ABC Wins Broadcast Battle for Kavanaugh Hearing Viewers, NBC Tops Key Demo

But Fox News Channel still triumphs over all

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ABC won the broadcast battle for Brett Kavanaugh hearing viewers with an average of 3.3 million, but NBC claimed the key news demo with a 0.62 rating.

Beneath ABC, CBS averaged 3.1 million total viewers throughout the lengthy hearing. NBC was third on broadcast with 2.9 million total viewers — hey, that still beat both MSNBC (before rounding) and CNN. More on those below.

NBC fared better among adults 25-54, which is the main age range for advertisers focused on news programming. ABC averaged a 0.57 and CBS brought up the rear with a 0.52.

Fox News Channel ruled all of TV with its 5.7 million viewer average throughout the hearing. See how all of cable news ranked below.

  1. Fox News Channel: 5,691,000 total viewers; 1,073,000 adults 25-54
  2. MSNBC: 2,892,000 total viewers; 464,000 adults 25-54
  3. CNN: 2,515,000 total viewers; 736,000 adults 25-54

All told, more than 20 million viewers tuned in to catch the testimony on television.

On Thursday, Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford each testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee and offered starkly differing narratives. Ford said that Kavanaugh attempted to rape her while drunk at a party during the early 1980s. Kavanaugh said that he did no such thing and wasn’t at the event that Ford described.

Over nine hours, both offered passionate, raw and emotional testimony from their respective positions. Many senators were visibly torn by the spectacle and a general bipartisan consensus on cable news noted that it would be extremely difficult to ascertain the absolute truth based on the testimony alone of either witness.

On Friday, the committee voted 11-10 to recommend Kavanaugh for confirmation to the Supreme Court. The vote went exactly as expected, with all 11 Republicans voting in favor and each of the 10 Democrats opposing the recommendation.