TV viewership for Hillary Clinton’s acceptance speech is smaller than Donald Trump’s

Hillary Clinton’s acceptance speech Thursday at the Democratic National Convention pulled in just under 34 million viewers, falling short of Donald Trump’s audience from July 21.

The 10 p.m. ET slot that featured Hillary Clinton’s speech, a biographical video and an introduction by Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea, averaged about 29.8 million viewers on broadcast networks ABC, CBS, NBC and Univision and cable channels CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, Fox Business News and NBC Universo. Another 3.9 million watched on PBS.

For the record:

9:50 p.m. July 29, 2016An earlier version of this article said Donald Trump spoke July 22; it was July 21. Also, the article previously said that in the last 14 presidential elections, the party with the higher convention ratings lost in November. It happened seven times in the last 14 elections.

Trump’s total was about 35 million, with 32.2 million viewers on eight ad-supported channels plus an additional 2.6 million on PBS. C-SPAN’s audience is not included in the Nielsen data.

The Democratic National Convention, which made Clinton the first woman to receive a major party’s presidential nomination, had pulled higher ratings than the Republicans over the first three nights this week.


But the streak ended on Thursday. Overall, the Democratic National Convention will finish the week with a higher average audience, which historically has provided no insight on the candidate’s chances of victory in the fall. In seven out of the last 14 presidential elections, the party with the higher convention ratings lost in November, the last being the Republicans in 2008.

CNN was the top-rated network in the 10 p.m. ET slot, averaging 7.5 million viewers. MSNBC was second with 5.27 million, followed by NBC (4.52 million), ABC (3.86 million), CBS (3.65 million) and Fox News (3.03 million). The speech coverage ended between 11:39 and 11:45 p.m. ET.

There is no available data on how many people watched Clinton’s or Trump’s speeches online. Both Democratic and Republican conventions likely had significant number of viewers watching as various networks and social media sites offered streams.

A live stream of Clinton’s speech on YouTube peaked at 250,000 simultaneous viewers. Trump’s speech the previous week peaked at 217,000 viewers.

CNN said it had 11 million “video starts” on desktop computers and mobile devices during the final day of the Democratic National Convention.

CBSN, the digital streaming service of CBS News, said 7-million visitors tuned in to its gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Republican National Convention last week.

Twitter: @SteveBattaglio


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6:23 p.m. This story has been updated with YouTube numbers.

2:55 p.m.: This story has been updated with the final ratings.

The first version of this story was published at 12:25 p.m.