Viewers Say TV Is Overdoing O.J. Coverage

Despite climbing television ratings, viewers are getting turned off by gavel-to-gavel coverage of the O.J. Simpson murder trial, according to a poll done for TV Guide and “Entertainment Tonight.”

Three out of four adults questioned - 76 percent - said there’s too much of it on the tube. And watching the trial has made 45 percent feel less confident in the judicial system.

Nearly half of the people who believe Simpson is innocent in the slayings of his ex-wife and her friend have no problem with the amount of TV coverage. But a majority of those who think the former football star is guilty say it’s more than what they deem necessary or appropriate.

The national telephone survey of 504 people claiming “some familiarity” with the case were broken down by race, gender and age.

Seventy-eight percent of whites said there is too much O.J. on TV, compared to 67 percent of blacks. Nearly 30 percent of blacks think the amount of coverage has been appropriate, while only 17 percent of whites agree.

Overkill or not, trial ratings have hit record highs at networks focusing on in-depth coverage.


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