Ryan’s Convention Speech Draws Fewer Viewers Than Palin

Paul Ryan, the Republican vice presidential nominee, drew fewer viewers than the 37.2 million that nominee Sarah Palin attracted four years ago.

The final hour of convention coverage last night attracted 21.9 million viewers, when Ryan and former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice addressed the crowd, according to audience data provided today by Nielsen.

Palin, then governor of Alaska, was new to national politics when John McCain chose her as running mate in 2008, generating public anticipation over her speech. Ryan is well known as chairman of the House Budget Committee and a leader of GOP efforts to reform Medicare. He was among the people widely mentioned as a possible nominee.

News Corp.’s Fox News led the networks with 7.7 million viewers, according to reports on two websites, TV Newser and TV by the Numbers. Comcast Corp.’s NBC network was second with 4.15 million in the 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. hour, when Ryan spoke.

Republicans are making their case for voters to replace President Barack Obama and break with the administration’s policies of the last four years. The convention, held in Tampa, Florida, culminates tonight with a speech by Mitt Romney, the party’s presidential nominee.

Among the other news outlets covering the convention, Walt Disney Co.’s ABC attracted 2.86 million and CBS Corp.’s network averaged 2.56 million, according to the two websites. On cable, Comcast’s MSNBC attracted 1.44 million viewers and CNN, owned by Time Warner Inc. grabbed 1.34 million.

The speech was also carried on Public Broadcasting Service stations and by Current TV.

The prior night’s coverage attracted 22.3 million viewers, according to Nielsen.

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