MSNBC has fashioned itself as pro-Obama and pro-Democrat, and last night at the Democratic National Convention that stance paid off. The cable news network topped rivals CNN and Fox News in total viewers and the adult 25-54 demo on Day 1 of the DNC, which featured a speech from First Lady Michelle Obama. It is quite the contrast to last week, when Fox News beat both its cable rivals and the networks in its coverage of Day 1 of the Republican Convention and Ann Romney spoke. For one thing, more people were watching the DNC last night on cable news than watched the GOP convention on the same night last week; there were 8,816,574 total viewers watching last night compared to the 7,667,716 between 8-11 PM EDT on August 28. Last night, according to Nielsen, MSNBC had 3,298,273 viewers during its 8-11 PM coverage, 1,067,970 in the 25-54 demo. CNN was next with 3,003,298 viewers and 1,002,048 in the 23-54. FNC was third with 2,515,003 viewers and 554,294 in the demo. That’s a 65% rise for MSNBC from 2008, a a 12% fall for CNN and a 24% drop for Fox News. MSNBC and CNN more than doubled viewership from last week’s RNC, while Fox News went down by 2,635,404.
Among all networks during the 10-11 EDT hour, when ABC, CBS and NBC went live covering the convention and Obama’s speech, it was NBC networks in the first and second spots. NBC won the night with 5.02 million viewers, 1.9 million in the 25-54 demo. MSNBC was right behind with 4.1 million total viewers and 1.4 million in the demo. Then it was CNN with 3.8 million viewers and 1.36 million in 25-54. ABC followed with 3.23 million, 1.14 million in the demo; CBS had 3.26 million with 1.05 million and Fox News followed with 2.39 million viewers and 550,149 in the demo. Again it marked a telling contrast to the 6.87 million viewers Fox News had on the first day of the RNC in the hour on August 28 and the 1.46 million MSNBC had. NBC pulled in 4.77 million, with 1.72 million in the demo. Everyone was down from the first day of the DNC in 2008.