.The first day of news coverage of President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial delivered 11 million daytime viewers across six networks.
Tuesday’s proceedings, which featured lengthy debate in the Senate about rules for the proceedings, stretched into the early part of Wednesday. The cable news channels stuck with coverage throughout, but broadcasters ABC, CBS and NBC aired regular programming in primetime — thus there are three sets of numbers to show.
From 12:30 to 5 p.m. ET, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News and MSNBC carried the feed from the Senate floor. It averaged 11.01 million viewers, with Fox News scoring the largest share of that audience, 2.65 million. CBS, which cut off its coverage at 3 p.m., drew 1.94 million, followed by MSNBC (1.91 million), ABC (1.63 million), CNN and NBC (1.44 million each).
Among the broadcast networks, only NBC continued coverage into the evening where it got a sizable bump, lifting its average for the day (12:30-5 p.m. and 5:18-7:40 p.m. ET) to 2.79 million viewers. Fox News drew 2.63 million from 12:30-8 p.m., compared to 1.98 million for MSNBC and 1.46 million for CNN.
Fox News had its usual edge in primetime, although all three big cable news channels were on par with their recent performance. Fox News averaged 3.51 million viewers from 8-11 p.m., with MSNBC at 2.53 million and CNN at 1.51 million.