Mixed TV Ratings for Royal Wedding

Kate readies for royal life with heir in mind  AFP

The wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on Friday was a snooze for most Americans, according to television audience estimates. Still, it amounted to a record ratings day for some television channels.

The Nielsen Company said that an average of 22.7 million viewers at home in the United States watched the wedding live (between 6 and 7:15 a.m. Eastern daylight time). That figure — encompassing the viewers of of 11 channels — reaffirms pre-wedding polls that found only lukewarm interest in the nuptials among most Americans.

Still, millions did tune in, giving channel executives reason to cheer.

Between 4 a.m. and 10 a.m., when the wedding coverage was at its peak, CNN had an average of 1.66 million viewers, its biggest audience since the day after the presidential election in 2008.

Between 7 and 9 a.m., NBC’s “Today” show had an average of more than 9.6 million viewers, its biggest audience since the day after the presidential election in 2000. ABC’s “Good Morning America” had an average of 8.65 million viewers, its biggest audience in at least 20 years. CBS’s “Early Show” averaged 3.91 million viewers.

The Nielsen ratings only count viewers at home, so it is unknown how many wedding aficionados gathered for viewing parties.

Web tune-in around the world was also significant, but there was no immediate data available for the United States. British experts had predicted that two billion people would watch the wedding worldwide.

New York Times

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