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O.J. Simpson Parole Hearing Draws 13 Million Viewers

The live broadcasts of O.J. Simpson’s parole hearing attracted 13 million total viewers across eight different networks, according to Nielsen data.

The hearing was carried live from 1 p.m to 3 p.m. ET on Thursday. For the broadcast networks, CBS was first with 3.1 million viewers. ABC was second with 2.3 million. NBC finished third with 1.9 million, and Fox was fourth with 1.3 million.

On cable, Fox News led the pack with 1.7 million,, followed by CNN with 1.1 million. HLN clocked in with 559,000, and ESPN nabbed 471,000. It should be noted, however, these numbers do not reflect online streaming of the hearing.

The viewership is a far cry from the infamous white Bronco chase in which Simpson was involved in 1994, which drew an estimated 95 million viewers. Nor was it anywhere close to the 150 million people who tuned in for the verdict in Simpson’s murder trial in 1995.

Simpson was granted parole from a Nevada prison after serving over eight years of a 33 year prison sentence for a robbery in Las Vegas in 2007, during which he and several others broke into a Las Vegas hotel room to take pieces of memorabilia that Simpson claimed had been stolen from him from two men. He was ultimately sentenced on 12 counts: three counts of conspiracy, one count of burglary in possession of a deadly weapon, and two counts each of kidnapping, robbery, assault, and coercion, all with a deadly weapon.

He was previously granted parole on five of those counts in 2013, but was not eligible for parole on the other counts until he served an additional four years.

He could be released as early as Oct. 1.

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