“We feel this is an opportunity for viewers to find us again, for those who know us, trust us,” Tufts said.
He said Court TV has 24 employees on-site in Minneapolis and are all hands on deck in Atlanta: “We blocked out vacation times for the length of the trial. Everyone who was working on other projects like documentaries has put them down. We want to make sure we can put out our best production on-air.”
Court TV has about 85 people in its entire editorial force.
Tufts flew to Minneapolis during the earlier hearings and met with court officials to discuss airing the trial live. “They didn’t have enough room for all the journalists,” he said. “We didn’t have to explain what the challenges were. They could see it in front of their eyes. We started this conversation on what the cameras looked like, how much space they would take up, where could our people be.”
It’s not that the network isn’t without competition. HLN has committed to heavily covering the trial and Dan Abrams’ Law and Crime has also committed to gavel-to-gavel coverage. CNN and MSNBC are regularly dipping into the trial as well and many websites are running live streams.
Court TV also has a three-hour prime-time show at night almost exclusively focused on the Chauvin case and anchored by Vinnie Politan, part of the original Court TV/HLN team.
The network is not measured by Nielsen, and the company does not release specific viewership numbers. It says ratings are up strongly since the trial began. The network is available on broadcast TV for free, on its own website and on many cable networks. You can also find it on YouTube TV, Pluto TV, SiriusXM, and the Court TV app for Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Android and Apple devices.