Impeachment programming pulled in a collective Nielsen-measured 12.5 million viewers for the Wednesday day-long hearings and impeachment vote -- all with substantial declines in TV advertising airings.
During a 12-hour programming schedule from around 8:45 a.m. to 9 p.m. -- including a House of Representatives debate and vote at the end of the day -- NBC averaged 2.6 million viewers, while Fox News Channel had 2.4 million, CBS had 2.3 million, ABC had 2.3 million, MSNBC had 1.5 million and CNN had 1.4 million.
All networks posted generally higher numbers for the programming versus daytime schedules in previous weekday time periods.
In prime time, from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET, Fox News Channel had 4.8 million viewers. MSNBC was next at 3.5 million, followed by CNN at 2.6 million.
NBC -- the only broadcast network to air some coverage in prime during the 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. hour -- earned 4.8 million viewers for the key end-of-the day House vote. During this one hour of prime time, Fox led all networks at 5 million viewers, while MSNBC had 3.2 million and CNN had 2.8 million.
Throughout the day, TV advertising declined substantially during the impeachment programming debate and vote. Three main cable TV news networks witnessed their daytime airings of advertising commercials virtually cut in half.
Fox had just 370 ad airings on Wednesday, according to iSpot.tv -- down from 666 on Monday and 522 on Tuesday. MSNBC dropped to 292 on Wednesday from 729 on Monday and 606 on Tuesday. CNN was at 549 airings versus 978 on Monday and 834 on Tuesday.
Five major advertisers on Fox News on the day included My Pillow with 15 airings; Gold Bond, 10 airings; SiriusXM, 8 airings; Movado, 8 airings, and Stein Mart, 7 airings.
MSNBC had the United States Postal Service at 10 airings; Sandals Resorts, 8 airings; Cuisinart, 7 airings; Mike Bloomberg 2020, 6 airings; and Listerine, 6 airings.
CNN had IHOP with 13 airings; Kay Jewelers, 13 airings; Aveeno, 11 airings; Lincoln Motor Co., 10 airings; Big Lots, 9 airings; and T-Mobile, 9 airings.