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Broadcast Audiences Peak for Obama at DNC

Broadcast television networks swelled for Thursday’s closing night of the Democratic National Convention, and the historic speech by presidential candidate Barack Obama, according to preliminary national data from Nielsen Media Research.

NBC ended the week four-for-four as the dominant broadcast convention coverage with an average 6.27 million viewers Thursday night, up 809,000 viewers from Wednesday and up 920,000 viewers from the Democrats’ closing night four years ago on July 29, when Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry was the candidate.

Last night's convention special’s audience rose 1.64 million viewers from its NFL preseason football lead-in.

ABC averaged 5.73 million viewers, up 2.25 million from Wednesday. The convention pulled in 338,000 more viewers than its lead-in, a repeat of “Grey’s Anatomy.” Last night’s political coverage beat the network’s audience four years ago by 840,000 viewers.

CBS averaged 4.46 million viewers, up 920,000 from Wednesday. The coverage lost 1.13 million viewers after its lead-in, a repeat of “CSI.” Compared with 2004’s convention coverage, CBS’s audience was down 1.11 million.

Cable ratings and time-zone adjust nationals for the broadcast networks will be in later today.

PBS' coverage of the convention during the prime-time hours of 8-11 p.m. EDT averaged a 2.6 household rating/4 share according to Nielsen overnight data from 52 metered markets. That’s down from the 3.1 rating/5 share for closing night in 2004.

(Editor: Baumann)

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