Viewer interest in television coverage of Derek Chauvin’s trial has been high, according to audience data from Nielsen.
Several cable channels, including CNN and MSNBC, broadcast much of the trial live, and one cable network, HLN, has broadcast it in its entirety since the proceedings began on March 29. in the afternoon, during witness testimony, rather than during prime time.
Mr Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer accused of killing George Floyd last year, faces charges of manslaughter, second degree murder and third degree murder.
About 3.7 million viewers watched coverage of the trial on all three channels on Thursday during the afternoon testimony of former Sgt. David Pleoger, who supervised Mr. Chauvin and said he should have “ended” his restraint after Mr. Floyd became unresponsive. This audience was larger than the number of people who listened to any other cable program that day. “The Rachel Maddow Show,” Thursday’s most-watched TV show, drew three million viewers.
On Monday, the trial continued to attract large audiences. CNN’s 3 p.m. hour, which featured testimony from Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, averaged 1.4 million viewers, the network’s highest total for the day, including his prime time. HLN averaged 470,000 viewers between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Monday, also the most-viewed time of the day.
Nielsen’s figures do not reflect people who watched the trial on separate streaming points or on digital devices. Court TV also broadcasts and broadcasts live trial coverage in its entirety. Fox News, the most watched cable news network, did not broadcast the trial live.
HLN, a channel formerly known as CNN2 and CNN Headline News owned by CNN’s parent company AT & T’s WarnerMedia, had its highest daytime audiences since 2013, when it covered George Zimmerman’s trial, a neighborhood watch volunteer who killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, according to Nielsen. HLN’s audience figures continued to climb over the week.
“The numbers show that there is a high level of interest,” said Ken Jautz, executive vice president of CNN, which oversees HLN, in an interview.
“This lawsuit raises so many important and burning social issues,” he continued. “The problems of police practices and the way law enforcement treats people of color.”
On MSNBC, viewership figures for the morning portion of the trial increased throughout its first week. On March 29, 929,000 viewers watched the trial as it began just after 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time. On Friday, day five, MSNBC’s viewing figures for the morning portion had jumped to 1.2 million viewers, according to Nielsen.
The numbers are nothing short of interesting for the 1995 OJ Simpson trial. About 50 million people watched the conclusion of the trial from their homes, a figure that could have been three times as high if the number of people watching it. at work, at school or in airports or restaurants had been taken into account.
The Chauvin trial is expected to last several weeks, and the three cable news channels are likely to continue to broadcast significant portions of it.