The first night of the RNC was reported by some outlets as having far more viewers than the DNC, and by others as having far less. The contradictory stories have left many readers confused.
Television Viewers vs. Livestream Viewers
The opening night of the Republican National Convention received 15.9 million viewers, while the first night of the Democrat National Convention received 18.7 million. But that was only the television viewers.
But the C-SPAN online livestream of the RNC drew 6 times more viewers than that of the DNC. The Republicans had 440,000 viewers, while the Democrats only had 76,000. As the online forum for conventions is a relatively new phenomenon, the ratings are very important to watch.
YouTube commentator Tim Pool offers an explanation for the difference in television ratings between the two events:
Seems like Republicans are more likely to watch the DNC and Democrats are less likely to watch the RNC
But lets wait for the full numbers https://t.co/nk6yDUS6Ml
— Tim Pool (@Timcast) August 25, 2020
Evidence for Tim Pool’s explanation of the difference is in the fact that conservatives are far more likely to follow and watch left-wing content than liberals are to follow right-wing content. A recent study proves this:
Mainstream Media Views
Fox News created a new record for the most-watched convention coverage in cable news history for the first night of the RNC, with 7 million viewers, beating the other networks by far: 2 million for CNN, 1.6 million for MSNBC, 1.9 million for ABC, and 1.7 million for NBC.
Fox News also beat out the competition in the most valued demographic by advertisers, viewers aged 25-54. According to Nielsen figures, Fox News’ coverage of the RNC garnered 1.5 million viewers in this age group.
In the same age group, CNN had only 606,000 viewers, while MSNBC had just 308,000.
Although the Republican National Convention did not have as many viewers as the Democrat National Convention on television, the online viewership is crucial. As many people have pointed out, President Trump is the “internet’s president”, due to his strong presence on Twitter and his supporters’ domination of internet culture through memes and alternative media.