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TV audience for Night 3 of the Democratic Convention rises to 22.8 million viewers

Sen. Kamala Harris accepts the nomination for vice president at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday night.
(Los Angeles Times)

The third night of the 2020 Democratic National Convention delivered the largest TV audience for the event so far with an average of 22.8 million viewers across the major cable news channels and broadcast networks.

The 10 p.m. Eastern hour on Wednesday featured addresses by President Obama and Sen. Kamala Harris of California, who made history as the first Black woman nominated as vice president on a major party ticket.

According to Nielsen data, MSNBC had the largest audience with 6.46 million viewers from 10 to 11:15 p.m. Eastern, followed by CNN (5.79 million), NBC (2.52 million), ABC (2.48 million), Fox News (2.15 million), CBS (1.98 million) and CNN Español (22,000).

The total also includes the audience for PBS, Fox Business and Newsy, which also carried coverage.

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The Wednesday figure was well head of the first two nights for all 10 networks carrying the convention. The average for Monday was 19.7 million viewers, while 19.2 million watched on Tuesday.

Despite the bump for the third night, the TV audience is tracking well below the 2016 Democratic Convention when Hillary Clinton was chosen as the party’s nominee. The event averaged 25 million viewers over the first three nights — 18% higher than the 20.6 million for this year.

Thursday’s final night of the convention will feature the acceptance speech by Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Following the overall trend in television viewing, it’s likely that a larger number of people are watching all or part of he convention on various streaming platforms. But the overall lift for TV coverage through streaming has been modest.

CNN said its livestream of the convention averaged 53,000 from 9 to 11 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, up 6% from the comparable night in 2016.


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