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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 Oct 19, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Mix-and-matching gains momentum — Boosters overtake first doses in U.S. — Pfizer to vaccinate Brazilian cityPanel endorses J&J booster.
  2. Health: Age is still a huge coronavirus risk factor — Unvaccinated 11x more likely to die from COVID — 5x more police officers died from COVID than guns.
  3. Politics: Over 30 states limited public health powers — Pope Francis calls on companies to release vaccine patents — Melbourne, "world's most locked-down city," to lift stay-at-home orders.
  4. Education: Education secretary reveals limits to Biden’s mask push on states — LA extends deadline for school employee vaccinations — Parent sues Wisconsin school district after child tests positive.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Trump says he plans to launch new social media network in 2022

Photo: Chris Delmas/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Trump on Wednesday announced plans to launch a social media network called "Truth Social," and that it would go public via a SPAC.

Why it matters: Most ex-presidents are focused on their legacies, by creating presidential libraries or engaging in philanthropic endeavors. Trump, however, remains consumed by social media.

Beauty giant Coty Cosmetics looking to sell its own branded products

Coty Cosmetics CEO Sue Nabi. Photo: Axios on HBO

Coty Cosmetics CEO Sue Nabi tells Axios the beauty giant will “probably” introduce Coty-branded products one day.

Why it matters: Coty produces some of the world’s most popular fragrances, skin care products and color cosmetics on behalf of other well-known brands, but has shied away from producing its own branded products.

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