Wednesday was heavy-hitters night at the Democratic National Convention so you might have expected local ratings to soar as high as the analyst reviews for President Obama’s speech.
It didn’t happen here, but it did happen nationally.
Wednesday was the lowest-rated night locally of the first three days of the convention.
However, CNN's Brian Stelter reported Thursday morning that nationally the ratings for the Democratic Convention have been surprisingly higher than the ratings for the Republican Convention featuring presidential nominee and "ratings magnet" Donald Trump and that national overnight ratings Wednesday were 15 percent higher than the Republicans received a week earlier.
The local ratings for the conventions are a window inside the political leanings of Western New Yorkers.
While the 15.1 local rating for the Democratic Convention from 10 to 11 p.m. on the first two nights for the three broadcast networks and three cable news networks were within a point of the Republican Convention a week earlier, they dropped here on the night Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Tim Kaine and President Obama made the featured speeches.
During the 10 p.m. hour dominated by Kaine’s speech, the six channels had a total of 13.2 ratings points locally.
On the previous Wednesday when Vice President nominee Mike Spence spoke, the Republican Convention had had a total of 14.9 rating points in that hour, led by a 6.1 rating for Fox News.
President Obama didn’t start his 45-minute address Wednesday until about 10:55 p.m., which meant it bled into the normal 11 p.m. news time.
The 45 minutes after 11 p.m. had a collective 14.2 rating on the six channels, still lower than the average on the corresponding night a week earlier.
There some other interesting things to note about Wednesday’s viewership.
The three broadcast network affiliates had only a collective 6.0 rating points from 10 to 11 p.m., with NBC affiliate getting more than half of it with a 3.3 rating. Channel 4, the local CBS affiliate, had a 0.9 rating for the hour. It also is a trend nationally and should make the networks reevaluate only scheduling an hour a night, thereby sending viewers to cable news.
The top-rated cable network in the hour locally was the liberal-leaning MSNBC, which averaged a 2.6 rating that rose to a 2.9 rating after 11 p.m. when President Obama spoke. It was the lowest-rated cable channel locally during the Republican Convention.
The lowest-rated cable network Wednesday was the Republicans' favorite channel, Fox News, with a 2.2 rating. It was the top-rated cable channel a week earlier with a 6.1 rating and its popularity is one of the primary reasons that the ratings are stronger here for the Republican Convention..
The MSNBC and Fox results for the different conventions are another sign that viewers pick their cable channels on the basis of their political leaning.
Vice President Joe Biden’s speech, which many analysts called one of the best, if not the best of his career, and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s speech bashing Trump aired in the 9 to 10 p.m. hour before the broadcast networks carried the convention.
In that hour, the three cable networks had a combined 8.1 local rating points, led by CNN with a 2.9. Fox News had a 2.8 and MSNBC a 2.4.
But interestingly, the top-rated channel in the hour was WNED-TV, the local public broadcast station. It had a 3.1 rating.
WNED also averaged a 2.2 rating in the 10 p.m. hour and a 1.7 rating during Obama’s speech. On Monday and Tuesday, WNED also averaged a 2.2 rating here, which was higher than the broadcast network affiliates in some cases.
Of course, Thursday is the big speech night for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
It may be tough to top the local rating that Trump had a week ago when he delivered his acceptance speech.
With a big boost from the local Fox News audience, the Republican Convention had a total of 19.0 rating points on the six channels from 10 to 11 p.m. a week ago. It stayed that high from 11 to 11:45 p.m., which was about the time Trump finished.