For the Second Consecutive Year, Fox News Is Most-Watched for Pres. Trump’s State of the Union

By A.J. Katz Comment

Update 5:35 p.m. ET: 46.8 million total viewers across 12 linear TV networks watched live coverage of President Trump’s State of the Union address from 9 – 10:30 p.m. ET. That’s up from 2018 (45.55 million), but down from 2017 (47.7 million).

29.19 million of those were 55+. Just 3.7 million were millennials (18-34).

Additionally, Univision’s coverage from 8:50 p.m. to 11 p.m., averaged 1.6 million Total Viewers, and 693,000 Adults 25-54. It also out-delivered Telemundo by +23 percent in total viewers and +24 percent in A25-54 viewers.

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2:55 p.m. ET: After a week-long delay, President Trump’s second address to a joint session of Congress delivered a total of 42.73 million viewers across 8 Nielsen-measured networks. That’s according to early data from Nielsen, and is subject to change later in the day.

The early combined total represents +4 percent growth vs. the 2018 SOTU total linear, Nielsen network audience (41.11 million).

As was expected, Fox News Channel was the most-watched network in all of TV (both broadcast and cable) in both total viewers and the key 25-54 demographic for the second consecutive year.

Co-anchored by Special Report’s Bret Baier and The Story’s Martha MacCallum, FNC averaged 11.12 million total viewers and 2.75 million in the 25-54 demo for the duration of the address (9 – 10:30 p.m. ET), easily topping all competition.

However, compared with the 2018 SOTU address, that’s -5 percent in total viewers and -17 percent in A25-54 viewers.

Again, as mentioned, this is early data from Nielsen, and those figures are subject to change.

Among cable news competition, Fox News beat CNN and MSNBC combined in both total viewers and the demo for the second consecutive year. Additionally, FNC was the No. 1 network in all of TV for the Democratic response among total viewers.

NBC News was the No. 1 broadcast network for 2019 State of the Union coverage, hauling in 7.14 million total viewers. That’s the network’s highest total viewer delivery for a State of the Union since 2012, and the second consecutive across-the-board win among broadcast networks for SOTU coverage.

*Below is early data from Nielsen. This item will be updated as more data trickles in.

  • STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS: 9-10:30 p.m. ET | Total Viewers / A25-54 demo

FNC:  11,122,000 (-5 percent YoY) / 2,751,000 (-17 percent YoY)
NBC: 7,142,000 (+1 percent YoY) / 2,633,000 (+2 percent YoY)
CBS:  6,679,000 (-4 percent YoY) / 1,924,000 (-8 percent YoY)
ABC:  5,905,000 (+9 percent YoY) / 1,775,000 (-14 percent YoY)
Fox Broadcasting:  4,169,000 (+16 percent YoY) / 1,727,000 (+15 percent YoY)
MSNBC:  3,785,000 (+42 percent YoY) / 798,000 (+21 percent YoY)
CNN:  3,442,000 (+11 percent YoY) / 1,214,000 (-8 percent YoY)
FBN:  456,000 (-20 percent YoY) / 80,000 (-22 percent YoY)

No network posted more audience growth than MSNBC, while Fox Broadcasting posted the most year-over-year growth of any broadcast network.

  • DEMOCRATIC RESPONSE: 10:45 – 11 p.m. ET | Total Viewers / A25-54 demo

FNC:  6,404,000 / 1,570,000 
NBC:  5,370,000 / 2,064,000
CBS:   4,738,000 / 1,358,000
MSNBC: 4,722,000 / 1,071,000
ABC:  4,623,000 / 1,413,000
CNN:  3,267,000 / 1,201,000

As per above, Fox News was also the go-to cable news network for Stacey Abrams‘ Democratic party response. NBC News was No. 1 among adults 25-54.

FNC was also most-watched during cable news prime time as the network averaged 8.515 million viewers between 8-11 p.m. ET.

  • PRIME TIME CABLE NEWS: 8-11 p.m. ET | Total Viewers / A25-54 demo

FNC:  8,515,000 (-3 percent) / 2,017,000 (-16 percent)
MSNBC:  3,528,000 (+40 percent) / 724,000 (+18 percent)
CNN:  2,843,000 (+12 percent) / 984,000 (-7 percent)

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