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PBS Convention Ratings Dip, But Still Crush Prime Time Average

PBS alone among the broadcast networks devoted all of its prime time to coverage of the first night of the Democratic convention.

 It was rewarded with a 2.1 rating/3 share in households, according to Nielsen overnight numbers in the metered markets. According to a PBS spokeswoman, that is a 75% improvement on its prime time average. The final numbers aren't in for the commercial networks, but they are not likely to be able to make the same claim.

 Still, it was down from the 2.3 rating/4 share PBS averaged on the first night of the 2004 convention in the same overnight numbers, which do not include West Coast watchers for live events since it is a time period average. "All broadcast ratings are down," said the spokeswoman, who said PBS was very happy with its ratings performance.

  If past is prologue, the ratings will go up Tuesday, with the 2004 rating jumping to a 2.9 in 2004. There could be even more of a spike as Hillary Clinton gets her moment in the spotlight after coming within a relative handful of delegates of winning the nomination.

 The rating usually falls again on Wednesday as the vice presidential pick gives his acceptance speech, although there could be some folks tuning in to see whether Senator Joe Biden will begin throwing some red meat to the crowd by beginning the attacks on John McCain that some TV pundits were looking for Monday night.