Joe Biden’s acceptance speech drew the highest TV viewership of the week of convention coverage.
The convention drew an average 21.8 million viewers across six networks during the 10 PM ET to 11:15 ET time frame. That’s a slight uptick from the previous night, but still off about 21% from the Democratic convention finale in 2016. The figures are early numbers from Nielsen, and were released by Fox News.
MSNBC topped coverage during that time frame with 6.1 million viewers, followed by CNN with 5.6 million, ABC News with 2.972 million, Fox News with 2.955 million, NBC News with 2.154 million and CBS News with 1.985 million.
In the 25-54 demographic, CNN came out on top with 1.7 million, followed by MSNBC with 1.2 million, ABC News with 799,000, Fox News with 639,000, NBC News with 568,000 and CBS News with 473,000.
The figures do not include views on other platforms, like digital streaming. Joe Biden’s campaign has said that viewership has been way up on those platforms versus 2016.
Biden’s speech drew largely positive reviews, but it also was notable for its brevity. At 24.5 minutes, it was the shortest Democratic convention speech in generations. He criticized President Donald Trump and the way he has handled the COVID-19 pandemic, but he never referred to him by name.
“While I will be a Democratic candidate, I will be an American president. I will work as hard for those who didn’t support me as I will for those who did,” Biden said. “That’s the job of a president. To represent all of us, not just our base or our party. This is not a partisan moment. This must be an American moment.”
According to Nielsen, the final night drew 24.6 million TV viewers across 12 networks. That compares to 29.8 million on the final night of the convention in 2016.