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August 26, 2008

Dems give cable nets big boost

Coverage of the opening night of the Democratic National Convention gave cable networks an enormous ratings spike compared with their coverage four years ago.

CNN was up 68% Monday night in the 10 p.m. hour, averaging 4.3 million viewers, compared to its first night of coverage of the ’04 convention.

Fox News, averaging 2.9 million, was up a sharp 102%.

MSNBC, with 2.1 million, jumped 107%.

The numbers suggest a significantly higher amount of viewer interest in convention coverage, with Barack Obama receiving the nomination and Hillary Clinton surrendering her supporters, than John Kerry and John Edwards' coronation during the last presidential election cycle.

Among broadcast networks, which have recently been in a ratings slump aside from Olympics-fueled NBC, the coverage received less of a bounce, and even declined in some cases. NBC was up 7% (4.9 million), but CBS was down 23% (3.5 million) and ABC dropped 14% (3.8 million). Even with the ABC and CBS drops, this year totaled an average of 22% more viewers.


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