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Photo: Handout/DNCC via Getty Images

Roughly 18.7 million people watched the first night of the Democratic National Convention on television from the primary speech hours of 10:00 p.m. through 11:15pm EST on Monday night, according to Nielsen ratings.

Why it matters: That's down more than 28% from the number of TV viewers for the first night of the 2016 DNC. The virtual nature of this year's event likely pushed some viewers away. The ratings drop could also reflect the migration of traditional television viewers to digital streaming platforms and social media over the past four years.

By the numbers: MSNBC beat out all other cable and broadcast networks when it came to total viewership Monday night, with 5.1 million total television viewers.

  • CNN took a close second with 4.839 million total viewers, followed by NBC with 2.282 million total viewers, and ABC with 2.442 million total viewers.
  • Fox News, which typically leads in prime-time hours among cable networks, had 2.132 million total viewers, coming in third of the three major cable networks.
  • CBS had 1.985 million total viewers.
  • CNN led the three cable networks in viewership among adults ages 25–54 — a lucrative advertising demographic — followed by MSNBC and then Fox News.

Be smart: Broadcast viewership is what really fell over the past four years. While overall viewership was down 28%, the broadcast network audience was down 50%.

Be smart: These figures don't take into account the millions of people who likely watched the convention online and via streaming television.

Go deeper

Updated 21 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden readies massive shifts in policy for his first days in office.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.
  6. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.
45 mins ago - World

Putin foe Navalny to be detained for 30 days after returning to Moscow

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny. Photo: Oleg Nikishin/Epsilon/Getty Images

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has been ordered to remain in pre-trial detention for 30 days, following his arrest upon returning to Russia on Sunday for the first time since a failed assassination attempt last year.

Why it matters: The detention of Navalny, an anti-corruption activist and the most prominent domestic critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has already set off a chorus of condemnations from leaders in Europe and the U.S.

Biden picks Warren allies to lead SEC, CFPB

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden has selected FTC commissioner Rohit Chopra to be the next director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Obama-era Wall Street regulator Gary Gensler to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Why it matters: Both picks are progressive allies of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and viewed as likely to take aggressive steps to regulate big business.

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