Wednesday's primetime speech by Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) surprise pick to be his vice-presidential running mate, was watched by 37.2 million people across the broadcast and cable networks, according to Nielsen Media Research.
That was just over 1 million short of the 38.3 million who tuned in to watch Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill.) speech on the final day of the Democratic National Convention last week, but significantly more than total viewers for the speeches of VP nominee Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) (24 million) or Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) (26 million).
Fox News Channel grabbed the lion's share of that total, pulling in 9.2 million viewers from 10 p.m.-11:15 p.m. and giving the network its third-highest-rated telecast ever behind only President Bush's address about the Iraq war March 19, 2003, and a presidential debate Sept. 30, 2004.
Wednesday night was also the highest-rated convention telecast in cable news history.
NBC was the top-rated broadcast network, pulling in 7.7 million viewers, followed by CNN (6.2 million), ABC (5.7 million), CBS (4.6 million) and MSNBC (3.4 million).