Republican Convention Ratings Steady With 2012, ‘Bachelorette’ Tops Night


The opening night of the 2016 Republican National Convention saw the shortest speech Donald Trump has probably ever given and one of the best speeches a potential First Lady has ever given – with Melania Trump allegedly borrowing more than a turn of phrase or two from Michelle Obama’s remarks to the 2008 Democratic Convention.

With the fallout continuing this morning in punditland, the early ratings show that at least in one way the 2016 GOP shindig is similar to the 2012 gathering. Like they did almost four years ago, NBC, ABC and CBS all carried a live hour of the convention at 10 PM ET. In 2012, the whole thing kicked off August 28, a Tuesday, after weather issues saw the first night of the Tampa convention canceled.

Like 2012, NBC took the top ratings spot last night in the 10 PM ET convention slot with a 1.1/4 rating and 4.04 million viewers. With no apples-to-apples comparison to 2012 or 2008 (which also saw weather issues cancel the GOP’s first night), that’s a rise of 10% among adults 18-49 for the Comcast-owned net from August 28, 2012, when Ann Romney addressed delegates in her own words. With 3.48 million watching, ABC (0.7/3) also saw a rise of a tenth from the final numbers of the comparative 2012 night. CBS, which had 2.58 million viewers, was even in the demo with a 0.5/2.

In early numbers, NBC was down 25% in viewers from 2012 and CBS declined 22%. On the other hand, ABC was up 49% in viewers from the 2.341 million who tuned in on August 28, 2012. The cable newsers were of course all over the GOP convention, as were the late-night shows. Expect to see some adjustment in the Big 3 convention ratings later today.

That ABC viewership rise might have been helped by The Bachelorette (1.8/7) leading into the net’s GOP coverage. Even with last week, Bachelorette was the night’s top-rated show and the most watched with 6.56 million tuning in. All of which led to ABC pulling off a tight win over NBC for the night with a 1.5/6 rating and 5.60 million viewers. NBC was second with a 1.4/6 and 5.22 million.

CBS was all repeats before its convention coverage, while NBC’s American Ninja Warrior (1.7/7) and So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation (0.7/3) were even with their July 11 episodes.

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