News and Commentary

DNC Ratings Bomb: ‘Jumped Off A Ratings Cliff’
Former U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama speaks during the virtual Democratic National Convention seen on a laptop computer in Tiskilwa, Illinois, U.S., on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020.
Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Democratic National Convention (DNC), which is virtual this year because of coronavirus-related precautions, has struggled badly with ratings.

According to numerous reports, DNC viewership this year has “jumped off a ratings cliff,” as radio host Hugh Hewitt put it.

On Monday, the first night of the convention, the DNC was down about 25% from the equivalent night in 2016, according to CNN.

“According to Nielsen the six biggest TV networks averaged a combined total of 19 million viewers during the 10 p.m. hour, which was the only hour that NBC, ABC and CBS showed live,” CNN reported Tuesday. “The same six networks had almost 25 million viewers combined during the first night of the DNC in 2016.”

The report added that DNC officials insist online streaming for the event was “up.”

And it got worse for the Democrats by Tuesday, dropping off a stunning 48% in broadcast viewership compared to 2016.

“The Democratic National Convention drew 6.13 million viewers on broadcast television networks ABC, CBS and NBC on Tuesday night, according to preliminary data, marking a 48 percent drop from the second night of the convention in 2016,” The Hill reported. “The Nielsen Media Research numbers come after broadcast ratings dropped by 42 percent on Monday night when compared to the first night of the convention in 2016.”

“When including cable news networks MSNBC, CNN and Fox News, the total viewership on the first night of the 2020 convention was 18.6 million, an overall decrease of 27 percent from four years ago,” the report added.

Former first lady Michelle Obama was Tuesday night’s headliner. As The Daily Wire noted, the anti-Trump speech from Mrs. Obama, based on digital metrics, was trounced by an ad from relatively unknown GOP congressional candidate Kimberly Klacik, according to The Post Millennial’s Chief Marketing Officer Jeff Ballingall.

By digital metrics, Michelle Obama bombed at the DNC last night. The former first lady was completely outdone by an unknown house candidate, [Kim Klacik],” Ballingall argued, citing Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube views and engagement. 

Author and political commentator Ryan Girdusky, analyzing past broadcast views for conventions posted by Medium Buying, said Thursday that former VP Joe Biden is “going to need 10 million more viewers in today’s #DemConvention than Kamala Harris had to even tie the viewership from 4 years ago.”

Girdusky added, Biden “would need about 20 million more viewers from last night to tie Obama’s 08’ convention,” which was at about 38.4 million, per Medium Buying.

Medium Buying reported that “final viewership estimate from [Nielsen Media Research] for Night 2 of the 2020 #DemConvention” was at 19.22 million viewers across 10 different networks: ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, CNNe, Fox Business, FOXNC, MSNBC, and Newsy.  

“Night 2 of the #DemConvention had 5 million fewer viewers than 4 years ago…. and even if they had the same number of people streaming that the Super Bowl had, it wouldn’t make up the loss,” Girdusky said. 

Related: ‘A Star Is Born’: GOP Candidate’s Ad Trounces Michelle Obama DNC Speech In Digital Metrics

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  DNC Ratings Bomb: ‘Jumped Off A Ratings Cliff’