Obama’s State of the Union Hits Low Point with Viewers

By Chris Ariens 

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MediaDecoder has the numbers from Tuesday’s State of the Union.

37.8 million viewers watched across 14 TV networks. That’s the fewest of the four January speeches Pres. Obama has delivered since he took office: 42.8 million watched last year, 48 million in 2010, and 52.3 million watched the president’s address to Congress in 2009.

NBC was the choice for most viewers. And while NBC and ABC were down compared to 2011 CBS added +350,000 viewers vs. 2011.

  • Address: (9:00-10:16)

NBC: 8.2m (2011: 9.29m)
CBS: 7.3m (2011: 6.95m)
ABC: 6.6m (2011: 7.06m)

  • Analysis (10:16-10:28)

NBC: 7.462m
ABC: 6.358m
CBS: 5.782m

NBC continued until 11pmET/10pmCT which included interviews with White House senior adviser David Plouffe and GOP candidate Mitt Romney which averaged 5.357 million total viewers. This topped sitcom reruns on CBS (5.294m) and ABC (3.674m). But again, NBC’s take was down slightly from 5.445m viewers in January 2011.

As we reported yesterday Fox News was the most-watched on cable. Of the three big cable networks, only MSNBC grew viewership from 2011 (2.8m vs. 2.5m). FNC lost a million viewers and CNN was down -300,000. All three networks were down in A25-54 viewers.