Here Are Ratings for Day 3 of the Senate Impeachment Trial

By A.J. Katz 

Fox News and ABC were top networks for live coverage of the Senate impeachment trial on Thursday afternoon.

FNC was No.1 in Total Viewers during afternoon coverage, averaging a total of 1.53 million from 12:30 – 3 p.m. ET. ABC averaged the most adults 25-54, drawing 296,000 during its 1-3:20 p.m. ET coverage period.

CBS was the top broadcast network of the afternoon in total viewers, averaging 1.49 million total viewers from 1-3:30 p.m. ET.


CNN averaged the fewest total viewers, while MSNBC averaged the fewest adults 25-54. Ironically, CNN and MSNBC were No. 1 in the A25-54 demo and Total Viewers, respectively, on Wednesday.

Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020

 Senate Impeachment Trial Day 3 Common Coverage 
Network Total Viewers (000) A25-54 Viewers (000) Time Period (ET)
Fox News 1,531,000 291,000 12:30-3 p.m.
CBS 1,486,000 281,000 1-3:30 p.m.
MSNBC 1,474,000 207,000 12:30-3 p.m.
ABC 1,237,000 296,000 1-3:20 p.m.
NBC 1,109,000 288,000 1-4 p.m.
CNN 991,000 242,000 12:30-3 p.m.

*Preliminary Nielsen live-plus-same-day data

As shown above, the 6 networks averaged a combined 7.83 million total viewers during the afternoon coverage period. That’s -12% from the second day of Senate impeachment trial coverage (Wednesday, Jan. 22), and -29% from opening day.

MSNBC and CNN were the top-rated networks on day 2 of the Senate trial (Wednesday, Jan. 22) during the common 1-5 p.m. ET coverage period. The 6 networks averaged a combined 8.9 million total TV viewers during that interval.

Fox News was the highest-rated network on opening day of the Senate trial (Tuesday, Jan. 21), not only in average total viewership but also in the A25-54 demo during the 12:30-5 p.m. ET coverage period.

Fox News was also No. 1 on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday in prime time.

It’s worth remembering streaming viewing is not included in these figures, and it’s very likely that many working Americans have been watching the trial on computers or other devices. Additionally, the figures do not include Americans who were watching on non-Nielsen-rated networks like PBS or C-SPAN.

Lastly, over these 3 days, ABC is the top-rated network among Adults 25-54, averaging 334,000, a hair ahead of Fox News (333,000). However, the aforementioned Fox News has been by far the top network in Total Viewers across these 3 days, averaging 2 million over that span. CBS is 2nd place in Total Viewers, averaging 1.63 million over the 3 days.