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Former FBI director James Comey recounts a series of conversations with President Donald Trump as he testifies before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, June 8, 2017. Comey alleges Trump repeatedly pressed him for his "loyalty" and directly pushed him to "lift the cloud" of investigation by declaring publicly the president was not the target of the probe into his campaign's Russia ties. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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Comey testimony watched by an estimated 19.5 million viewers

Former FBI director James Comey recounts a series of conversations with President Donald Trump as he testifies before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, June 8, 2017. Comey alleges Trump repeatedly pressed him for his "loyalty" and directly pushed him to "lift the cloud" of investigation by declaring publicly the president was not the target of the probe into his campaign's Russia ties. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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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