About 20 million Americans joined the Dames investigation on Jan. 6

According to Nielsen’s preliminary figures, about 20 million people watched the first session of the House Select Committee examining the attack on the U.S. Capital on Thursday night, January 6, 2021, broadcast and only on television.

On Thursday, all major broadcast television news networks canceled their regular programming to broadcast live coverage of the two-hour hearing.

ABC had the most viewers at 4.8 million, followed by NBC and CBS with 3.5 million and 3.3 million viewers, respectively. At the time of the hearing, MSNBC had attracted 4.1 million people via cable, almost four times the network’s regular weekly viewership.

On Thursday night, the Fox News channel dropped to second place on cable, with an average of 3 million viewers between 2.6 million viewers from 8 to 10 p.m., CNN came in third.

This week, Fox was punished for not broadcasting uninterrupted live coverage of the hearing on its primary cable station. The network’s regular scheduled opinion shows hosted by Tucker Carlson, Shawn Hannity, and Laura Ingraham were not premature.

Instead, live coverage of the Fox proceedings has shifted to the Fox Business Network, attracting 223,000 people between 8 and 10 a.m., according to Nielsen. Fox has made its live coverage available at its affiliated stations across the country through various streaming platforms.

The initial number will definitely increase and will not include those who have watched the hearing live online through YouTubeTV or other platforms.

Overall, the 20 million audience is lower than previous major prime-time political events, such as President Biden’s State of the Union Address in March, which attracted 38 million people, but far more than the average congressional audience.

On a typical day during the impeachment hearing on Capitol Hill in 2020, an estimated 9 million people watched the impeachment trial of former President Trump.

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