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Alex Brandon / AP

Parts of fired FBI Director James Comey's Thursday Senate testimony were seen by 89 million people on Facebook. Nielsen estimates 19.5 million people saw it on live television.

Why this matters: The high-profile Congressional hearing (McCarthy, Iran-Contra, Anita-Hill) used to be prime spots for television. Now those audiences are shifting online. In addition to Facebook, 2.7 million people watched it on Twitter's Bloomberg co-branded livestream. (One caveat: a Facebook view can be as short as 3 seconds, so a direct comparison to TV ratings is inexact.)

The TV viewership was less than some historic television hearings: 85% of American TV households tuned in to the Watergate hearings and 55 million people watched the Iran-contra hearings over the course of a week

According to data analytics firm Chartbeat, more than 900,000 people were reading Comey-related articles across the web at any 5-minute interval throughout the 10:00 a.m. and 1:00p.m. hours on Thursday. Chartbeat also found that the amount of time spent (minutes per page) spiked by nearly 20% during the hearing, likely due to viewers keeping livestreams of the hearing open in their browsers. According to Chartbeat Head of Product and Engineering Josh Schwartz, Chartbeat measured similar spikes during the election.

Generational divide: On TV, the majority of 19.5 million viewers, according to Nielsen, were age 55+, but on Twitter, the majority (88%) of logged-in live viewers under the age of 35. Social Gut Check: Twitter estimates 3.6 million Tweets were sent from 7a.m.-1:30pm Thursday discussing Comey's testimony, which is small in comparison to the 27 million+ tweets sent during the Super Bowl this year. Facebook says there were 8 million comments, reactions, and shares on its platform in relation to the hearing on Thursday.

Go deeper

Hill votes will make global waves

President Biden addresses the UN General Assembly on Sept. 21, 2021 in New York City. Photo: Eduardo Munoz-Pool/Getty Images)

This epic week for President Biden on Capitol Hill is even bigger than his domestic agenda.

Why it matters: Biden has anchored his entire strategy for foreign affairs on the notion that "America is back." What that means in practice is that Biden needs to prove democracy works to rally America’s liberal allies against rising authoritarians.

2 hours ago - World

German election: Exit polls show close race to succeed Angela Merkel

SPD leader Olaf Scholz. Photo: Alex Kraus/Bloomberg via Getty Images

BERLIN — The first exit poll from Sunday's German elections showed the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) and the center-right Christian Democrats (CDU) in a dead heat at 25%, leaving the race to succeed Angela Merkel too close to call.

The state of play: A second exit poll showed the SPD narrowly ahead. That's the one televisions displayed at SPD headquarters in Berlin, where the room erupted into cheers. Official results will roll in throughout the evening.

Abbott says he'll hire Border Patrol agents who whipped at migrants

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Sunday defended the actions of U.S. Border Patrol agents who charged at Haitian migrants on horseback, blaming the Biden administration for not preventing them from crossing the border.

Why it matters: Abbott's remark on "Fox News Sunday" comes amid increased backlash over the incident, with President Biden saying, "I promise... those people will pay,” and the Department of Homeland Security launching an investigation.

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