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Rites on U.S. TV Draw 50 Million

September 08, 1997|Times staff reports

The funeral of Princess Diana proved to be a compelling television event for American viewers. An estimated 50 million people in the United States watched the funeral coverage live between 3 and 5 a.m. PDT, according to an analysis of Nielsen overnight ratings in 38 major cities.

"That's an extraordinary number, especially when you consider that people on the West Coast had to get up very early to watch the funeral, and viewers were altering their daily schedules to see the event," said David Poltrack, senior vice president in charge of audience research at CBS-TV.

ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox received a combined 26.1 rating, which represents 14.91 million households.

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