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Royal Wedding Coverage Drew 22.8 Million Viewers, 'Today' and 'GMA' Set Records

May 2, 2011 (1:45 am) GMT
The large number of audience, however, is not close to surpass the number of viewers who watched the funeral of Princess Diana in 1997.

The royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton drew huge ratings Stateside. The event, which was aired live by 11 U.S. networks between 6 and 7:15 A.M. EST on Friday, April 29, drew a total 22.8 million viewers and 18.6 million households, according to Nielsen Media Research.

As it had been predicted, the figure is higher than that of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's (Prince William's parents) wedding, which drew 14.2 million households in 1981. However, the ratings are not close to set a national TV record.

By comparison, about the same number of people watched "" performance show this week (22 million), and 28.9 million watched President Obama's inauguration. American viewers were apparently also more attracted to Princess Diana's funeral which drew 33.2 million viewers in 1997.

Meanwhile, NBC's "" and ABC's "" got rating boosts from their royal wedding broadcasts. The nuptials between now Duke and Duchess of Cambridge drew more than 9.6 million total viewers for "Today" from 7-9 A.M. It marks the show's biggest single-day audience since November 8, 2000, the day after George H.W. Bush was elected president.

"GMA", anchored live by Diane Sawyer and , averaged 8.7 million viewers from 7-9 A.M. It marks the network's most-watched morning telecast in nearly 20 years, since at least September 1991.

CBS, however, failed to pull in viewers as big as its competitors. Its "The Early Show" only drew 3.9 million viewers from 7-9 A.M.

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