Updated 6:21 PM ET, Fri August 28, 2020
New York (CNN Business)President Trump’s Thursday night convention speech making the case for his reelection was lower-rated than his challenger Joe Biden’s speech one week ago, according to overnight Nielsen ratings.About 23.8 million viewers watched coverage of Trump’s RNC address across thirteen cable and broadcast networks, down from 24.6 million viewers who watched Biden’s DNC address on twelve of those same networks.The gap between Biden and Trump was wider earlier in the day, when fewer networks were counted in the total. Nielsen released its final audience estimate late on Friday afternoon, bringing Trump within a million viewers. Still, Biden clearly edged out Trump.The Democratic convention was also higher-rated than the Republican convention overall when the audience for all four days is tallied up.Biden’s campaign celebrated the overnight ratings win — and embraced it as a potential way to get under Trump’s skin.
Trump insists he doesn’t watch much TV despite years of evidence to the contraryThe president’s ratings obsession is well-documented. He has tweeted about ratings hundreds of times, often inaccurately. He raised the subject as recently as Friday morning, when he tweeted, “Great Ratings & Reviews Last Night. Thank you!”He did not share any immediate reaction when the initial viewership figures showed him trailing Biden.If history is any guide, he may tout Fox News Channel’s ratings instead of the overall results. Fox News had by far the biggest audience of any channel on Thursday night, with upwards of 9 million viewers.Fox News announced in a press release that it had the “highest-rated prime time average among total viewers during any convention in cable news history.”Nielsen’s data sets count traditional TV viewership across America but largely leave out streaming and other digital forms of engagement, so the picture is incomplete.https://ix.cnn.io/dailygraphics/graphics/20200828-rnc-dnc-ratings/index.html?initialWidth=780&childId=responsive-embed-20200828-rnc-dnc-ratings&parentTitle=Joe%20Biden%27s%20convention%20speech%20had%20higher%20ratings%20than%20Trump%27s%20-%20CNN&parentUrl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cnn.com%2F2020%2F08%2F28%2Fmedia%2Fratings-trump-vs-biden-convention-speeches%2Findex.htmlAnd it is impossible to know how many people watched just Trump, just Biden, or both speeches.