Pence Draws 17.3 Million Viewers in Off Night for Convention
(Bloomberg) -- Vice President Mike Pence attracted a smaller TV audience to the Republican convention Wednesday night, speaking on an evening when Americans might have been distracted by canceled sports and Hurricane Laura.
An estimated 17.3 million viewers watched Pence deliver his speech, the TV-measurement company Nielsen said. That was down from 19.4 million on Tuesday but up from 17 million the opening night. Fox Corp.’s namesake news channel led the networks with an audience of almost 7.1 million, according to data released earlier.
About 22.8 million watched the Democratic convention a week earlier. That night featured Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris making her debut as the first woman of color on a major party ticket. Nielsen tracks programming that began at 10 p.m. New York time.
Pence was the headliner for the event, speaking from Fort McHenry in Maryland, where Francis Scott Key was inspired to write the national anthem during the War of 1812. His speech was held outdoors before a live audience that included veterans and military families, and addressed 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 rioting and looting is not peaceful protest, tearing down 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 sports events and the hurricane that was bearing down on Louisiana during the convention.
Trump is scheduled to speak Thursday, the final day of the convention, on the theme “Land of Greatness.” Other speakers include the president’s daughter Ivanka, attorney Rudy Giuliani and Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White.
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