2023 State of the Union Ratings: Fox News Is Most-Watched, ABC No. 1 Among Adults 25-54 for Second Consecutive Year

By A.J. Katz 

Update: Wednesday, 6 p.m. ET:

Per a Nielsen advisory, an estimated 27.3 million people over 16 TV networks watched President Biden deliver his State of the Union address on Tuesday. That’s up from the 26.4 million reported earlier.

Audience numbers for Newsmax, PBS and NBCLX are included in the Wednesday night update, as is out-of-home viewing and connected TV viewing for all of the networks (excluding out-of-home for PBS). Contribution from CTV viewing can be up to 13% for some live TV news events.


Original: 5:20 p.m. ET:

President Biden delivered his second annual State of the Union address on February 7, 2023, and for the second consecutive year, Fox News Channel’s live coverage attracted the largest total audience of any U.S. TV network.

FNC averaged 4.695 million total viewers and 853,000 adults 25-54 from 9:09-10:21 p.m. ET, which is more than what MSNBC and CNN drew in those respective measurements.

MSNBC drew a larger total audience than CNN (3.6 million vs. 2.41 million). The network also had its highest-rated night since the 2022 midterms and grew +72% in total viewers vs. President Obama’s post-midterms 2015 State of the Union Address. However, CNN drew more adults 25-54 than MSNBC (651,000 vs. 500,000), as traditionally has been the case for these events.

Leaving cable news — ABC captured the second-most total viewers (4.405 million) as well as the most adults 25-54 (1.075 million) of any U.S. TV network televising the address.

NBC took third place in total viewers (3.78 million) and was the No. 2 network across broadcast and cable among adults 25-54 (1 million).

CBS was the fourth-most-watched U.S. TV network in total viewers (behind Fox News, ABC and NBC) and the fourth most-watched among adults 25-54 (behind ABC, NBC and Fox News). The network averaged 3.64 million total viewers and 708,000 A25-54 during the address.

Among Spanish language broadcasters, Univision beat Telemundo both in total viewers and among adults 25-54. Univision averaged 1.08 million total viewers and 399,000 adults 25-54, while Telemundo averaged 836,000 total viewers and 356,000 adults 25-54 during the address.

NBCUniversal News Group, as expected, averaged more total viewers than any other U.S. news organization. 8.31 million viewers watched the address on at least one of the organization’s four linear networks — NBC, MSNBC, Telemundo, CNBC.

SOTU 2023 Nielsen Live+SD
Network P2+ A25-54
Fox News 4,695,000 853,000
ABC 4,405,000 1,075,000
NBC 3,778,000 1,002,000
CBS 3,637,000 708,000
MSNBC 3,569,000 500,000
CNN 2,411,000 651,000
Fox 1,656,000 509,000
Univision 1,083,000 399,000
Telemundo 836,000 356,000
CNBC 128,000 39,000
NewsNation 97,000 22,000
Fox Business 64,000 13,000
CNN en Espanol 18,000 4,000

According to live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen, 26.4 million people (with 6.13 million adults 25-54) watched President Biden’s second State of the Union address on 13 cable and broadcast news networks. The 26.4 million figure does not include viewing on streaming services, PBS or Bloomberg.

Each Nielsen-measured network saw a down double digit decline from what they drew for the 2022 State of the Union address (held March 1) both in total viewers and among adults 25-54.