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Data: Nielsen; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

TV viewership for the Democratic National Convention was down about 17% on average this year across all four nights compared to 2016.

Why it matters: The drop is likely attributable, at least in part, to the virtual nature of the convention and the plethora of streaming and digital viewing options that exist today.

  • About 15% fewer American households have pay-TV now than they did then.
  • Joe Biden's acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention drew the highest ratings of any night during the four-day event, according to Nielsen ratings.

Details: MSNBC received the most total viewers among all networks, cable and broadcast, across the four-day event. Fox, which usually dominates the evening primetime hours in viewership, lagged way behind.

The big picture: The numbers show how a growing sense of partisan news consumption in America may have curtailed viewership.

  • The ratings drop was weighted more heavily to massive decreases in viewership of traditional broadcast networks like CBS, NBC and ABC, compared to cable, which typically has more politically active viewers.

Be smart: There's no way of measuring exactly how many people streamed the convention or watched clips of it on social channels, but presumably, millions more Americans tuned in online.

  • The Biden campaign told CNN that over four days, there were roughly 35.5 million livestream views combined over the online platforms of organizations that streamed the convention.

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
Nov 12, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Trump eyes digital media empire to take on Fox News

Photo: Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images

President Trump has told friends he wants to start a digital media company to clobber Fox News and undermine the conservative-friendly network, sources tell Axios.

The state of play: Some Trump advisers think Fox News made a mistake with an early call (seconded by AP) of President-elect Biden's win in Arizona. That enraged Trump, and gave him something tangible to use in his attacks on the network.

Nov 13, 2020 - Economy & Business

Streaming becomes lifeline for struggling entertainment giants

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Disney's stock skyrocketed Thursday after the company reported a whopping 73.7 million paid Disney+ subscriber additions in its first year — a number that beat even its own ambitious streaming goals.

Why it matters: The fortuitous timing of the launch of Disney+ a year ago has saved the entertainment giant from economic disaster amid the coronavirus. And it's not alone.

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.

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