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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., July 21) -- Fox News Channel leads ratings parade for GOP convention closer


Post-speech: Trump, Melania & that other guy. Photo: Ed Bark

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On the day when its founding father resigned in disgrace, Fox News Channel scored its first decisive convention coverage ratings victories in both key measurements.

Night 4 of the GOP gathering climaxed with presidential nominee Donald Trump’s acceptance speech, which set a length record by stretching from 9:19 to 10:34 p.m. ABC, CBS and NBC all stayed around for the duration before quickly signing off. And Fox4 joined the party for the first time by televising the speech in lieu of its regularly scheduled local newscast.

Here are the D-FW ratings for the 9 to 10:30 p.m. segment. (Nielsen measures in 15-minute increments and ABC, CBS and NBC as usual didn’t start their coverage until 9 p.m., joining Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC and PBS.)

Total Viewers
Fox News Channel -- 233,419
Fox4 -- 106,236
NBC/CNN -- 92,071 apiece
ABC -- 77,906
PBS/MSNBC -- 63,742 apiece
CBS -- 56,659

25-to-54-Year-Olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming)
FNC -- 62,502
Fox4 -- 50,597
ABC/CNN/MSNBC -- 38,692 apiece
PBS -- 32,739
NBC -- 29,763
CBS -- 11,905

These are dismal numbers for CBS, which for the first night ran last in both key ratings measurements. And NBC, which had led among 25-to-54-year-olds for the convention’s first three nights, clearly had been coasting on the strength of potent 7 to 9 p.m. lead-in audiences from American Ninja Warrior and two editions of America’s Got Talent. Stuck with a lousy lead-in from Spartan Challenge Thursday night, NBC plunged to second-to-last among 25-to-54-year-olds and managed only a third-place with CNN in total viewers.

All in all, the 9 to 10:30 p.m. convention coverage on eight outlets (instead of seven for the first three nights), averaged 722,104 total viewers and 303,583 in the 25-to-54 age range. Not surprisingly, both soared past the previous highs set on Wednesday’s Night 3.

Also, for the first time, the convention coverage on a single network -- FNC -- was the highest-ranking TV attraction of the night. NBC’s aforementioned trio of “reality-competition” shows had the highest single-network numbers on Monday through Wednesday.

Here are Thursday’s local news derby results, with the 10 p.m. newscasts excluded because of convention run-overs.

Two stations collected all the spoils. Fox4 swept the 6 a.m. competitions and NBC5 ran the table at both 5 and 6 p.m. in total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds.

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