Here’s How Many Watched Coverage of Attorney General Barr’s Presser and the Release of the Mueller Report

By A.J. Katz 

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A number of networks can (and are) making the appropriate case that they were No. 1 for special coverage of Attorney General Bill Barr‘s press conference and the public, redacted release of the Mueller report.

If one breaks it down by total viewers, Fox News is No. 1. across broadcast and cable in multiple dayparts. The network averaged 3.38 million total viewers and 517,000 A25-54 demo viewers for the press conference (9:30 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.) on Thursday, April 18. For the entire 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Mueller report coverage time period, which includes both Barr’s press conference and the release of the redacted Mueller report, which began at 11 a.m., Fox News averaged 2.78 million total viewers and 441,000 demo viewers.

Fox News might have been No. 1 in total viewers across both broadcast and cable, but if one goes by adults 25-54, the key demo for advertisers, then NBC is No. 1.

NBC, which had a nice boost from its Third Hour of Today lead-in, averaged 758,000 demo viewers for its coverage of the Barr press conference (9:22 a.m. – 10:11 a.m.), dwarfing the competition. The network averaged 2.89 million total viewers for the press conference, second only to Fox News and more than ABC and CBS, which do not air national morning news shows in the 9 a.m. hour.

After Barr’s presser was complete, the broadcast networks returned to their regularly scheduled programming…until 11 a.m. ET, when each broadcaster broke back in with a second special report as soon as the Mueller report was publicly made available.

NBC News averaged 615,000 total A25-54 viewers for the two special coverage reports combined, far more the competition (broadcast or cable). CBS News edged ABC News for second place in the A25-54 demo. Fox News, MSNBC and CNN followed in that order.

CBS News’ audience shot up in the 11 a.m. hour, and the network ended up averaging 2.52 million total viewers for both special reports, more than everyone but Fox News.

As you have probably figured out, Fox News was No. 1 in cable news throughout the day. This continued into prime time, where FNC also dominated the cable news competition with Hannity, Tucker Carlson Tonight and The Ingraham Angle, averaging 3.2 million total viewers and 591,000 in the key demo. President Trump expressing excitement about what their respective broadcasts had on tap that night probably didn’t hurt.

Attorney General Barr Press Conference Coverage

Network | Total Viewers / A25-54 demo
Fox News: 3,375,000 / 517,000
NBC: 2,883,000 / 758,000
ABC: 2,315,000 / 574,000
CBS: 2,155,000 / 376,000
MSNBC: 1,980,000 / 281,000
CNN: 1,230,000 / 287,000

Total: 13,938,000 / 2,793,000

Attorney General Barr Press Conference Coverage & Public Release of the Mueller Report

Network | Total Viewers / A25-54 demo
Fox News: 2,780,000 / 441,000
CBS: 2,515,000 / 462,000
NBC: 2,189,000 / 615,000
ABC: 2,057,000 / 461,000
MSNBC: 2,013,000 / 307,000
CNN: 1,173,000 / 286,000

Total: 12,727,000 / 2,572,000