Final night of Tampa convention pulls fewer TV viewers than in 2008

Television viewership on the final night of the Republican National Convention dropped 22 percent compared to the same night in 2008.

The media research firm Nielsen said an estimated 30.3 million people watched Thursday’s coverage of the GOP convention in Tampa, Fla. In 2008, more than 38.9 million had watched the closing night of the convention in St. Paul, Minn., when Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) accepted the party’s nomination.

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That year, McCain also topped Democratic nominee then-Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) on his acceptance night ratings by 500,000 viewers.

Romney’s convention speech was carried by 11 networks and was preceded by an address from Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.  

The GOP’s Thursday night figures were also the highest of the convention, with Tuesday night’s speeches from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Ann Romney gaining 16.9 million viewers. On Wednesday night vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) garnered 16.7 million voters.

Both of those nights were down, however, from comparable nights during the 2008 convention as well. 2008 Vice Presidential pick then-Gov. Sarah Palin (Ala.) had 37.2 million viewers during her Wednesday night address.

President Obama is slated to speak next week on Thursday night of the Democratic National Convention from Charlotte, N.C.