It was Bill Clinton and ABC’s night at the Democratic Convention on Wednesday. However, unlike the former President, the network didn’t come out that far ahead of its competition. ABC pulled in 4.58 million viewers (1.72 million among Adults 25-54) during the 10 – 11 PM EDT slot that the networks covered the convention and Clinton’s speech nominating Barack Obama as the party’s standard-bearer. CBS was close behind with 4.41 million viewers (1.72 million in the demo) and MSNBC were close on their heels with 4.38 million viewers with 1.41 million among Adults 25-54. As Clinton spoke longer than scheduled, both ABC and CBS ran over the 11 PM out, airing DNC coverage until 11:28 PM and 11:29 PM EDT respectively. CNN had 4.13 million viewers (1.54 million in the 25-54 demo) watching during the 10 – 11 PM EDT slot. TLC’s Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, which had topped all the networks and cable news channels coverage of the GOP convention last Wednesday in the 10 – 11 PM hour among Adults 18-49, actually tied CNN among the 18-49 during the hour last night. Having said that, the five-week old pageant-based reality series was down 9% among the 18-49 demo from last week and down 20% in total viewership to 2.4 million from last Wednesday’s broadcast. Fox News had an audience of 3.10 million with 813,816 in among Adults 25-54. All of the networks saw their viewership rise from night one of the DNC when First Lady Michelle Obama was the main speaker. Everyone was also up from Day Two of the 2008 DNC except CNN who saw a 23% drop among total viewers and a 33% fall among the 25-54. Of course, there’s two other elephants in the room about last night’s coverage and we don’t mean the GOP. First, ABC’s viewership of last night is a far cry from the 7.7 million that Fox News pulled in during the 10 – 11 PM EDT hour on the second day of the Republican Convention on August 29. Also NBC, which won the first night of the convention with 5.02 million viewers in the 10 – 11 PM slot, didn’t show Clinton or any of the convention. The network ditched the DNC for the NFL with a season opener between the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giant that drew over 21 million viewers. Oddly that isn’t actually much more than the 20.62 million who watched the convention coverage on the other networks and cable news channels.
Among the cable networks the spread was a little bit more generous on Wednesday. MSNBC had 3.30 million viewers last night during its 8 – 11 PM EDT convention coverage. That’s 400,000 more viewers than CNN had with 2.91 million. Fox News was behind CNN with 2.69 million over the primetime hours. MSNBC saw a slight rise from the 3.29 million viewers it had on Day One of the convention on Tuesday. FNC was also up a bit from the 2.51 million it had on Tuesday while CNN was down from the 3.0 million it had on the first day of the DNC.