Republican National Convention Final Night Draws 30.3 Million Viewers, Down 8 Million From 2008

Categories: Broadcast TV,Cable TV

Written By

August 31st, 2012

via nielsenwire

An estimated 30.3 million people watched the fourth and final night of the 2012 Republican National Convention on Thursday, August 30. [...]

In 2008, more than 38.9 million people watched the comparable closing night of the RNC when John McCain accepted the Republican presidential nomination— about 8.6 million more people than last night’s viewership. [...]

While coverage varied by network, all eleven aired live coverage from approximately 10:00PM to 11:15PM. The chart below highlights the sum of the average audience for these networks during common coverage.

2012 Republican National Convention
Sum of Networks Live + Same Day
Day 1- 8/27/2012 Day 2- 8/28/2012 Day 3- 8/29/2012 Day 4- 8/30/2012
rating Number
of
Viewers
Rating Number
of
Viewers
Rating Number
of
Viewers
Rating Number
of
Viewers
All Households

No common coverage  due to Hurricane Isaac

14.7 16,920,000 14.7 16,697,000 19.3 22,095,000
Persons 2+ 7.7 22,301,000 7.7 21,942,000 10.5 30,251,000
Persons 18-34 2.2 1,483,000 3.2 2,129,000 4.7 3,214,000
Persons 35-54 6.7 5,414,000 6.7 5,482,000 10.3 8,329,000
Persons 55+ 18.8 14,661,000 17.6 13,670,000 22.5 17,539,000

Networks Included:
Day 2 – ABC, CBS, CNBC, CNN, FOXNC, CRNT, MSNBC, NBC and PBS
Day 3 – ABC, CBS, CNBC, CNN, FOXNC, CRNT, MSNBC, NBC and PBS
Day 4 – ABC, CBS, CNBC, CNN, FOXNC, CRNT, MSNBC, MUN2, NBC, PBS and UNI

2008 Republican National Convention
Sum of Networks Live + Same Day
Day 1- 9/1/2008 Day 2- 9/2/2008 Day 3- 9/3/2008 Day 4- 9/4/2008
Rating Number of Viewers Rating Number of Viewers Rating Number of Viewers Rating Number of Viewers
Persons 2+

No common coverage due to Hurricane Gustav

7.3 21,528,000 12.9 37,244,000 13.4 38,933,000

2008 Networks Included
Day 2 – ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, FOX News, MSNBC
Day 3 – ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, FOX News, MSNBC
Day 4 – ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, Univision, Telemundo

 
  • Sam

    Maybe it shows most people have already made their voting decision and are concrete in their decision. Or, maybe it shows that people don’t have much faith in anything dealing with politics and politicians anymore.

  • Nitish Singh

    In 2008, NBC had the NFL opener….
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/03/26/us-nfl-idUSN2529053820080326

    Not surprisingly, opening night of the NFL season provides a better lead-in than Saving Hope

  • AppleStinx

    I think this was a good way to finish: up 38% from day 3. P18-34 was up 51%; P35-54 was up 52%.
    1,169,000 future voters.

  • DryedMangoez

    Hmm, now that you mention NFL Opening Day as a lead-in to McCain in 2008, it’s interesting to see this year’s NFL Kickoff moved to Wednesday at a regular 8:30 ET kickoff instead of NBC again using the game, this time giving Obama a big boost in eyes for his speech.

  • Juan

    Palin was like the difference between Navy playing ND vs Navy playing Temple. ND is a polarizing tv personality as a college football team. Viewers tune in because the love the Irish & viewers tune in because they hate them. Palin had that same effect in 2008. None of this means anything in terms of the election as all these speeches will likely be forgotten by the debates. That’s when Obama beat McCain soundly & Romney so far seems like a better tv personality debater than McCain.

  • Justin

    I dare anyone to name a show/special that is still on today that was on in 2008 that is not down in numbers.

  • Oliver

    I dare anyone to name a show/special that is still on today that was on in 2008 that is not down in numbers.

    Sunday Night Football.

  • Scott

    Justin: The Super Bowl

  • Oliver

    How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, NCIS, Castle and America’s Got Talent too.

  • Mark

    Wow that has to be embarrassing for the GOP.

  • Babygate

    The table is looking a little out of sorts for me. Maybe it’s my browser, but does it look like even though the total viewers are down the demos are actually up?

  • Oliver

    I suspect it was the Palin effect which inflated the RNC’s 2008 numbers and its ratings have simply fallen back to normalcy.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “Wow that has to be embarrassing for the GOP.”

    Nonsense.

    2012 was pretty typical over the last generation, 2008 was the outlier.

    2008 averaged a 21.9 household rating, 21.9% of HHs watched on average.

    2012′s HH rating average for the entire convention is going to be in the 16-17 HH rating range. That’s better than both the Republican and Democrat conventions in 2004 and 2000, and about what they each did in 1996.

    “The table is looking a little out of sorts for me. Maybe it’s my browser, but does it look like even though the total viewers are down the demos are actually up?”

    Yeah, the table didn’t paste in very well, you can see the original at the nielsenwire link above.

  • AppleStinx

    @Bill Gorman

    Speaking of Nielsen, the “Local Television Market Universe Estimates For 2012-13″ is out.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “Speaking of Nielsen, the “Local Television Market Universe Estimates For 2012-13? is out.”

    Thanks for the heads up. Our pretty table is now posted.

  • Ultima

    @DryedMangoez
    it’s interesting to see this year’s NFL Kickoff moved to Wednesday at a regular 8:30 ET kickoff instead of NBC again using the game, this time giving Obama a big boost in eyes for his speech.

    It was the NFL, not NBC, who had the authority to move the game. It was obvious after 2008 that the early start time was a terrible idea; so, without that option, the move to Wednesday was done to avoid being on at the same time as Obama’s speech.

  • JJA

    Honestly, did the GOP actually believe people would get excited about seeing the likes of Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee?? boring!!!

    Where was Sarah Palin? Where was Ron Paul? Where was Herman Caine? Where was Rush Limbaugh? Like them or not, these are the “superstars” that would have drawn an audience.

  • David

    Here’s the main reason viewership was off….it was the week before Labor Day.

    Millions of people are traveling on vaction.

    Going to work (if you did go to work), did you notice that were were far, far fewer people commuting or actually working at your employer?

  • Terry

    This count seems to ignore the internet live broadcasts. I watched it at WSJ.com. It was also on Youtube and probably a dozen other outlets, and it’s safe to say millions were watching on non-traditional media, or else listening on the radio. The real audience count was probably a lot higher than 30 point something million.

    Of course, Barack Obama didn’t watch Romney’s speech, and that pretty much sets the tone for the Democrats: ignore it and hope it goes away. If 2010 is any indication, this attitude is going to cost them dearly.

  • RG-X

    Mnay reasons why RNC was down:

    It was delayed closer to the holiday weekend – also the hurricane viewers had bigger problems and even our area pre-empted it for an NFL pre-season game -

    a lot of factors – so over all; Not Bad

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