Hearings related to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol were aired live across many news outlets on Thursday. Here is a look at how many viewers tuned in to see the coverage.
What Happened: The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol held its first round of live televised hearings.
Findings from an investigation along with previously unreleased interviews with involved parties were part of the live coverage of the hearings.
The hearings relate to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump related to the 2020 Election that saw Joe Biden win the electoral and popular vote.
Nielsen NV NLSN reports that 20.04 million viewers tuned in during the two-hour coverage of the event across 12 broadcast and cable stations that aired the hearings live.
ABC, a unit of The Walt Disney Company DIS and MSNBC, a unit of Comcast Corp CMCSA, led the way with 5.22 million and 4.3 million viewers respectively.
NBC, CBS and CNN had 3.7 million, 3.5 million and 2.7 million viewers for their coverage respectively.
The Hollywood Reporter said viewership of the coverage on MSNBC and CNN was “well above” their usual primetime television ratings.
Fox News, a unit of Fox Corp FOX, chose not to air the hearings live and aired its traditional opinion shows. The network averaged 3.1 million viewers in the two-hour window.
Why It’s Important: Split across a dozen networks, the coverage of the live hearings was widely watched by primetime viewers Thursday night.
The next highest rated program unrelated to the hearings was the broadcast of the Eastern Conference Finals for the National Hockey League. The game, which aired on ESPN, was watched by 2.48 million viewers.
The 2020 Election showed that election seasons can generate huge viewership numbers for broadcast and cable news stations. The Jan. 6 hearings will air more live coverage in the future, which could see strong viewership and will likely see strong revenue for advertising and sponsorships thanks to the initial coverage figures.
Photo: Courtesy of U.S. Secretary of Defense on Flickr