TV Ratings: 20M Watch Jan. 6 Hearings, ABC and MSNBC Lead

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A little more than 20 million people watched the televised hearings of the House of Representatives’ January 6 committee Thursday night.

ABC and MSNBC drew the biggest audiences for the two-hour hearings about the storming of the Capitol last year. They were televised live across a dozen cable and broadcast outlets. Fox News, which pointedly did not offer full coverage of the hearings, drew an audience in line with its recent average from 8 to 10 p.m. ET, while MSNBC and CNN came in well above their usual ratings.

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Per Nielsen, 20.04 million people watched the two-hour broadcast (not including on PBS, whose figures weren’t available as of publication time). A little over a quarter of that came from ABC, which averaged 5.22 million viewers over the two hours. MSNBC (4.3 million) came in second, followed by NBC (3.7 million), CBS (3.49 million) and CNN (2.74 million).

CNBC, CNNe, Fox Business, NBC LX, Newsmax and NewsNation also covered the hearings, totaling just under 600,000 viewers between them.

ABC also led in the key news demographic of adults 25-54 with a 0.93 rating. NBC drew a 0.69, CNN a 0.61, CBS a 0.55 and MSNBC a 0.51.

Fox News stuck with its usual opinion shows in primetime, commenting on the hearings but not showing them in full. It averaged 3.06 million viewers and a 0.45 rating in the 25-54 demo from 8-10 p.m. with Tucker Carlson Tonight and Hannity. Fox News’ chief political anchor, Bret Baier, led coverage on Fox Business, which averaged about 240,000 viewers over the two hours.

Outside of news coverage, ESPN’s telecast of the NHL Eastern Conference Finals game four was the top primetime show with 2.48 million viewers. It also led all programming among adults 18-49 (0.82 rating) and 25-54 (0.96).

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