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The Republican convention lifts Fox News Channel’s ratings

President Trump at the Republican National Convention.
Fox New Channel’s coverage of the Republican National Convention and President Trump lifted it to the top of the ratings race.
(AFP via Getty Images)

Fox News Channel’s coverage of the Republican National Convention drew the second-largest weekly prime-time audience of its nearly 24-year history, behind only the first week of the Iraq War.

Fox News Channel averaged 5.123 million viewers for its prime-time programming between Aug. 24 and Sunday, according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen on Tuesday. The only week it averaged more was March 17-23, 2003, when it averaged 5.582 million viewers.

The audience was the largest for any network since the week of May 4-10, when CBS averaged 5.88 million.

Fox News Channel convention-related programming accounted for each of the week’s nine most-watched prime-time programs, topped by Thursday’s coverage, which included President Trump’s acceptance speech, which averaged 9.058 million viewers. The audience was the largest for a prime-time program since May 26, when the two-hour season premiere of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” averaged 9.899 million viewers.

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MSNBC averaged 1.526 million viewers to finish third among cable networks, one week after its coverage of the Democratic National Convention enabled it to end Fox News Channel’s 30-week streak as cable’s most-watched network.

NBA playoff coverage made TNT the week’s second-most watched cable network, averaging 1.537 million viewers.

The week’s highest rated nonconvention-related program was ABC’s commercial-free presentation of “Black Panther,” which averaged 6.272 million viewers, the most for an ABC prime-time program since the June 4 episode of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” averaged 6.516 million, and 10th for the week.

“Black Panther” ended “America’s Got Talent’s” streak of being the top ranked entertainment program every week an original episode has aired since its 2016 season premiere.

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NBC was second among the broadcast and cable networks, averaging 2.77 million, followed by ABC, which averaged 2.75 million, and CBS, which averaged 2.38 million.

NBC’s largest audience was for the Tuesday episode of “America’s Got Talent,” which averaged 5.635 million viewers, 15th for the week, third among nonconvention programming and second among entertainment programming.

CBS’ news magazine “60 Minutes” was its ratings leader, with two previously broadcast segments that had been updated and averaged 6.205 million viewers, 11th for the week and second among nonconvention programming.

Fox averaged 1.11 million viewers for its 16 hours of prime-time programming, fourth among the English-language broadcast networks and 12th overall, trailing six cable networks, the Spanish-language Univision network and Ion Television, which broadcasts reruns of programming that originally aired on the major broadcast networks.

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