More Americans Watched NBC for Coverage of Pres. George H.W. Bush’s Memorial Service Than Any Other Network

By A.J. Katz 

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On Wednesday, NBC News was the most-watched network across broadcast and cable for coverage of the memorial services honoring the 41st President of the United States, George H.W. Bush.

In total viewers, NBC had 844,000 more than ABC (+29 percent) ,+ 407,000 more than CBS (+12 percent), and +877,000 more than Fox News (+ 30 percent), according to live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen.

In the key A25-54 news demo, NBC drew +273,000 more than ABC (+41 percent), +295,000 more than CBS (+46 percent), and +500,000 more than Fox News (+113 percent).

NBC News was the first broadcast network up at 9:00 a.m. ET and the last broadcast network down at 2:19 p.m. ET, with special coverage led by Lester Holt and Savannah Guthrie, joined by Chuck Todd, Andrea Mitchell, and Tom Brokaw.

NBC News correspondent Jenna Bush Hager was an integral part of the event. She delivered a heartfelt tribute to her late grandfather during the service.

ABC ranked No. 2 among adults 25-54, though its main coverage period was the shortest of the six major broadcast and cable networks who televised the event (10:00 a.m. – 1:31 p.m. ET).

CBS ranked No. 2 among total viewers, drawing 3.35 million total viewers across the coverage period of 10 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. ET.

Fox News, whose coverage was anchored by Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, topped all of cable news, averaging 2.92 million total viewers and 442,000 demo viewers across its special coverage period of 9 a.m. – 1:43 p.m. ET.

MSNBC’s and CNN’s special coverage of the event lasted longer than that of Fox News’, per Nielsen data. (9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. ET). Per below, MSNBC outperformed CNN among total viewers, however, the latter outperformed the former among adults 25-54.

  • Total Viewers: NBC: 3.795M / CBS: 3.388M / ABC: 2.951M / FNC: 2.918M / MSNBC: 1.575M / CNN: 1.472M
  • A25-54 Viewers: NBC: 942k / CBS: 647k / ABC: 669k / FNC: 442k / MSNBC: 245k / CNN: 337k