.

  32. Yesterday, Rush set up stuff of Obama and Hillary Clingon and additional Dems soon after played stuff from Ahmadinejad’s dialog and remarked that they both say the same things whilst discussing The united states and capitalism.

  33. Is the booing of Sarah Palin on last night’s ‘Dancing With the Stars’ incorrect? do not like Sarah Palin, don’t shop for her publication. Just don’t become her Facebook chum. Never vote for her but please have some good manners, booing is actually so irritating.

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