Nielsen says 13.8 million watched impeachment hearing

NEW YORK (AP) — An estimated 13.8 million people watched live coverage of diplomats William Taylor and George Kent on the first day of the House’s public impeachment hearings on President Donald Trump.

The Nielsen company said 10 different networks aired live or taped coverage of the hearing, which stretched nearly six hours on Wednesday. A second hearing is scheduled for Friday.

That compares to the 20.4 million people who watched Brett Kavanaugh’s hearing for his Supreme Court nomination following sexual misconduct allegations in September 2018. Congressional testimony by James Comey (19.5 million) and Michael Cohen (13.8 million) also had more viewers. Former special counsel Robert Mueller had 12.9 million viewers in July.

Fox News Channel was the most popular network for hearing coverage, even though its prime-time opinion hosts have consistently derided the impeachment inquiry. Nielsen said an estimated 2.9 million people watched Fox’s coverage, making it the network’s third most-watched day of the year.

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MSNBC was second with 2.69 million, ABC had 2.01 million, CBS had 1.97 million, CNN had 1.84 million and NBC had 1.68 million, Nielsen said.

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