UPDATE, 9:45 AM: President Obama’s second inauguration pulled in almost half the viewership that watched his 2009 swearing-in. Monday’s ceremony and celebrations drew 20.552 million viewers overall between 10 AM and 4:30 PM for a 7.1 rating, accord to Nielsen data released today. The January 20, 2009 inauguration had 37.793 million watching over almost the same time period — good for a 13.2 rating. This year’s inaugural was broadcast, in various forms, by ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision, Telemundo, AZTECA, MundoFox, PBS, Fox News Channel, CNN Headline News, Fox Business Network, MSNBC, TV One, CNN, Current TV, CNBC, CENTRIC and BET.
PREVIOUS, MONDAY PM: Barack Obama‘s second Inauguration Day was a good day for CNN but all three cable news networks saw viewership drop from his first swearing in four years ago. On new boss Jeff Zucker’s first day on the job, CNN soundly beat out its rivals in viewership and among the adult 25-54 demographic. During the 11:45 AM to 12:15 PM block when the President took the oath of office on the Capitol steps and gave his Inaugural address, CNN pulled in 3.136 million viewers with 1.107 million in the 25-54 demo, according to Nielsen fast nationals. That’s more than double the 1.316 million total viewers and 294,000 in the 25-54 that Fox News Channel got. CNN also topped MSNBC’s 2.273 million total viewers and 706,000 among adults 25-54. In primetime last night, CNN got 3.573 million total viewers with 1.266 million in adults 25-54. FNC pulled 1.666 million total viewers and 254,000 among the 25-54 between 8 and 11 PM. MSNBC had 1.365 million total viewers, with 456,000 among Adults 25-54. All of which means CNN beat FNC and MSNC combined among the key 25-53 demo.
Overall, all three news networks saw their viewership during the 11:45 AM to 12:15 PM slot drop by nearly 10 million from 2009. Those prime time numbers among the 24-54 are down significantly too for all three cable news networks from Obama’s first Inaugural four years ago. In 2009, CNN was in the top postion with FNC in second and MSNBC in third among the key demo. Final network viewership numbers are expected Wednesday but it is unlikely that they will exceed the 37.793 million who watched Obama’s first Inauguration on January 20, 2009.
With 5.08 million viewers and 1.4 rating in the 25-54 demographic, preliminary numbers show that NBC was the most watched of the three networks that aired the Inauguration ceremony and celebrations from 10 AM to 4:30 PM. Airing from 10 AM to 4:33 PM, ABC was second with an audience of 4.57 million and a 1.1 among Adults 25-54. Running its broadcast from 9:30 AM to 4:35 PM, CBS was third with 3.67 million viewers and a 1.0 rating. All three major nets saw a drop from 2009. Obama’s 2009 ceremony was the second most watched swearing in since Nielsen started tracking them in 1969. Ronald Reagan’s first Inauguration is the champ, pulling in 41.800 million viewers on January 20, 1981.