Skip to main content

Nielsen: 73M Watched Some Portion of Conventions

Maybe the broadcast networks need to rethink cutting back to only one hour of convention coverage per night, or maybe it was the unique draw of the historic combination of the first woman (Sarah Palin) on a Republican presidential ticket and the first African American (Barack Obama) on either major party slate.

Either way, Nielsen said Friday that according to its massaging of the data, almost two-thirds of all TV households (64.5%, or 73 million) tuned into some portion of the Republican and Democratic National Conventions.

That's a Super Bowl-like audience, although of course spread over a bunch of outlets.

And for those who watched both conventions, they did so primarily on the broadcast networks (355), while 13.2% watched on only cable and 16.3% watched on both.

The viewership was essentially bipartisan, with about one-half of the households that tuned in watching some of both.

African Americans had the highest percentage of viewership to both conventions (35.5%), edging out white homes (34.5%). They were most interested in what the Democrats had to say, with 27.4% tuning in only to that convention, and only 8.1% confining themselves to the Republican event. For white homes, the breakdown was 16.5% to the Republican convention only and 13.6% to the Democrats only.