Fox and FNC Win as SOTU Draws Big Audience

By Andrew Gauthier 

The New York Times

President Obama‘s first State of the Union address was one of the longest in recent years, and it was also one of the most watched.

Mr. Obama reached an average of 48 million viewers in prime time on Wednesday, the Nielsen Company said. Nielsen combined the ratings for 11 networks to come up with the total.


Only two State of the Union addresses have drawn bigger audiences in the last 10 years: the first and second ones by President George W. Bush, which took place in 2002, after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and in 2003, shortly before the Iraq war began.

Among the cable news networks, Fox News Channel averaged 5.8 million viewers for coverage between 9 and 11 p.m., well ahead of CNNs 3.1 million, and MSNBCs 2.3 million. More…