Television ratings for the first night of the Democratic National Convention were down about 25% from the equivalent night four years earlier. The RNC’s first night ratings, which included speeches from Donald Trump Jr. and Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), were even worse.
According to Nielsen, total TV viewership for night one of the RNC was 15.8 million. That represents about a 15% drop from the first night of the DNC, featuring former First Lady Michelle Obama, which drew 18.7 million viewers across all the three major broadcast networks and the three major cable news networks. The first night of the RNC dropped about 28% for the same night in 2016.
Unlike CNN and MSNBC, which aired the vast majority of the first night’s speeches in their entirety, Fox News dipped in and out and actually cut away from former host Kimberly Guilfoyle’s speech before she had finished. Trump campaign adviser Brad Parscale complained on Twitter that he had to watch the proceedings on CNN and the president himself tweeted on Tuesday, “Very appreciative that @CNN covered the vast majority of the Republican Convention last night. That was really good for CNN, while at the same time being good for our Country. Thank you!”