The three major broadcast networks took a ratings hit with their Trump impeachment coverage, drawing fewer viewers than they would have with their regular line-up of soap operas.
The Nielsen ratings for Wednesday and Thursday showed that ABC, CBS and NBC lost a combined 3 million viewers per day by airing the Senate impeachment trial instead of the daytime soaps, according to TVNewser, despite the impassioned testimony of House impeachment managers like Rep. Adam Schiff.
The conservative Media Research Center called it a “ratings disaster,” while Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, couldn’t resist a jab at Mr. Schiff and the networks.
“Just wait till we find out Schiff has a long lost identical twin,” cracked Mr. Cruz in a tweet.
ABC, CBS and NBC saw lower ratings on Wednesday and Thursday versus what the broadcast networks would have normally drawn for shows such as “The Young and the Restless,” “The Bold and the Beautiful,” “Days of Our Lives,” and “General Hospital.”
The audience also declined as the week wore on, with 5.1 million tuning in for the start of the impeachment trial on Tuesday but falling to about 4 million on Wednesday and 3.8 million on Thursday, according to MRC.
“By suspending regular programming and joining cable news in providing hours of live coverage, the broadcast networks are signaling that viewers should consider the Senate trial a momentous, historic occasion,” said the MRC. “But viewers aren’t buying it. “
The impeachment trial resumes Monday with President Trump’s defense team delivering its opening argument.