There wasn’t any Presidency-ending revelation, and Robert Mueller stubbornly refused to read from his special counsel report on Donald Trump directly, but more than 12.9 million Americans tuned in Wednesday to watch Mueller testify live before not one but two congressional committees.
After yesterday’s barrage of questions that came nearly three months after the special counsel’s report into Russia’s election interference and possible obstruction of justice by POTUS, it remains to be seen whether Trump, the Democrats, or the too-understated-for-primetime Mueller will be the winner of this political battle.
However, we know for sure that Fox News Channel took the gold for the daytime viewership on Wednesday. With an audience of 3.03 million, the Bret Baier- and Martha MacCallum-anchored coverage on the Rupert Murdoch-owned news cabler beat runner-up MSNBC by 26% in sets of eyeballs. In preliminary numbers for the 8:15 AM-3:45 PM ET coverage of Mueller’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee and the House Intelligence Committee, ABC was third with 2.12 million.
First in the 25-54 news demographic with 536,000 viewers, NBC had a total audience of 1.99 million. Dark on DirecTV across much of the nation owing to a contract dispute, CBS had 1.905 million viewers for the more than six hours of coverage.
Perhaps most telling of who was watching, and indicative of where they are coming from as America heads into the 2020 election, FNC topped MOR CNN by 100% in viewership with the latter drawing 1.515 million, the fewest of all the outlets covering the proceedings live.
Overall, the Mueller testimony was no barnburner, with fewer viewers than the 16 million that now jailed ex-Trump consigliere Michael Cohen drew earlier this year for his congressional hearing. Brett Kavanaugh’s contentious Supreme Court confirmation hearing got 20 million viewers last September, when accuser Dr. Christine Blasey Ford also testified.
FBI boss to FBI boss, Mueller was down a hard 33% from live coverage of James Comey’s time before Congress in June 2017.
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