The first night of the Republican National Convention attracted nearly 3 million fewer viewers than the opening of the Democratic National Convention, according to numbers by Nielsen.
About 17 million viewers tuned in to the GOP convention’s first night on Monday, compared with 19.7 million viewers on the first night of the Democrats’ event a week prior. The Republican event’s numbers account for 11 broadcast and cable networks that carried the convention live from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. The Democrats’ numbers account for 10 networks that carried the convention during that time slot last week.
The numbers do not account for online streaming, which has become an increasingly popular method of viewing political events. The Republican convention’s official YouTube channel garnered a little more than 342,000 views on its Day 1 live stream, and C-SPAN’s stream of the first night got just over 534,000 views. Meanwhile, the Democrats’ official YouTube live stream on the first day got more than 750,000 views, while C-SPAN’s live stream got just over 77,000 views. A number of other outlets streamed the conventions on YouTube and elsewhere, including PBS, ABC and USA Today.
Though the Republican National Convention fell short of its rival, the first night of the event was a boon for Fox News. The network had the largest-ever audience for a convention’s opening night on Monday on any cable news network, The Los Angeles Times reported. The network got an average of 7.1 million views in the 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. block. CNN followed with 2 million views in that block.
Still, Fox News’ coverage of the evening met with some criticism from Trump’s camp. The network at times cut away from the convention for analysis, while CNN carried the bulk of the night’s programming live. President Donald Trump offered a rare word of praise for CNN on Tuesday morning, tweeting that it “was really good for CNN, while at the same time being good for our Country.”
Meanwhile, Trump’s former campaign manager Brad Parscale tweeted out Monday night: “Can’t believe I have to watch the convention on @CNN. Unbelievable.” Parscale tagged Fox News in his tweet.
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