Despite being broadcast at the ungodly hour of 3 00 a.m. on the West Coast and 6 00 a.m. on the East Coast, the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton was watched by nearly 23 million Americans, according to preliminary ratings released late today (Saturday) by Nielsen Research. The figure represents the combined average of 11 broadcast and cable networks between 6 00 a.m. and 7 15 a.m. Eastern Time. The combined household rating for ABC, CBS, NBC, Telemundo, Univision, BBC America, CNN, E!, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, and TLC was put at 16 and the total share at 54 (54 percent of all those watching TV were tuned in to the ceremony). By way of comparison, Nielsen noted that the inauguration of President Obama, which began at 10 00 a.m. on Jan. 20, 2009, was watched by 38 million Americans and the funeral of Princess Diana on Sept. 6, 1997, which began at 6 00 a.m., was watched by 33 million Americans.

02/05/2011