Barack Obama’s acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention was seen by more than 38 million people. Nielsen Media Research said more people watched Obama speak than watched the Olympics opening ceremony in Beijing, the final “American Idol” or the Academy Awards this year. Obama talked before a live audience of 80,000 people in Denver. His TV audience nearly doubled the amount of people who watched John Kerry accept the Democratic nomination to run against President Bush four years ago. Kerry’s speech was seen by just over 20 million people. Obama’s audience might be higher, since Nielsen didn’t have an estimate for how many people watched Obama on PBS or C-SPAN Thursday night.
Of course, the other shows weren’t on every channel.