Impeachment Goes Primetime: Broadcast Networks Leaning Against Airing Tonight’s Hearing, Deferring To Other Platforms

House Judiciary Committe Chairman Jerry Nadler and President Donald Trump Shutterstock

The House Judiciary Committee will meet tonight to consider articles of impeachment against Donald Trump, gathering for the first time in primetime hours for what likely will be moments of acrimonious debate and political fireworks.

The broadcast networks, though, are leaning against covering the proceedings live, having provided extensive coverage of two earlier Judiciary Committee hearings and five Intelligence committee hearings, all of which pre-empted regular daytime programming.

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A spokeswoman for PBS said that the pubcaster will not provide live coverage. ABC News said that it will provide coverage on ABC News Live, its streaming news platform, along with ABC News Radio and ABC NewsOne. NBC will provide a livestream on NBC News Now. CBS has yet to announce its plans.

Some cable news networks and streaming platforms will provide coverage.

The hearing is known as a “markup,” in which members will offer proposed changes to the text of the articles of impeachment. The proceedings are likely to feature acrimonious debate over ground that already has been covered — which likely is playing into broadcasters’ decisions to take a pass on tonight’s hearing. But the Jerry Nadler-led Judiciary Committee hearing also will spill into the much more lucrative primetime hours. It is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. ET. The hearing is scheduled to resume at 9 a.m. ET Thursday.

What’s unclear is the broadcasters’ coverage plans for Thursday’s proceedings, which are likely to lead to a vote on the articles of impeachment.

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