Fox News led in ratings for the first day of network coverage of President TrumpDonald TrumpGraham says he hopes that Trump runs again Trump says Stacey Abrams 'might be better than existing governor' Kemp Executive privilege fight poses hurdles for Trump MORE’s impeachment trial, which had 11 million viewers across six networks.
The Tuesday proceedings were carried from the Senate floor by Fox News, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and MSNBC during a period that predominantly featured debate over Senate rules for the trial. Fox News scored 2.65 million viewers during the period, followed by CBS, which only carried the Senate floor feed through 3 p.m., with 1.94 million viewers, followed by MSNBC with 1.91 million, ABC with 1.63 million and CNN and NBC with 1.44 million each.
NBC was the only broadcast network to continue the broadcast into the evening, at which point it increased to 2.79 million viewers, while Fox News led the cable networks from 12:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. with 2.63 million viewers to MSNBC’s 1.98 million and CNN’s 1.46 million.
CNN saw similar viewership numbers during then-President Clinton’s impeachment trial in January 1999, when it averaged 1.3 million viewers over two hours of daytime coverage compared to 1.48 million in prime time, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Its then-new competitors Fox News and MSNBC drew under 1 million viewers in prime time. Between the two trials, Fox News ncreased viewership 782 percent, according to early Nielsen Media Research.
Fox News also increased viewership among the important 25- to 54-year-old demographic by 21 percent versus the first day of the House’s impeachment hearings, according to early Nielsen Media Research.