Television viewership down for unconventional convention

By DAVID BAUDER AP Media Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Nielsen says 19.7 million people watched the first night of the virtual Democratic convention on one of 10 different television networks.

That’s down from nearly 26 million who saw the first night of Hillary Clinton’s nominating convention four years ago.

MSNBC and CNN, the two networks that aired the Democrats’ infomercial-like show in its entirety, had the biggest audiences.

The Biden campaign claimed some 10 million people watched a livestream of the event, although those numbers could not be independently verified.

The coronavirus pandemic has forced both political conventions into never-before-seen formats.