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According to numbers released Friday by the Nielsen MediaResearch company, a record 38.9 million Americans watchedJohn McCain acceptthe nomination for Presidentof the United States from the Republican Party on Thursday at the 2008Republican National Convention.

The previous record for American viewership during a politicalconvention was set last month when Barack Obamaaccepted the Democratic Party nomination. About 38.4 million peoplewatched Obama. On Wednesday, 37 million people tuned in to see vicepresidential candidate Sarah Palinspeak.

Thursday’s audience was 41 percent larger than the fourth day ofthe 2004Republican National Convention, when 27.5 million peoplewatched George W. Bushaccept the nomination of his party for a second time.

According to the Los AngelesTimes, the demographics of the viewers differed from Obamaon Friday to McCain on Thursday. McCain’s speech drew 19.2 millionmen, while Obama drew 17.9 million. Obama’s speech drew 19.9million women, while McCain drew 19.2. Among white viewers, 32.2million watched McCain, while 27 million watched Obama. AmongAfrican American viewers, 7.5 million watched Obama, while 3.1million watched McCain.

According to Reuters, the format bywhich Nielsen conducts its research – known as the Nielsen Ratings– has changed since 2004, adding two networks and factoring inpeople who watched the speech via a digital videorecorder. According to the Los Angeles Times, peoplewho watched coverage of the conventions on PBS were not counted.PBS estimates about 4 million people watch their coverage nightlyduring the convention.

ABC,CBS, NBC, CNN, FOXNews, MSNBC, Univision, Telemundo broadcast onday four of the GOP convention. Univision and Telemundo, whichbroadcast in Spanish, were not included in 2004. In addition,BETand TV One,which covered day four of the Democratic convention did not coverthe Republican convention.

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