Bloomberg News

CNN Led Cable News Ratings for Obama’s Convention Speech

September 07, 2012

CNN led cable-news outlets in viewers during the final night of the Democratic National Convention, when President Barack Obama accepted the party’s nomination for a second term, after falling behind MSNBC the two previous nights.

Time Warner Inc.’s CNN averaged 5.56 million viewers from 10 p.m. to 11:15 p.m. New York time, the network said today in an e-mailed statement, citing Nielsen ratings. Comcast Corp. (CMCSA:US)’s NBC broadcast network led all outlets with 8.93 million viewers.

After trailing MSNBC, also owned by Comcast, on the first two nights of the convention, CNN assembled a million more viewers than MSNBC during Obama’s speech. CNN, which had dominated ratings during the Democrats’ convention four years ago, is reconsidering its approach to news coverage after network President Jim Walton said in July he would resign at year-end.

MSNBC, with commentators including Rachel Maddow, averaged 4.56 million viewers during the time period, according to the ratings data. Walt Disney Co. (DIS:US)’s ABC drew 4 million, CBS Corp. (CBS:US)’s TV network coverage was watched by 3.29 million and News Corp.’s Fox News was viewed by 2.91 million.

Overall, the last night’s convention coverage drew 35.7 million viewers across 13 television networks, Nielsen said today on its website. That compares with 38.4 million who tuned into 10 networks for the final night of the party’s convention four years ago. The Republican convention last week attracted a total of 30.3 million viewers on its final night.

Time Warner, based in New York, gained 1 percent to $43.64 at the New York close. The stock (TWX:US) has climbed 21 percent this year. Comcast fell 0.6 percent to $34.46 and is up 45 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andy Fixmer in Los Angeles at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at

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