A national town hall on Medicare for all hosted by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. and digital media outlets The Young Turks, NowThis and ATTN: drew nearly 1.1 million live viewers Jan. 23.
The number rivals the viewership of cable news in prime time.
And, mid-day Jan. 24, more than 1.6 million views had accumulated on the town hall video across platforms.
A statement from Sanders' office said leading digital outlets came together to do what cable channels and network news would not — engage in an in-depth conversation about healthcare and why the United States is the only major county not to guarantee healthcare to all.
"Far too often corporate television limits the nature of what we see and the discussions we have. This event will not be interrupted by commercials from drug or insurance companies or Wall Street," Sanders said at the town hall.
On Sanders' Facebook page, the town hall live stream had nearly 500,000 views by the time the event concluded at 8:30 p.m. ET.
By midday Jan. 24, another 200,000 people had watched the video.
The Young Turks' broadcasts on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter had a combined live viewership of 251,000 by Jan. 24.
NowThis' broadcast had more than 170,000 views on Facebook and YouTube Jan. 23, and ATTN:'s stream added another 80,000 viewers.
Other progressive outlets including Act.tv and CREDO Mobile also streamed the event.
"It was absolutely thrilling to be there and see both the audience response in person, as well as the incredible engagement happening online. It was very clear that this is an issue people are desperate to talk about, and that they're ready to debate solutions to the healthcare crisis in America. We're so proud for NowThis to have been a part of this great event and see it as just a starting point for an ongoing, incredibly important discussion," said Versha Sharma, managing editor at NowThis.
"The event's success reinforces the idea that digital media is a powerful way for policymakers to reach people, and it proves that audiences are hungry to hear about real policy solutions," said Mike Vainisi, head of editorial at ATTN:.
The town hall was broadcast live from the Capitol Visitor Center Congressional Auditorium, where Sanders and panelists spoke in front of a full house of 450.
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