On night two of the Republican National Convention, Fox News Channel was once again the network more people went to to get their political fix. That said, every network was down substantially from the same night in 2008, when Sarah Palin made her RNC debut.
From 10-(just after) 11PM, when the broadcasters were live, FNC averaged 7.70 million total viewers, including 2.07 million in the key adults 25-54 demo. NBC was next with 4.15 million viewers, including 1.49 million adults 25-54, followed by ABC with 2.86 million viewers including 993,941 A25-54 and CBS with 2.56 million viewers, including 943,519 A25-54. MSNBC drew 1.44 million viewers during the hour, including 402,044 A25-54, while CNN brought in 1.34 million viewers, including 451,270 A25-54.
Only FNC and ABC improved their 10-11PM total viewership compared to day one of the RNC. In the demo, FNC, CNN, ABC, CBS were up compared to yesterday. Every network was also down from 2008, with FNC down 1.5 viewers, NBC down 3.5 million viewers, CNN down nearly five million viewers, ABC down three million viewers, CBS down two million viewers and MSNBC down about two million viewers. It is worth noting that night two of the RNC in 2008 saw a speech delivered by Palin, who at the time was still a relative unknown.
All told, just over 20 million people were watching last night on the Nielsen-rated networks, compared to 37 million for night two of the RNC in 2008. Night one of the 2012 RNC was roughly on par with night one of the 2008 RNC ratings-wise, making the gap all the more dramatic.
Update: Also worth noting that Hurricane Isaac knocked out power in around 500,000 homes in the southeast. It probably made an impact in the ratings, though not enough to explain the drop entirely.
In primetime from 8-11 PM, the cable networks had continuous coverage (save for some Hurricane Isaac updates). FNC averaged 5.86 million total viewers and 1.42 million adults 25-54. MSNBC averaged 1.30 million viewers, including 366,743 adults 25-54, while CNN averaged 1.16 million viewers, including 341,758.
Update: The business network numbers are in. Once again FBN was on top, averaging 190,000 total and 49,000 demo viewers from 10-11 PM In that same hour CNBC averaged 79,000 total and 25,000 demo viewers. FBN was also on from 8-10 PM, where it averaged 225,000 total and 62,000 demo viewers. Bloomberg TV was on from 9-11, but is not rated by Nielsen.