Only 33.3 million Americans watched the State of the Union on Tuesday -that’s the lowest number since 2000. But for those who did tune in, the competition for their eyeballs was fierce.
The numbers are in on SOTU coverage -and on the analysis programming that came after -and the big winners are NBC among the networks and Fox News on cable. Though CBS had the most viewers for the speech itself -7.5 million -they lost about 1 million of them after it was over. By contrast, NBC held relatively steady with just under 7 million viewers for the speech and post coverage. They also won the 25-54 demo during the speech, and actually improved on those numbers during post-SOTU coverage, when the networks really differentiated themselves.
On cable, Fox News far out-performed it’s cable rivals. As noted on our sister site TVNewser, their 4.5+ million viewers were more than MSNBC’s and CNN’s combined. Post-speech coverage was no different, with Fox News winning overall and in the demo.
The numbers from Tuesday night:
State of the Union Coverage
1. CBS: 7,580,000 total viewers / 2,269,000 A25-54
2. NBC: 6,984,000 total viewers / 2,467,000 A25-54
3. ABC: 5,569,000 total viewers / 1,990,000 A25-54
4. Fox News: 4,718,853 viewers / 1,197,554 A25-54
5. MSNBC: 2,292,169 viewers / 752,054 A25-54
6. CNN: 2,081,431 viewers / 762,450 A25-54
1. NBC: 6,702,000 viewers / 2,537,000 A25-54
2. CBS: 6,558,000 viewers / 2,015,000 A25-54
3. ABC: 5,565,000 viewers / 2,047,000 A25-54
4. Fox News: 4,513,177 viewers / 1,106,000 A25-54
5. MSNBC: 2,167,242 viewers / 704,000 A25-54
6. CNN: 2,081,431 viewers / 663,000 A25-54