UPDATE, 3:30 PM: The third night of the virtual 2020 Republican National Convention will kick off in a couple of hours, but the final number for the Donald Trump dominated second night are finally in.
On average, 19.4 million people tuned in for the gathering across 11 networks, according to Nielsen. With all the broadcast nets, cabler newswers and more live at 10 PM ET, it was a night that saw various pre-recorded events in the White House with the incumbent, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo from Israel and Melania Trump live from the Rose Garden.
The full viewership was up just over 2 million from Night 1 of the 2020 RNC, but down a touch from the 19.7 million who watched the second night of the 2016 RNC.
PREVIOUSLY, 11:41 AM: Republican National Convention viewership rose to 18 million across six networks on the second night Tuesday, when First Lady Melania Trump was the marquee speaker.
The rise was a significant increase from the 15.8 million who watched on Monday in the 10 p.m. ET time frame, when ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News Channel, MSNBC and CNN were all covering the convention. But the viewership is off about 7% from the second night in 2016.
It’s also slightly less than the 18.6 million who watched the Democratic National Convention’s second night last week.
Fox News again dominated coverage, drawing 7.91 million viewers, followed by NBC with 2.5 million, CNN with 2.13 million, ABC with 2.10 million, MSNBC with 1.877 million and CBS with 1.52 million. In the 25-54 demographic, Fox News led with 1.64 million, followed by NBC with 684,000, CNN with 615,000, ABC with 561,000, MSNBC with 392,000 and CBS with 362,000.
Fox News said that its viewership was the highest-rated second-day coverage of any convention in cable news history. Hannity drew 7.7 million viewers, the most watched program in its history on the network, and Tucker Carlson Tonight had its second highest with 6.1 million.
In the 8:30-11 p.m. ET time frame, Fox News led with 7.57 million viewers, compared to 2.06 million for CNN and 1.72 million for MSNBC. In the 25-54 demo, Fox News led with 1.48 million, compared to 600,000 for CNN and 365,000 for MSNBC.
The figures are for TV viewership only. They are early numbers from Nielsen released by CNN.
Although TV viewership of the conventions generally is off versus 2016, both parties have been making the case that many more are streaming the convention on other platforms.
Dominic Patten contributed to this report
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