Derek Chauvin Verdict: Breaking Viewership Records

Court TV via AP, Pool

A combined total of 18.38 million viewers across six networks–CNN, ABC, Fox News, MSNBC, CBS and HLN–watched on Tuesday (April 20) as the verdict was announced in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

Per Nielsen’s Live + Same Day fast national time period data, which does not include out-of-home viewing nor NBC’s stats, CNN drew 4.028 million American viewers from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m ET.

Chauvin was found guilty f three charges — second-degree unintentional murder, second-degree manslaughter and third-degree murder, with bail revoked and bond discharged. George Floyd died on May 25 after Chauvin knelt on his neck for over nine minutes. The verdict was read after 5 p.m.

CNN was not only No. 1 in terms of total viewership for the verdict’s airing, but also No. 1 in the adults 25-54 demographic, drawing about 1.46 million viewers in that category during the telecast, and No. 1 in the key, 18-49 demographic, drawing 0.432 million viewers.

ABC follows with over 4 million total viewers, 0.98 million viewers in the 25-54 category and 0.196 viewers in the key demo. Coming in third in total viewership was Fox News with 3.44 million, MSNBC with 3.07 million, CBS with 3.02 million and HLN with 0.825 million. In the 25-54 demo, Fox News had 0.742 million viewers, CBS had 0.682 million viewers, MSNBC had 0.562 million viewers and HLN had 0.309 million viewers. In the 18-49 demographic, CBS obtained 0.155 million viewers, coming in third for the broadcast, ahead of Fox News with 0.133 million, MSNBC with 0.84 million and HLN with 0.54 million.

In primetime, Fox News was ranked as the highest-rated cable news channel, delivering 2.7 million viewers and 0.526 million viewers in the adult’s ages 25-54 category from coverage of the guilty verdict from 8 to 11 p.m.