Nearly 20 percent of U.S. households with televisions watched the testimony Thursday by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh before the Senate Judiciary Committee, according to early Nielsen numbers.
The preliminary ratings considered viewers who tuned in anytime between 10 a.m. and 6:45 p.m. The ratings do not include radio or internet streams, meaning the total number of viewing households is likely higher.
Images of people watching and listening to the testimony flooded social media ― including intent viewers in bars, on planes and elsewhere.
NBC, ABC and CBS aired the hearings live, along with most cable news channels. CNN said Thursday was its biggest day so far in 2018 for digital video, and CBS News said the hearing drew in the largest-ever number of live streams for its digital channel, CBSN.
Some, like NBC’s Megyn Kelly, said “most Americans” were not watching the hearings. But the ratings show many people were indeed very interested.