UPDATE, 3:10 PM: The first State of the Union of President Obama’s second term last night was watched by 33.5 million viewers. That’s down 11.3% from the 37.75 million who tuned in for last year’s address across 14 broadcast and cable networks. It’s also a State of the Union low for Obama, who has seen a decline every year since his first official SOTU in 2010 was watched by 48 million. It is not an all-time low since Nielsen started tracking SOTUs in 1993; that goes to Bill Clinton’s 2000 State of the Union when the he was in the last year of his administration — that speech got just 31.478 million. This year’s speech was live from around 9-10:15 PM ET on 15 networks and tape-delayed on Univision. NBC was tops among broadcast networks with 6.469 million total viewers, just ahead of the 6.4 million CBS pulled in. With 3.683 million watching, Fox News Channel was No. 1 among cable news’ coverage of last night’s speech. However, CNN won in the key adults 25-54 demographic with 1.436 million. Fox News’ total viewership dipped 3% from last year. Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, Azteca, Univision, MundoFox, CNBC, CNN, Fox Business, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, Current, Centric and Galavision all carried the speech live last night.
PREVIOUSLY, 8:42 AM: As usual, all the networks aired President Obama’s annual State of the Union address live. In fast nationals, the first speech of Obama’s second term before a joint session of Congress continued the downward trend of the past few years — from the high of his first official State of the Union in 2010. Additionally, last night’s SOTU was down double digits on all the networks from Obama’s January 24, 2012 speech. In preliminary numbers, CBS was the most-watched network for the one-hour-plus speech and coverage with 6.22 million viewers. NBC was next with 5.79 million, followed by ABC with 4.59 million and Fox with 2.37 million. Among adults 18-49, NBC was number one but everyone dropped from last year. In the demo, Fox took the biggest drop from the 2012 speech; the network’s coverage last night posted a 0.9/2, down 47% from last year. Tuesday’s CBS News Special (1.1/3) was down 27% from 2012, with the NBC News Special (1.6/4) down 20% and the ABC News Special (1.2/3) down 14%. Last year’s State of the Union had a total audience of 37.75 million across 14 broadcast and cable networks. That was down from the 42.79 million who watched in 2011 and 48 million in 2010. Because the State of the Union was broadcast live, fast nationals will likely change in the final numbers. Time-adjusted ratings for the speech will be available later today and we will update when we have them. Cable news numbers are expected later this morning.
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