Speed Reads

DNC 2020

TV networks are reportedly afraid of giving the RNC too much airtime, so they cut the DNC's time short too

Major broadcasters only offered the Democratic National Convention an hour of airtime for a different reason than they usually do, The Daily Beast reports.

Most presidential election years, TV networks limit the parties' conventions' airtime to an hour, saying viewers would lose interest if they were longer. But this year, they told Democrats they could only have an hour of airtime because they feared giving Republicans more time than that, multiple sources told The Daily Beast.

Democratic officials recently met with broadcast executives to discuss their plans for airing this year's DNC. "The executives stressed that they could not broadcast two hours each night in part because they then would have to give the same airtime to [President] Trump," The Daily Beast writes. "We don't know what that content is going to be," one executive reportedly told the Democrats.

At the time of the meetings, Democrats were able to show executives exactly who would be speaking each night at their virtual convention. Meanwhile the Republican National Convention schedule is still up in the air, at least publicly.

Regardless of the time limit, the first night of this year's DNC had a far lower viewership than 2016's. About 26 million people tuned in last election, while just 18.7 million did Monday night, according to Nielsen.