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Mueller hearing reaches just under 13 million viewers

July 25, 2019
Former special counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Intelligence Committee hearing on his report on Russian election interference, on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Wednesday, July 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Former special counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Intelligence Committee hearing on his report on Russian election interference, on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Wednesday, July 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

NEW YORK (AP) — Nearly 13 million people watched former special counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony before two House committees on the biggest broadcast and cable news networks.

The Nielsen company says Mueller’s audience Wednesday was smaller than it was for well-publicized hearings involving three other Trump-era figures: former FBI director James Comey (19.5 million), Trump attorney Michael Cohen (15.8 million) and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh (20.4 million).

Several factors likely conspired to make Mueller’s testimony a lackluster TV draw. For one, it was held in July — vacation time, when television ratings are traditionally lower than any point of the year. It was also well after the special counsel’s report was publicly released.

Mueller also signaled in advance he wasn’t likely to say much beyond his report. Once he started talking, he often gave one-word replies or declined to answer questions posed by lawmakers.

Fox News Channel, with 3.03 million viewers, topped all the networks, Nielsen said. MSNBC had 2.41 million viewers, ABC had 2.12 million, NBC had 1.99 million, CBS had 1.91 million and CNN had 1.52 million.

CBS was blacked out in some 10 million satellite homes due to a business dispute with DirecTV.

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