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Nielsen: 33 million people watched Republican convention Thursday

August 31, 2012|By Meg James
  • Nielsen said 33 million people watched Clint Eastwood speak to an empty chair and the audience at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, the last day of the Republican National Convention.
Nielsen said 33 million people watched Clint Eastwood speak to an empty… (Stan Honda / AFP / Getty Images )

Nearly 33 million people in the U.S. watched former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney accept his party's nomination for president on the final night of the Republican National Convention, according to ratings giant Nielsen. Among the highlights was the controversial "empty chair" presentation by actor Clint Eastwood.

The numbers made Thursday the most-watched evening of the Republican convention this year. However, the audience was about 17% lower than it was four years ago when nearly 39 million viewers tuned in to see U.S. Sen. John McCain accept the Republican nomination.

On Tuesday night, 22.3 million people watched the convention coverage, which featured a speech by Ann Romney.  On Wednesday night, when the Republican nominee for vice president, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, delivered his acceptance speech, the audience totaled 21.9 million, Nielsen said. 

Eleven networks provided convention coverage this week: ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, FOX News Channel, MSNBC, mun2, NBC, PBS, Univision and Current TV.

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