Simpson Verdict 3rd Most ‘Impactful’ TV Moment?

Here it is, nearly 20 years after the O.J. Simpson murder trial and I must say I truly was surprised by a couple of facts in this June 14, 2014 CNN story:

5 surprising facts about O.J. Simpson’s slow-speed chase.

… here are five things that might surprise you about the infamous Bronco chase.

Fast facts: O.J. Simpson

1. The Bronco chase and subsequent “not guilty” verdict are among the most memorable TV moments in the past 50 years.

The Simpson verdict was the third most “universally impactful” televised moment of the last 50 years behind the September 11, 2001, attacks and Hurricane Katrina in 2005, according to a survey by Nielsen and Sony.

Big shift in attitude toward O.J. Simpson

Simpson’s white Bronco chase came in sixth, behind the Challenger space shuttle disaster and the death of Osama bin Laden.

The survey scored each big televised event based on how many people viewed the event live, how many could recall details about where they were during the event and how many people who could remember talking about it with other people.

READ: High-profile acquittals

2. The Bronco chase dominated sports coverage on a day with major sports news.

On June 17, 1994, legendary golfer Arnold Palmer played his last round at the U.S. Open, the World Cup opened in Chicago, the Rangers celebrated winning the Stanley Cup, the Knicks played game five of the NBA finals against the Houston Rockets, and Ken Griffey Jr. tied Babe Ruth for the most home runs hit before June 30.

ESPN covered the other big sporting news, but jumped back and forth for frequent updates on the chase. NBC continued coverage of the NBA finals, but the game appeared in a small box in the corner while Tom Brokaw anchored coverage of the Bronco chase.

It just kind of blows my mind that the Simpson verdict ranks so high — just after the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks and Hurricane Katrina — as the most “universally impactful” televised moment in the past 50 years. What about the Supreme Court selecting the U.S. president in 2000? Or the green flashes of “Shock and Awe” as the U.S. attacked Iraq on March 19, 2003? Or the Nov. 22, 1963, assassination of President John F. Kennedy? Or the Aug. 8, 1974, resignation of President Richard Nixon?

Just amazing — if true.

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