Fox News Channel drew big ratings for its coverage of the Republican National Convention Monday night, attracting 3.87 million viewers, more than tripling CNN’s 1.26 million viewers. MSNBC weighed in with 854,000 viewers, according to Nielsen.
During the Democratic National Convention last month, CNN edged out Fox in the ratings. The broadcast networks opted to stick with regularly-scheduled programming on Monday night, but planned to devote an hour to the convention each night at 10-11 through Sept. 2.
The one broadcast network that did cover it, PBS, grabbed a 1.8 rating in 42 metered markets, or about 1.9 million people. That’s about a 50% increase over PBS’ prime time average.
WCBS-TV New York, which shifted its prime time an hour to carry some of the convention as a Dan Rather-hosted local special from 10 to 11:15, was also rewarded for its decision to go with convention coverage. The station’s rating built with every quarter hour peaking at a market-leading 6.1 from 10:45 to 11:15, roughly the times of former mayor Rudy Giuliani’s speech.
Last night’s overall news audience was dramatically smaller than on night one of the Democratic National Convention, when the broadcast networks carried prime time coverage in the 10 p.m. ET hour.
On the first night of the DNC, about 18 million viewers combined tuned into the three broadcast networks and three cable news channels.