The huge audience for Palin's acceptance speech rivaled that for Obama's address at the Democratic National Convention six days earlier, and set a tough standard for the top of her own ticket. Her poised speech, primarily going after Obama and touting McCain's case for the presidency, was gushed over by many analysts.
An audience of 37.2 million people watched Palin on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC, Nielsen Media Research said Thursday. PBS estimated its audience at 3.9 million, based on a less reliable sample of several big cities. Nielsen does not count the audience for C-SPAN, which also showed the speech.
Last week, Nielsen said 38.4 million people watched Obama speak at a Denver stadium on the six commercial networks, along with BET, TV One, Univision and Telemundo - four networks that didn't cover Palin's speech. PBS added an estimated 4 million to that total. Nearly 2 million more women were watching Palin than men, Nielsen said.
Viewers were far more interested in Palin than Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden. Biden's speech to Democrats last week was seen by an estimated 24 million people.