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19.5 million people watched James Comey's testimony aka 'Washington's Super Bowl'

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James Comey's bombshell testimony on Thursday, which was treated like the Super Bowl in Washington, earned some pretty comparable TV ratings. 

An estimated 19.5 million TV viewers tuned into the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, according to Nielson data. 

That tally includes viewers across all broadcast and cable networks that carried the hearing from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Eastern time. But it does not count people who flocked to local bars to watch the hearing or those who streamed it online.

Trump doesn't need to be jealous though, the TV ratings for the hearing did not overcome the 30.6 million viewers who watched his inauguration on Jan. 20, which was the last major news event to be broadcast on ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox simultaneously. 

The widespread coverage of the hearing boosted the numbers, but the timing of the hearing, 10 a.m. on a Thursday, limited the size of the audience available to watch on TV, the Los Angeles Times reported. Some people have to work, you know. 

According to Delmondo, a social video analytics firm, BBC had the most Facebook live views.

ABC had the largest audience, with 2.295 million viewers, followed by CBS ( (3.286 million viewers), Fox News (3.096 million), CNN (3.049 million), NBC (2.73 million), MSNBC (2.719 million), Univision (624,000), Fox Business Network (210,000), CNBC (164,000) and HLN (140,000), the Times reported. 


The Army-McCarthy hearings in 1954, Watergate hearings in 1973, Iran-Contra hearings in 1987, Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas hearings in 1991 and Clinton impeachment hearings in 1998 were the only previous Congressional hearings to be aired live on broadcast television, according to The Washington Post. 

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