The rating services delivered a split verdict in Saturday’s climatic coverage of the outcome of the Rodney G. King civil rights trial.

Nielsen showed KABC-TV and KNBC-TV in a virtual tie in their morning coverage, with KNBC claiming the biggest share of the viewer pie during the critical 6:30-7:30 a.m. block leading up to and immediately following the reading of the verdicts.

Arbitron, meanwhile, showed KNBC with a commanding lead throughout the entire morning.

According to Nielsen overnight results, KNBC scored its biggest numbers in the 7-7:15 a.m. quarter hour with a 14.2 rating/36 share. From 6 a.m.-noon, the station averaged a 7.8/21.

KABC’s ratings peaked with a 12.3/28 at 8 a.m.. The station pulled a 7.9/20 6 :30 a.m.-noon.

In Arbitron, which KNBC does not use for selling purposes, the station averaged an 8.5/23 for the morning while KABC trailed with a 6.5/17.

KCBS-TV landed a 5.4/13 in Nielsen from 7 a.m.-noon and a 4.6/11 in Arbitron.

Among indies, KCAL-TV had the biggest numbers early in the morning, but KTLA gained later. KTTV trailed and KCOP, which jumped between live reports and infomercials, finished in last place.

Nielsen showed viewing levels peaking from 8:30-8:45 a.m., with 48.2% of all sets in use, while Arbitron indicated that viewing levels reached their height an hour earlier, with nearly 47% tuned in.

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