Final Night of RNC draws 30.3 million viewers

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NielsenAn estimated 30.3 million people watched the fourth and final night of the 2012 Republican National Convention on Thursday, August 30. The convention was delayed a day due to Hurricane Isaac. The last night of the RNC was carried live from Tampa across 11 networks and featured a speech by the Sunshine State’s Senator Marco Rubio and by Republican candidate Mitt Romney, who accepted the GOP’s nomination.


In 2008, more than 38.9 million people watched the comparable closing night of the RNC when John McCain accepted the Republican presidential nomination— about 8.6 million more people than last night’s viewership. McCain’s acceptance speech in 2008 also bested then Democratic hopeful Pres. Barack Obama’s speech by 500,000 viewers.

While coverage varied by network, all eleven aired live coverage from approximately 10:00PM to 11:15PM. The chart below highlights the sum of the average audience for these networks during common coverage:

2012 Republican National Convention
Sum of Networks Live + Same Day
Day 1- 8/27/2012 Day 2- 8/28/2012 Day 3- 8/29/2012 Day 4- 8/30/2012
Rating Number
of
Viewers
Rating Number
of
Viewers
Rating Number
of
Viewers
Rating Number
of
Viewers
All Households

No common coverage  due to Hurricane Isaac

14.7 16,920,000 14.7 16,697,000 19.3 22,095,000
Persons 2+ 7.7 22,301,000 7.7 21,942,000 10.5 30,251,000
Persons 18-34 2.2 1,483,000 3.2 2,129,000 4.7 3,214,000
Persons 35-54 6.7 5,414,000 6.7 5,482,000 10.3 8,329,000
Persons 55+ 18.8 14,661,000 17.6 13,670,000 22.5 17,539,000

Networks Included:
Day 2 – ABC, CBS, CNBC, CNN, FOXNC, CRNT, MSNBC, NBC and PBS
Day 3 – ABC, CBS, CNBC, CNN, FOXNC, CRNT, MSNBC, NBC and PBS
Day 4 – ABC, CBS, CNBC, CNN, FOXNC, CRNT, MSNBC, MUN2, NBC, PBS and UNI

2008 Republican National Convention
Sum of Networks Live + Same Day
Day 1- 9/1/2008 Day 2- 9/2/2008 Day 3- 9/3/2008 Day 4- 9/4/2008
Rating Number of Viewers Rating Number of Viewers Rating Number of Viewers Rating Number of Viewers
Persons 2+

No common coverage due to Hurricane Gustav

7.3 21,528,000 12.9 37,244,000 13.4 38,933,000

2008 Networks Included
Day 2 – ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, FOX News, MSNBC
Day 3 – ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, FOX News, MSNBC
Day 4 – ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, Univision, Telemundo


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Carl has been with RBR-TVBR since 1997 and is currently Managing Director/Senior Editor. Residing in Northern Virginia, he covers the business of broadcasting, advertising, programming, new media and engineering. He’s also done a great deal of interviews for the company and handles our ever-growing stable of bylined columnists.