CNN says it had its 'most watched day in history' amid Capitol riots

CNN says it had its 'most watched day in history' amid Capitol riots
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CNN had its most-watched day in the network’s history on Wednesday, with more than 5 million viewers tuning in to coverage of the pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol. 

According to a press release from CNN on Thursday, which included program data from Nielsen, about 5.221 million total viewers watched the network’s reporting Wednesday, outperforming MSNBC and Fox News in both total day and prime-time viewership, as well as in the key demographic of adults ages 25 to 54. 

From 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., CNN averaged 8.203 million total prime-time viewers to MSNBC’s 7.382 million, according to Nielsen. Fox News came in third place among the cable news networks with an average of 4.577 million total viewers in the three-hour period. 


As Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in protest of Congress’s planned vote to certify President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenKinzinger, Gaetz get in back-and-forth on Twitter over Cheney vote Cheney in defiant floor speech: Trump on 'crusade to undermine our democracy' US officials testify on domestic terrorism in wake of Capitol attack MORE’s Electoral College win, about 72 million people tuned into CNN Digital, with a peak streaming audience of 1.8 million viewers by the late afternoon. 

This comes as CNN also noted that it ranks No. 1 among all cable networks in both total day and daytime viewership since the November elections, which continued through Tuesday with the Georgia Senate runoff elections that saw wins from both Democratic candidates, the Rev. Raphael WarnockRaphael WarnockGeorgia senators introduce measure allowing voters to have access to water while waiting Cruz outspending other senators on Facebook ads: report Democrats cool on Crist's latest bid for Florida governor MORE and Jon OssoffJon OssoffSenate panel deadlocks in vote on sweeping elections bill Senate descends into hours-long fight over elections bill Georgia senators introduce measure allowing voters to have access to water while waiting MORE, giving Democrats majorities in both chambers of Congress. 


Fox News, meanwhile, said that Wednesday saw its highest total day and primetime averages in total viewers since the network's post-election coverage in November, and FoxNews.com's live blog had its second highest day in total online traffic. 

The chaos at the Capitol on Wednesday carried on for hours as rioters overtook the complex, forcing the House and the Senate to gavel out early. 

Video footage aired by CNN and other outlets showed rioters breaking into the Senate chamber, where they sat in the presiding officer's chair, dangled from the balcony and roamed about the visitor's galleries. 

They also vandalized Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Job openings jump to record high of 8.1 million | Wyden opposes gas tax hike | Airlines feel fuel crunch Pelosi: House Democrats want to make child tax credit expansion permanent Pelosi announces change to House floor mask rules MORE's (D-Calif.) office just off the Capitol Rotunda, left trash throughout the Capitol and broke windows and glass in numerous other doors throughout the Capitol. 

Trump ahead of the events urged his supporters at a rally earlier Wednesday to march on Congress. Trump for weeks has repeated unsubstantiated claims that the 2020 election was “fraudulent” and “stolen.” 

On Thursday, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) in Washington, D.C. identified dozens of people they are accusing of “unlawful entry” at the Capitol, which forced lawmakers, staff and reporters to flee the area. 

Police announced Wednesday after many of the rioters dispersed that four people had died, including one woman who was shot by a plainclothes Capitol Police officer. The three other fatalities occurred due to “separate medical emergencies.” 

Fifty-two people were arrested, and police also discovered two pipe bombs near the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee and Republican National Committee.

—Updated Friday at 4:40 p.m.