On night one of the Republican National Convention, Fox News Channel was the clear ratings winner on TV, drawing substantially more viewers than any other TV network, including NBC, CBS and ABC. NBC was tops in the key adults 25-54 demo.
More than 20 million Americans were watching during the 10 PM hour last night, not counting coverage on C-SPAN, PBS and online.
According to preliminary data from Nielsen Media Research (final numbers could change, but probably not by much), FNC averaged 5.15 million viewers from 8-11 PM last night. MSNBC averaged 1.3 million, with CNN averaging 1.2 million.
From 10-11PM when the broadcasters had live coverage, FNC averaged 6.89 million viewers, NBC averaged 4.77 million viewers, CBS averaged 3.12M and ABC 2.86M viewers. CNN and MSNBC tied at 10pm with 1.47 million viewers each.
In the A25-54 demo, FNC placed second to NBC, which drew 1.73 million viewers, compared to 1.68 million for FNC from 10-11PM, and 1.17 million from 8-11 PM. ABC drew 920,346 and CBS 938,237 and on cable CNN averaged 413,467, while MSNBC averaged 411,738 in the 10pm hour.
The hourly cable ratings will be up later today.
> Update: Compared to night one of the RNC in 2008, Fox News, NBC and CBS were up slightly, while ABC, CNN and MSNBC were down. Fox News also topped the broadcasters for the first night of coverage four years ago. Overall viewership appears to be about the same as 2008.