NEW YORK — The attack on the U.S. Capitol last week brought more viewers to CNN than any other single day in the network’s 40-year history.
CNN averaged 5.2 million viewers last Wednesday, eclipsing its previous high of 5.1 million on Election Day 2016, the Nielsen company said. The network had 4.47 million viewers on Sept. 11, 2001, Nielsen said.
During the storming of the Capitol itself on Wednesday afternoon, CNN averaged nearly 9 million viewers. CNN also led all of the cable news and broadcast networks during prime-time that evening, when Nielsen estimated more than 33 million people tuned in to watch Congress go back into session to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
MSNBC averaged four million viewers on Wednesday, and Fox News Channel had 3 million.
NBC, led by a strong NFL playoff game Sunday night between the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers, was the top broadcast network last week, averaging 8.6 million viewers in prime time. CBS had 5.7 million, ABC had 3.8 million, Fox had 2.5 million, Univision had 1.4 million, Ion Television had 1.1 million and Telemundo had 920,000.
CNN averaged 4.11 million viewers in prime time, beating all the cable networks. MSNBC had 3.67 million, Fox News Channel had 3.1 million, HGTV had 1.12 million, and Hallmark had 1.05 million.
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