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Democratic convention closing night draws event’s biggest TV audience

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By Lisa Richwine

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The closing night of the virtual Democratic National Convention attracted roughly 24.6 million primetime television viewers, the largest audience of the week, according to data from the Nielsen ratings agency.

The number covers viewership across 10 broadcast and cable networks from 10 p.m. to 11:15 p.m. Eastern time. It does not include people who watched via online platforms.

Thursday’s proceedings concluded with Joe Biden accepting the party’s nomination for president in a speech delivered live from his home state of Delaware.

TV viewership for the event lagged behind the level of the Democratic convention in 2016. Thursday’s audience dropped 17% below the night four years ago when Hillary Clinton spoke as the party’s first female presidential nominee.

But the TV figures do not include online platforms that have jumped in popularity in the past four years as traditional TV viewership has declined.

This year’s TV audience rose on each night of the four-day event. Monday’s kickoff drew 19.8 million viewers, Nielsen said.

Biden’s campaign said millions more watched on the convention’s website and through digital platforms such as Twitter, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and YouTube.

Democrats canceled plans to convene delegates and party leaders in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, they staged a virtual event with celebrity moderators introducing live and recorded remarks from around the country.

The Republican nominating convention for President Donald Trump is next week.

Democratic convention closing night draws event’s biggest TV audience

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