TV Ratings: 10.9M U.S. Viewers Watch King Charles III’s Coronation

A sizable number of Americans got up early Saturday to watch Great Britain officially crown its new king. Then in primetime, another big audience watched King (LeBron) James preside over his court in the NBA playoffs.

About 10.9 million people watched the coronation of King Charles III, with broadcast and cable news outlets carrying coverage from 6-10 a.m. ET on Saturday (CNN continued with the coronation until noon). ABC led all networks with 3.04 million viewers, according to Nielsen, with NBC (2.72 million) not far behind in second place. Fox News (1.6 million), CBS (1.58 million), CNN (972,000) and MSNBC (694,000) followed. BBC America also carried the coronation, averaging 261,000 viewers over the four hours. (CNN got a bump for its coronation coverage after most other networks switched away, bringing in 1.14 million viewers from 10 a.m.-noon ET.)

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ABC also led the way in the key news demographic of adults 25-54, drawing 688,000 people in that age range, to 538,000 for NBC and 276,000 for CBS. CNN led the cable outlets in the 25-54 demographic with 171,000 viewers to 158,000 for Fox News. Demographic figures for MSNBC and BBC America weren’t available but likely came in under 100,000 viewers aged 25-54.

In the U.K., about 18.8 million people watched the coronation across multiple outlets, according to overnight figures.

In primetime Saturday, game three of the Los Angeles Lakers-Golden State Warriors NBA playoff series delivered 8.37 million viewers for ABC, making it the most-watched game in the conference semifinal round since 2011 (with the caveat that out-of-home viewing wasn’t included in Nielsen’s ratings until 2020). The first three games of the Lakers-Warriors series, featuring marquee stars James and Stephen Curry, all topped 7 million viewers, and the Friday and Sunday matchups between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers (both on ESPN) drew more than 5 million viewers each.

The biggest sports telecast of the weekend, however, was NBC’s Kentucky Derby telecast on Saturday. It averaged 14.8 million viewers across platforms, with 14.44 million tuning into the broadcast network and about 370,000 streaming the race on Peacock. That was off by about 8 percent from a year ago.

On Sunday, the MTV Movie & TV awards got a boost in cross-platform viewing despite going without a host and using mostly pre-recorded sketches and acceptance speeches due to the writers strike. Across the 12 Paramount Global cable channels that aired the awards and various social platforms, viewers watched 521 million minutes of content from the awards, up 5 percent from 498 million minutes in 2022.

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