The nearly seven hours of testimony by former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III was watched by 13 million viewers on Wednesday, falling short of the audience levels for recent high-profile Washington hearings.
The total was below the 20.4 million viewers who watched the Sept. 27 Senate Judiciary Committee hearings for then-Supreme Court justice nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh and the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford, who accused him of sexual assault. He denied the allegation.
Former FBI director James Comey’s June 8, 2017 testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee was watched by 19.5 million viewers, according to data from Nielsen.
While highly anticipated, Mueller’s appearance failed to provide much drama or surprises as he frequently referred to the text of his two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election to answer questions presented to him by members of the House Judiciary Committee and the House Intelligence Committee.
Fox News Channel had the largest audience for the coverage that ran from 8:15 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., with 3.03 million viewers; MSNBC was second with 2.4 million viewers, followed by ABC (2.1 million), NBC (2 million), CBS (1.9 million) and CNN (1.5 million).
CBS, which typically has the most viewers during daytime hours, is off the air in 6.6 million homes that receive it through AT&T services DirecTV and U-Verse. The network’s stations have been blacked out in those homes since July 20 in a dispute over carriage fees.