President Trump gave an address last night about his administration’s plans for the war in Afghanistan, an effort that began on October 7, 2001.
Most of the broadcast and cable news networks carried the address, including ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CNN, Fox Business, Fox News and MSNBC.
A combined 27.8 million total TV viewers watched the address across the aforementioned 8 networks from 9 – 9:30 p.m. ET, according to Nielsen data.
Looking at previous prime time specials involving the 45th POTUS – 33 million watched Pres. Trump’s announcement appointing Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court on Jan. 31 , and nearly 48 million watched his first prime time address to joint session of Congress on Feb. 28.
President Obama’s December 2009 address regarding his administration’s plans for Afghanistan drew nearly 40.8 million total TV viewers.
These Nielsen figures don’t take into account out-of-home viewing or live streaming, although CNN is signing up for the new Nielsen Out-of-Home Reporting Service.
Streaming rarely makes a significant difference when it comes to a speech like this, one which draws an older audience less likely to stream, compared to the general audience for higher-profile political events such as presidential debates, inaugurations, and other milestones.
The individual network audience figures have yet to be released. We will update this post when we receive those figures.