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Nielsen: DNC Draws More First-night Viewers Than GOP Convention

FILE - First lady Michelle Obama walks on stage during the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, July 25, 2016.

The U.S.-based Nielsen television ratings company says about 3 million more people watched the first night of this week's Democratic political convention than the first night of last week's Republican convention.

Nielsen announced Tuesday that an estimated 26 million people watched Monday between 10 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. Eastern time, when the Democratic convention in Philadelphia featured speeches from first lady Michelle Obama and Democratic challenger Senator Bernie Sanders, who lost the nomination to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The ratings represent people watching across seven broadcast and cable television networks.

The total for the first night of the Republican convention in Cleveland, Ohio, last week was an estimated 23 million people. The featured speaker on the first night of the Republican gathering was Melania Trump, the wife of businessman and Republican nominee Donald Trump.

These first-night results are similar to those of the conventions in 2012, when the Democratic convention generally drew more viewers than the Republican event despite the fact that the Democratic nominee that year was no surprise — it was incumbent President Barack Obama, who beat the Republican challenger, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, to win a second term in office.