Viewer interest in television coverage of the trial of Derek Chauvin has been high, according to ratings data from Nielsen.
Several cable channels, including CNN and MSNBC, have broadcast large portions of the trial live, and one cable network, HLN, has shown it in its entirety since the proceedings started on March 29. For several days last week, CNN’s highest ratings came in the afternoon, during witness testimony, rather than during its prime-time hours.
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.
On Thursday, roughly 3.7 million viewers were watching trial coverage on the three channels during the afternoon testimony of former Sgt. David Pleoger, who supervised Mr. Chauvin and testified that he should have “ended” his restraint after Mr. Floyd became unresponsive. That audience was larger than the number of people tuning into any other cable program that day. “The Rachel Maddow Show,” the most watched cable show on Thursday, drew three million viewers.
been three times that size if the number of people watching it at work, at school or in airports or restaurants had been factored in.
The Chauvin trial is expected to last several weeks, and the three cable news networks are likely to continue broadcasting significant portions of it.