Once Again, Fox News and NBC Earn a Split in the Impeachment Hearing Ratings Department

By A.J. Katz 

The early Nielsen TV data for day No. 4 of impeachment proceedings is in, and Fox News is again the most-watched network, hauling in an average of 2.51 million total viewers from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. ET.

The hearing featured the testimony of U.S. ambassador to the European Union (and Pres. Trump appointee/GOP donor) Gordon Sondland.

Fox News has been the most-watched network, across broadcast and cable, all four days of the hearings: Wednesday, Nov. 13, Friday, Nov. 15, Tuesday, Nov. 19, and Wednesday, Nov. 20. It remains to be seen if FNC will average the largest total TV audience for today’s hearing (day 5 – Thursday, Nov. 21).


MSNBC was the 2nd-most watched network for impeachment hearing coverage yesterday, delivering an average of 2.36 million total viewers during the same time period.

CBS was the third-most-watched network across broadcast and cable, and No. 1 in total viewers among the broadcast networks.

While last in total viewers, NBC averaged the most viewers from the advertiser-preferred A25-54 demographic: 419,000 across the 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. ET time period. NBC has finished No. 1 in the A25-54 demo on days 2, 3 and 4. ABC was No. 1 in the demo on opening day.

Fox News finished in second place in the A25-54 demo on day 3, with CNN, ABC, CBS and MSNBC following in that order.

According to early Nielsen data, on day 4 of the hearings, the 6 Nielsen-measured network averaged a combined total of 11.45 million TV viewers. Again, viewing data from CNNI and C-Span is included because those outlets are not Nielsen-rated. The same goes for viewership on streaming.

Re-winding to day 3 of the hearings (Tuesday, Nov. 19),  the morning session, which lasted from approximately 9 a.m. – 1:45 p.m. ET, attracted an average of 11.4 million total TV viewers and 2.25 million A25-54 viewers across 6 Nielsen-measured networks. Viewership increased in the afternoon session (3:30 – 5:45 p.m. ET) to 13 million total viewers and 2.6 million adults 25-54.

On Day 2 (Friday, Nov. 15). a total of 12.7 million watched across 6 Nielsen-measured networks. The common coverage period on that day was  9 – 11 a.m. ET and 1 – 2 p.m. ET.

Day 1 coverage (Wednesday, Nov. 13) attracted an average of 13.79 million total TV viewers across 10 Nielsen-measured networks. But, if we look at the aforementioned 6 Nielsen-measured networks, a total average of 13.1 million viewers watched the day 1 proceedings from 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. ET.

So yes, viewership for these impeachment hearings is declining.

Wednesday, Nov. 20

 Impeachment Hearing Day 4 Coverage 
Network Total Viewers (000) A25-54 Viewers (000) Time Period (ET)
Fox News 2,505,000 404,000 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
MSNBC 2,355,000 333,000 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
CBS 1,774,000 342,000 9 a.m. – 3:59 p.m.
CNN 1,678,000 396,000 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
ABC 1,586,000 348,000 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
NBC 1,549,000 419,000 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

*Preliminary Nielsen live-plus-same-day data