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Historical TV Ratings For Democratic Conventions

1960-2008 Presidential Campaigns

How many people watch political conventions on television?

This table shows how many US household televisions were tuned in to Democratic Conventions from 1960 to 2008.

The TV rating is composed of two parts: the absolute number of households with TVs tuned in as well as the relative number ... the number of households watching as a percentage of total US households. The importance of relative comparison cannot be overestimated.

Year Networks Households
Watching
Households
In US
% Homes
2008 ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, FOX
Telemundo, Univision (Spanish)
BET and TV One
22,500,000 116,011,000* 19.4%
2004 ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, FOX 15,537,000 112,000,000 13.9%
2000 ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, FOX 15,380,000 104,705,000 14.7%
1996 ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, PBS 16,418,000 99,627,000 16.5%
1992 ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, PBS 20,500,000 95,669,000 21.4%
1988 ABC, CBS, NBC 17,400,000 91,124,000 19.1%
1984 ABC, CBS, NBC 19,500,000 85,290,000 22.9%
1980 ABC, CBS, NBC 20,700,000 80,776,000 25.6%
1976 ABC, CBS, NBC 17,400,000 72,867,000 23.9%
1972 ABC, CBS, NBC 11,400,000 66,676,000 17.1%
1968 ABC, CBS, NBC 16,200,000 60,813,000 26.6%
1964 ABC, CBS, NBC 14,695,000 56,149,000 26.2%
1960 ABC, CBS, NBC 13,216,000 52,799,000 25.0%
* 2007 data

Sources: The Nielsen Company (1960-2004, 2008) and US Census (1960-1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2007)

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