Last Updated on June 11, 2022
On Thursday night, three major networks in CBC, ABC and NBC opted to cover the first public hearing conducted by the House Select Committee’s January 6 panel. Despite a sizable marketing push, the hearing proved to be a ratings disaster for the networks, according to Nielson data published by The New York Times.
ABC News brought in the largest number of viewers with 4.8 million viewers, according to Nielson figures. NBC ultimately pulled in 3.5 million viewers while CBS netted 3.3 million.
While these numbers may seem high at first glance, an analysis published by AdWeek shows the January 6 ratings lagged far behind what the major networks generally pull in.
According to AdWeek, the networks typically pull in nearly 18 million viewers on a typical Thursday. The January 6 hearings drew about 11 million total viewers across the three major networks, about seven million less than an average night.
While the major networks struggled mightily, left-wing cable news outlets experienced ratings jump from the January 6 hearings.
MSNBC pulled in a whopping 4.1 million viewers during the hearings, nearly four times what the network averages on a typical weeknight. Fox News — which opted to cover the proceedings on Fox Business — came in second, averaging 3 million viewers over the two-hour timeslot. CNN pulled in the lowest share of viewership with 2.6 million.
Nielson reported that 20 million total viewers watched the January 6 hearings on television. This figure does not include data from livestreams and streaming services.