Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
By Catalina Camia, USA TODAY
TAMPA -- GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan's speech last night drew an estimated 21.9 million TV viewers, far less than the audience who watched remarks made by Sarah Palin in 2008.
Nielsen, the TV ratings company, provided the figures for Wednesday, which overall were slightly lower than Tuesday's viewership when Ann Romney and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie were the headliners.
Ryan, a Wisconsin congressman, urged unity behind the GOP ticket as he formally accepted the party's nomination as Mitt Romney's running mate.
Four years ago, Palin's acceptance speech was watched by over 37 million viewers, according to Nielsen. Palin, then the governor of Alaska in her first term, was a surprise choice to be Sen. John McCain's No. 2. and her acceptance speech was introduction to the nation.
The Wednesday night speeches by Ryan and former secretary of State Condoleezza Rice dominated the 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET programming, carried by nine network and cable stations.