Fox News tops cable, broadcast networks for State of the Union

Toya Sarno Jordan

Fox News was the most-watched network for President Trump’s first State of the Union address, with 11.5 million viewers tuning in, according to preliminary Nielsen ratings.

The cable news network was able to top broadcast networks NBC, with 7.1 million viewers, and CBS, which had 7 million tuning in.

ABC delivered 5.4 million total viewers and Fox-TV, 3.6 million, to round out to the top five. CNN took 6th place with 3.1 million viewers during the president’s speech from 9 p.m.-10:30 p.m. and MSNBC came in last with 2.7 million viewers of the 80-minute address.


With streaming becoming a more popular alternative, Fox News announced it had seen sharp increases on the digital viewing front as well, according to Adobe Analytics, a marketing analytics and reporting tool.

“Fox News digital page views were up 30 percent in comparison to the 2016 State of the Union address with uniques up 62 percent and video views more than doubling,” the network said in a release. No exact numbers were made available.

CNN Digital’s live stream for the primetime address also delivered sizable viewership, with, and CNN mobile applications seeing 1.7 million live video starts.

Final numbers for the 2018 address are not expected until late Wednesday afternoon, but preliminary numbers appear to indicate a drop in overall viewership from the president’s 2017 address to a joint session of Congress at the same time last year.

That January speech delivered 47.7 million viewers, while President Obama’s 2009 speech drew 52.9 million viewers.

The most-watched State of the Union in the past 25 years was President Clinton’s in 1993, which registered 66.9 million viewers in a television era before the launches of Fox News and MSNBC in 1996.

Tags broadcast news Cable news Donald Trump Fox television ratings
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