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ABC-7 Listens: Why no coverage?

Have the television networks done away with political convention coverage? One ABC-7 viewer says it’s getting hard, or even impossible to find.

“Why wasn’t the Republican convention aired,” asked our viewer Gabriel.

There are two answers to his question. The technical answer is that Gabriel didn’t tune in when the coverage was on. ABC and the other broadcast networks did air one hour per night of the Republican National Convention, as they are for the Democratic National Convention this week.

The “big picture” answer is that convention coverage has been declining for years because there’s less demand for it. A national poll last week found just fourteen percent of Americans want more convention coverage than they’re getting.

So far this year, convention ratings as a whole (all networks combined) have been down about 30 percent compared to 2008. There are two main reasons for that trend.

The first is predictability. With the exception of Clint Eastwood and his empty chair, both parties’ conventions are tightly scripted showcases that don’t really decide anything.

The other reason: Options. Americans aren’t necessarily disinterested. They simply have so many other places to find convention news, from full-time cable news networks, to social media, to political and news websites.

If you’d like more than the network offers, will be streaming live coverage of the DNC through it’s conclusion Thursday night.

Article Topic Follows: News

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