Fox News Channel lands most viewers on first night of Republican National Convention


New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delivers the keynote address during the Republican National Convention. (Spencer Platt/GETTY IMAGES)

About 6.9 million tuned in to FNC from 10-11 p.m. EDT Tuesday, to hear New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie give his pugnacious keynote speech.

In that hour, FNC, anchored by Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly, attracted about 2 million more viewers than did NBC, which led among broadcasters; NBC averaged 4.8 million viewers in the hour, putting it well ahead of CBS, which averaged 3.1 million viewers, and ABC’s 2.9 million.

Bringing up the rear, CNN attracted an average of 1.473 million in that hour to squeak past MSNBC with its average of 1.468 million.

This does not account for everyone watching Christie’s speech on television. The numbers for PBS, for instance, were not available at press time.

The commercial broadcast networks are, once again, cherry picking coverage of the two parties’s conventions, and carried only the hour that included Christie’s keynote address.

Cable news networks, on the other hand, are providing more comprehensive coverage.

In primetime (8-11 p.m. EDT) FNC clocked 5.2 million viewers — in a different league than MSNBC, with an average of 1.3 million watching, and CNN with its average of 1.2 million.

The story for CNN is bleak any way you slice it. While FNC peaked with 7.2 million viewers around 10:45 p.m. Tuesday night, CNN at its peak, around 10:15 p.m. had 1.5 million viewers, which also puts it behind MSNBC, which peaked around 11 with 1.8 million viewers.

And, to put all this in perspective, millions more people watched Howard Stern on NBC Tuesday night than watched Christie on FNC. Stern’s “America’s Got Talent” was the most watched single program on one network Tuesday, averaging 9.5 million viewers from 8-10 p.m. – and 10.2 million during Stern’s final half hour, leading into NBC’s RNC coverage on the east coast.

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