Comey testimony watched by an estimated 19.5 million viewers

FILE - In this March 20, 2017, file photo, then-FBI Director James Comey pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, before the House Intelligence Committee hearing on allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Comey will testify that President Donald Trump sought his "loyalty" and asked what could be done to "lift the cloud" of investigation shadowing his White House, according to prepared remarks released ahead of his appearance on Capitol Hill on June 8, 2017.(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) – An estimated 19.5 million viewers watched James Comey’s widely televised U.S. Senate testimony.

Nielsen figures released Friday tallied the audience for the fired FBI director’s appearance across ad-supported networks and cable channels.

The major outlets divided Thursday’s audience up fairly evenly, with leader ABC’s 3.295 million viewers followed closely by CBS with 3.286 million. Fox News had 3.104 million and CNN had 3.059 million. MSNBC attracted 2.737 million and NBC drew 2.723 million.

Smaller audiences tuned in to the hearing on Univision, Fox Business Network and HLN.

Total viewership for the highly anticipated event fell short of the 30.6 million who watched President Donald Trump’s inauguration Jan. 20.

It was the most recent news event carried live on so many U.S. media outlets.

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