RNC Ratings: Pence attracts 17.3 million viewers overnight for convention

Mike Pence speaks at the Republican National Convention in Baltimore, on August 26.

Photographer: Al Drago / Bloomberg

Vice President Mike Pence drew a small television audience to the Republican convention Wednesday night, and spoke on an evening when Americans may have been distracted by canceled sports and Hurricane Laura.

An estimated 17.3 million viewers saw Pence deliver his speech, said the television measuring company Nielsen. That was from 19.4 million on Tuesday, but from 17 million the opening night. The name channel of the name of Fox Corp. left the networks with an audience of nearly 7.1 million, according to data previously released.

Mike Pence’s Night

The vice president’s speech attracted fewer viewers on major TV networks

Sourcs: Nielsen

About 22.8 million watched the Democratic convention a week earlier. That night featured Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris making her debut as the first woman of color on a big party ticket. Nielsen follows programming that began at 10 a.m. New York time.

Pence was the headliner for the event, speaking of Fort McHenry in Maryland, where Francis Scott Key was inspired to write the national anthem during the War of 1812. His speech was held outside for a live audience that included veterans and military families , and focused on the civil unrest in the wake of a police shooting of a Black man in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

“President Donald Trump and I will always support the right of Americans to peaceful protest, but rebellion and looting is not peaceful protest, demolition of statues is not free speech,” Pence said. “Those who do so will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Some networks simultaneously covered protests related to the shooting in Wisconsin, the related cancellation of professional sporting events and the hurricane that lay in the convention in Louisiana.

Trump is scheduled to speak Thursday, the last day of the convention, on the theme “Land of Greatness.” Other speakers include President Ivanka’s daughter, lawyer Rudy Giuliani and Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White.

(Updates with total viewer total in second paragraph.)