By Meg James, Los Angeles Times –
LOS ANGELES — An estimated 35.7 million people watched President Barack Obama accept his party’s nomination Thursday night in, according to Nielsen.
The audience for the prime-time coverage of the final night of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., eclipsed the 30.3 million who tuned in the previous week to see Mitt Romney speak at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.
Four years ago, an estimated 38.3 million viewers watched Obama accept his party’s nomination for president, according to Nielsen. Thursday night’s audience was down 7 percent decline from 2008. (The following week, in September 2008, nearly as many people — 37 million—watched coverage of the Republican National Convention to see vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin speak.)
The audiences for this year’s conventions have been slightly older, which could be a troubling sign for Obama, who once again is looking to galvanize younger voters to turn out at the polls.
Half of those watching Thursday night — 17.97 million viewers—were over 55. In contrast, an estimated 5.4 million viewers ages 18 to 34 watched Thursday, down from an estimated 6.7 million in that demographic in 2008.
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Once again, NBC drew the largest audience during the prime-time coverage Thursday, attracting an average 8 million viewers. ABC pulled in about 3.7 million viewers Thursday, and CBS averaged 3 million.
Thirteen networks, including several Spanish-language networks, broadcast Thursday’s event: ABC, CBS, NBC, BET, CNN, CNBC, Current TV, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, mun2, PBS, TV One and Univision.