An estimated 35.7 million people watched the third and final night of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, which culminated in the acceptance speech of Pres. Barack Obama. The closing night of the DNC was carried live across 13 TV networks. Four years ago, when candidate Obama gave his nomination acceptance speech, a record 38.3 million watched.
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25-54 demographic (Live +SD)
- Total day: FNC: 395 | MSNBC: 434 | CNN: 489 | HLN: 83
- Primetime: FNC: 673 | MSNBC: 1.292 | CNN: 1.558 | HLN: 111
While Fox News cleaned up at the RNC, MSNBC won big at the DNC. Check out the chart below which shows MSNBC’s growth since the democrats met four years ago — up +48% in primetime and total day viewership. MSNBC’s gain is CNN’s loss. The network is down -25% in primetime and -21% in total day vs. the 2008 DNC. FNC, too is down -18% in primetime and down -13% in total day vs. DNC ’08. The younger viewer numbers are also up for MSNBC and down for both CNN and FNC.
NBC wins the final night of the Democratic National Convention drawing more than 7 million viewers for its two-hour primetime special last night. On cable, CNN won its first convention night in both primetime, and the crucial 10pm hour. After MSNBC took night one, and they split night two, on night three, CNN won in both Total Viewers and A25-54 demo viewers.
- Cable News Primetime (8-11pm). Night three of the DNC, Sept. 6, 2012
CNN: 4,105,216 total viewers (1,557,165 in 25-54)
MSNBC: 3,610,875 total viewers (1,289,781 in 25-54)
FNC: 2,659,051 total viewers (672,749 in 25-54)
While NBC led the way, cable networks CNN and MSNBC were watched by more viewers than ABC and CBS.
- Sept. 6, 2012. Night three of the DNC:
NBC (9-11:11pm): 7.377 viewers (3.088M in A25-54)
CNN (10-11pm): 5.562 viewers (2.201M in A25-54)
MSNBC (10-11pm): 4.547 viewers (1,776M in A25-54)
ABC (10-11:11pm): 3.995 viewers (1.524M in A25-54)
CBS (10-11:12pm): 3.294 viewers (1.383M in A25-54)
FNC (10-11pm): 2.855 viewers (808K in 25-54)
Just back from Charlotte covering the DNC, George Stephanopoulos got some good news this morning. The ABC News anchor had two number one shows last week: “Good Morning America” was #1 in the mornings, and “This Week” was #1 Sunday, Sept. 2.
“GMA” has been consistently winning the mornings, and did again last week. Meanwhile, the Sunday public affairs show race has been a back and forth between CBS’s “Face the Nation” and the longtime #1 NBC’s “Meet the Press.” CBS had slightly lower clearance due to the U.S. Open.
“This Week” edged “Meet the Press” by +2,000 Total Viewers and +65,000 younger viewers. The lead on “Face the Nation” was 482,000 Total Viewers / 106,000 demo viewers.
Time‘s TV critic James Poniewozik examines the 2012 Republican and Democratic conventions as the TV spectacles they are. Yes, he talks about the ratings spin, but he also addresses a larger question: how much do the conventions matter, and how much TV coverage is warranted?
If conventions are no longer about convincing the undecided, is there still as much public interest in networks carrying them? TV has cut back in recent conventions to begin with, for self-interested reasons but also on the grounds that they’re really free political advertising. But at least there’s an argument for free political advertising, if genuinely undecided viewers are looking to it for information to make a decision. If conventions are more and more about base-motivation, TV coverage is less a public service to the viewers and more a public service to the parties. (Though one argument for that, maybe, is that it’s massive “free media” that balances out the influence of political-ad money.)
25-54 demographic (Live +SD)
- Total day: FNC: 396 | MSNBC: 425 | CNN: 380 | HLN: 75
- Primetime: FNC: 632 | MSNBC: 1.003 | CNN: 963 | HLN: 109
Piers Morgan’s Pub Politics: ‘Doing interviews in a bar is perfectly natural. I’ve been spouting rubbish in bars all my life.’
CNN host Piers Morgan slides into the seat across from me. We are sitting in a booth in a (relatively) quiet corner of the CNN Grill in Charlotte. Seconds after he arrives, a server brings over a cheeseburger for Morgan, who just finished a Q&A on Wolf Blitzer‘s show. During the RNC and DNC the CNN Grill has become a meeting place for media types. While there is a set in the restaurant, it feels more like a bar than a TV studio. Morgan says he feels right at home.
“I grew up in a pub, my parents ran a country pub, I owned a pub in London until recently, so doing interviews in a bar is perfectly natural, I have been spouting rubbish in bars all my life.” he quips. ” I quite like the idea of a grill too, grilling politicians. I think it is something we might adopt.”
Shorty after we sit down, Star Jones walks over to the booth to talk to Morgan about her appearance on tonight’s show.
For Morgan, the conventions have been an chance to showcase a more fun, less formal side of TV news.
“I don’t know how many cable news shows have pints of beer siting on the desk,” he says. “We have had some great guests, and lively end of the evening debate. It has been quite cool to ramp up the proceedings over a few pints with smart people, and having the kind of electricity of being in a bar and doing it live while it has been packed. It is actually quite exciting, I have really enjoyed that.”
He also cites his primetime newsmaker interviews as something he is particularly proud of during the conventions.
“To be the go-to person for the big interview hit is really important to me, because that is what I think I can bring to the network as well as anyone else,” he adds.
The conventions also allow a chance to grab guests you wouldn’t otherwise be able to secure. Morgan says he has two big, boldface names still on his list.
Today at MSNBC HQ, cupcakes for all. The occasion? MSNBC’s win Tuesday in primetime, beating CNN and Fox News for the first time ever when all three networks were in head-to-head programming. In the 10pm hour, MSNBC also beat ABC and CBS. Wednesday numbers should be out in a few hours. And because NBC did not air a 10pm special due to the Giants-Cowboys game, MSNBC might have an even better night.
25-54 demographic (Live +SD)
- Total day: FNC: 339 | MSNBC: 391 | CNN: 331 | HLN: 89
- Primetime: FNC: 554 | MSNBC: 1.068 | CNN: 1.002 | HLN: 123
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