About 20 million people tuned in to live U.S. television broadcasts of Thursday’s hearing by lawmakers investigating the 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol, ratings agency Nielsen said Friday. Viewership on 12 networks ranked below other political events such as President Biden’s State of the Union address, which drew 38 million viewers in March, but higher than most. congressional hearings.
The first TV hearing for the impeachment inquiry of US President Donald Trump, for example, drew around 14 million viewers across 10 networks in 2019. It was held during the day, when TV viewership is weaker. The committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack by Trump supporters is holding rare prime-time hearings to shed light on the findings of its nearly year-long investigation. Broadcasters like ABC, CBS and NBC interrupted regular programming to show the event.
Nielsen’s figures included people watching via traditional television or streaming via internet-connected TVs, but they do not capture the full extent of online viewing via social media. The count also does not include Fox News Channel, which opted to air its regular opinion programming during the hearing. Fox Business Network covered the audience live.
Of the 20 million viewers, 15.2 million were aged 55 and over, Nielsen said. Less than a million people between the ages of 18 and 34 watch via TV channels.
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