38 million watched Biden speech, ratings firm says
More than 38 million people watched President Biden’s State of the Union address earlier this week, according to Nielsen Media Research data.
The total, which includes viewers across all of the major networks, topped the audience of 37.2 million who tuned in to former President Trump’s address in 2020, but fell short of the 45.6 million who watched Trump’s first address in 2018, The Associated Press reported.
Fox News led all cable news broadcasters during Biden’s address on Tuesday night with 7.2 million viewers, followed by CNN at 4.8 million and MSNBC at 4.1 million. In a statement, Fox noted it delivered the highest-rated State of the Union in the history of cable news for a Democratic president.
CNN, meanwhile, touted a strong performance in the key demographic audience aged 25-54 and among younger viewers.
Nielsen’s totaling of this year’s overall viewership factors in out-of-home viewing and viewership on streaming television systems through apps like Roku and Apple TV, which recently have seen a spike in audiences during major political events as more Americans cut cable service.
ABC led all the broadcast networks during Biden’s speech with 6.3 million viewers, followed by CBS with 4.9 million and NBC with 4.7 million.
This year’s State of the Union came as all of the networks provide daily coverage of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has resulted in increased ratings for the cable news providers.
During his Tuesday night address, Biden praised the Ukrainian people who are fighting off the invasion and laid out his vision for the second year of his presidency.