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431,336 local homes tuned to verdict

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Many believe the verdict in the O. J. Simpson trial attracted one of the largest television audiences in history.

In Baltimore, the TV audience at 1:08 p.m. Tuesday was about 2.5 times larger than usual for that time of day, with 44.3 percent of all homes in the area tuned to the trial. That translates to a Baltimore area audience of 431,336 homes.

While that is not a record-setting audience, it is impressive when you consider it adds up to a 93 share -- meaning 93 percent of all area homes using television at 1:08 p.m. Tuesday were tuned to the trial, according to overnight figures from A. C. Nielsen.

But interest here appears to have evaporated rather quickly. By the time of the 5 p.m. newscasts, the combined audience for WJZ, WBAL and WMAR -- the three major network affiliates -- was only up about 30 percent over a normal news day.

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