According to preliminary data from Nielsen, more than 18 million people lined up for the cable and broadcast network to read the verdict in the Derek Chauvin homicide on Tuesday.
According to Nielsen, four million people watched CNN on average from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm, more than double the network’s previous daytime viewership. Another four million watched on ABC, and 3.4 million watched it on Fox News. MSNBC and CBS each had approximately three million viewers.
NBC audience totals were not yet available, meaning that the possibility of a decision of more than 20 million was seen by viewers on TV. And because Nielsen’s numbers do not include those who watched the proceedings on their phones or laptops, the total number of sightings was certainly much larger than that.
Audience interest was strong during the three-week trial of Mr. Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who killed George Floyd. On several days, CNN had more viewers during major parts of the trial in the afternoon than prime time, usually with its highest hours.