MSNBC Tops Overall and CNN Takes the Key Demo in DNC Night 3 Ratings, 20.5 Million Overall Viewership Down 15 Percent From 2016


CNN and MSNBC shared ratings victories on night three of the virtual DNC convention, featuring speeches from former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and VP hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA).

The networks have been dominating throughout the week, also scoring huge ratings on nights one and two of the DNC.

MSNBC beat both CNN and Fox News in overall viewers, according to data from Nielsen, with 6.5 million watching MSNBC from 10-11 p.m., and 5.8 million and 2.2 million watching CNN and Fox respectively.

MSNBC’s ratings have been growing consistently every night of the convention, as viewers in 10-11 pm time slot went up from last night’s 5.41 million. CNN’s numbers also went up from Tuesday night, which had an audience of 4.34 million.

CNN, meanwhile, beat MSNBC in the all-important adults 25-54 demographic, with 1.7 million viewers. 1.3 million in the demo watched MSNBC, while 480,000 in the demo watched Fox News.

Among the broadcast networks, NBC News got more viewers overall (2.52 million) and in the 25-54 demographic (805,000) than ABC News (2.48 million; 638,000). CBS News (1.99 million; 533,000) lagged behind not only its broadcast rivals, but all three cable news networks.

Overall, 20.5 million people combined watched convention coverage Wednesday on the major broadcast and cable outlets. That’s down from the 24 million who watched in 2016 — a night on which Obama and Warren also spoke, along with Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) who the headliner as he accepted the vice presidential nomination. Only MSNBC has improved on its viewership from 2016.

Read our full coverage of both nights of the Democratic Convention here, and look out for night three this evening.

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